rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
On Thursday night, I accidentally took a sleeping pill instead of an aspirin for a headache and slept for twelve hours. But I'm glad I got some rest in then, because I feel like I've barely slowed down all weekend! But it was fun, so I can't complain. On Friday night, I did my laundry, crocheted, and watched Star Trek at Mom's house. I finished my second plarn mat! It took me about two months to crochet, and its final measurements were 26" x 84". (My first one took about six months and its measurements were 22" x 76".)

Saturday was a full day. That afternoon, I walked the mall again with Briana; we hit a few bumps that I might need to contact our case worker about. Then I drove by Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2's house to drop off some hamantashen. He just had surgery and won't be able to come to temple for a while. I was happy to bring them to him, but I didn't have the best directions to his house and finding it was kinda stressful. Then Sara and I went over to CJ & Co's to visit Athena.

But Sunday was really the big day - PURIM! The Purim carnival that we'd working on for so long was finally upon us! Making noise on Purim is a mitzvot, and Maggie couldn't believe we were letting her get away with making noise in the temple sanctuary. All the kids loved booing Haman and banging those groggers during the Megillah reading. After the Megillah, we turned the kids loose in the social hall, where we had pinatas, face-painting, horseshoe throws, balloon animals, cookie-decorating, pin-the-crown-on-Esther, and more! It was so much fun, it should've been illegal. I think these smiling faces speak for themselves. (I took a ton of photos.)



Me and Sarah in our cowgirl costumes. I almost said to her mom, "Hurry up and take the photo so we can eat these hamantashen!"


Maggie the Cat. Those two girls are always so much fun.

And Sunday evening, of course, was the Oscars! I missed the pre-shows and first hour or so because I had to attend a long boring meeting at work, but after that, I went over to Mom's house and watched them there with Sara. I was most excited about two child actresses attending (and one of them with a nomination!!) and all the nominations for Les Miserables. Even though the medley was a rather odd mash-up of Suddenly, I Dreamed a Dream, and One Day More, it was so exciting to see it performed onstage! Samantha Barks (Eponine) looked so sexy in that black dress, and I love her voice. I think she's definitely the best singer out of the entire cast. Seth McFarland's spoof of The Sound of Music when he was introducing Christopher Plummer just killed me! Especially since we just saw it on the big screen! The only two Oscar movies I saw this year were Les Mis and Beasts of the Southern Wild, but I want to see Lincoln and Django Unchained once they're released.


Samantha's posing was kinda odd, yeah, but she's a relatively new star, so it's understandable.

Ahhh, good times. But I was up very late for three nights in a row, and I was so busy that I never got around to washing my hair. It's getting kinda gross.
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
We leave cold, cloudy Arkansas to return to warm, sunny Louisiana tomorrow morning. I will be happy to see Tovah and have my own room/bed again, but I'm going to miss Athena. She's been the best hostess ever, and we've had so much fun here.

On Friday, Sara and I drove down to the riverfront and saw the playground and sculpture garden. The playground was so much fun! It was multi-level, with lots of tunnels and all sorts of ropes, rocks, and walls to climb on, and I had to climb on them all! I ran around so much that I broke a sweat, and now I have big bruises on my legs and my arms are going to be sore for some time. I guess I'm getting too old for playgrounds, but I don't have the sense to quit!


 photo Pyramid2.jpg
A climbey-thing!

After that, we walked through the sculpture garden so I could catch my breath. The sculptures were all so beautiful, and the sun even made an appearance! We walked through the lobby of the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks in the fountain, which was a highlight of the trip for me because God loves ducks! We got lost on the way there and back, but downtown Little Rock is really beautiful. That evening, I dragged Athena and Sara (the Mormon and the heathen) to Shabbat services at the local Reform synagogue. The synagogue was beautiful, but so big that I felt a little intimated, and I was kinda uncomfortable with a few things they did.

 photo Airplanes.jpg
How cool is this paper-airplane sculpture we saw in the sculpture garden?

On Sunday, we went to two museums, the art museum and the black history museum (which we visited by accident because it had a confusingly similar address to the art museum) and walked through one of the cemeteries here. The cemetery was so cool, but it was so cloudy all day today and my fingers almost froze to my camera! After that, we found a nice warm pizza parlor to eat dinner in. Yum!


Pommiers près de Vétheuil, an 1878 oil-painting by Claude Monet.

This was one of the pieces we saw at the art museum. It reminded me so much of the pommier right across the street from the Lycée Européen.
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
As of today, only ONE WEEK LEFT until I have to conduct services! Oh, noes! Fortunately, a very sweet, Hebrew-knowledgeable lady from my temple offered to help me practice, so yesterday evening, I drove out to her house in Swanky Subdivision Land (where all the Jews in this city, except Rebecca, seem to live!). We read through the siddur, practiced some Hebrew, and watched some music videos by Matisyahu and The Maccabeats. I'm thinking about playing his Hanukkah song "Miracle" during my service, since it'll be the last Shabbat before Hanukkah. But really, I haven't decided on that or on a lot of things. Like, do I want to include the Hatzi Kaddish or skip it? Should I sing or speak the Aleinu? Oy vey. I need to get it together!

Anyway, they invited me to stay for dinner -- ew, healthy food! -- and then I ended up playing with puzzle erasers and American Dolls with her daughter Sarah, who hasn't even had her bat mitzvah yet but would probably be a better lay leader than me. She had the Kaya, Marie-Grace, Rebecca, and Kenani dolls, but she'd switched their clothes around, which confused me. I never had an American Girl doll, just the catalog, so I actually enjoyed it. Yes, this is what Rebecca considers fun; I just never grew up. :)

Sarah also goes to my old school and has the same horrid PE coach that I used to have! As soon as she said her name, it was like an entire year of repressed PE classes came back to the surface. I can't believe that lady is still teaching PE and torturing kids! Ugh! But it was a really fun evening. I also brought my crocheted plarn mat over to show them, since we made plarn together back here. Unrolled, the mat was taller than both Sarah and her mom! (They're short people.)



Sarah and me holding the huge plarn mat!

This is what I've been crocheting all these months.

At services this evening, we had a lovely ceremony and oneg for a couple who renewed their vows. It was the closest I've come yet to attending a Jewish wedding. I'd been asked beforehand to bring a dessert food, which I don't usually do. So I baked Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, with a little cherry pie filling rolled up inside each one, then topped them with powdered sugar. They weren't the best dessert there, but they were pretty tasty and easy. Oh, and during the service, our temple president announced to everyone that I would be the lay leader next week. Ugh! I wanted to strangle her.

In other news, I was off from work today, but had to wake up early for a job interview! (The lady who interviewed me kept winking at me, which confused me to no end. Was she trying to tell me I'd gotten the job? Hitting on me? Both? Neither? Facial tic?) And I'm going to be waking up early for the next three days for religious school, work, and an dr. appointment! Ugh!

P.S. On the art calendar, I'm looking at On the Road from Versailles to Louveciennes, an 1879 oil painting by Alfred Sisley.
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Last Friday evening marked the beginning of Shabbat Shuvah, the name given to the Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. (I've always loved this Shabbat. Previous entries on it are here and here.) It also marked the retirement of one of my Jewish Grandmothers, who's done administrative work for the temple for longer than anyone could remember, including her. When we asked her, she said, "Well, I was bat mitzvahed in 1947..." So, we threw an oneg in her honor, and the mayor of our city (one member of our congregation works for him -- all Jews but Rebecca are well-connected!) even came to give her a bouquet of flowers and a certificate recognizing her "outstanding contribution to the Jewish community of southern Louisiana."

Faye and Mayor
Faye and the mayor both asked me for copies of this photo I took of them.
I immediately replied, "Faye, yours will be complimentary. Mr. Mayor, five dollars."

We also threw a belated birthday party for Rabbi W. (His birthday was September 11, the same day as Grandma, but not the same year.) Somebody bought a big cupcake with 70 in wax numbers on top, and after he blew them out, we sang "Round the temple, he must go, it's his birthday!" and made him run around the social hall. The kids thought that was so funny, and Rabbi W was a good sport about it.

On Saturday morning, we had a session of religious school, and it went well. (Thank you, Lord!) The kids learned about yetzer hatov and yetzer hara and read the story of Jonah and the whale, which is traditionally read before Yom Kippur. It helped that there happen to be two pictures of Jonah hanging in our social hall for the kids to find. They love hunting for the afikoman at Passover, and they liked searching for Jonah, too.


Shabbat Shuva Religious School 1
We're short a few kids here, but this is most of our religious school. See the older boy in the yarmulke with his back to the camera? I have never in my life met a more polite kid. He also helps us out with the younger ones.

Shabbat Shuva Religious School 2

Coloring a picture of Jonah in the whale and learning about yetzer hatov with Rabbi W.

After that, I hung around for a Rosh Hashanah seder and Torah study. I wore a shirt Sara gave me with Praise Cheeses! across the front, and everyone cracked up at it. :)

On the page-a-day art calendar, I'm currently looking at Female Nude, Reclining, With Arm Raised, an 1853 salted-paper print negative by Julien Vallou de Villeneuve (trying saying his name five times fast).

JUST TWO ... DAYS ... LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!


Ni Hao Yall
rebecca_in_blue: (downcast eyes)
The weather here has been so nice and cool lately (finally!). From work today, I biked downtown to the Sept. 11 memorial. This day last year was, obviously, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; it was also my Grandma's 82nd birthday. We didn't have the faintest clue then that it would be her last birthday in this world. Far from it. She wasn't even sick yet. Heck, she cooked her own birthday cake! And today, one year later, she's gone. She's been gone for eight months already. When you think about it, it's kinda scary, isn't it?

I bought a few tiny, cheap American flags and stuck them in the ground at the memorial. Last year, our city hosted a beautiful, elaborate ceremony there; this year, there were just two families -- both of them with loud, bratty kids who wanted to climb on the beams from the World Trade Center and splash in the reflecting pool. Ugh! I politely didn't strangle them to death, even though their parents probably would've thanked me for it. I did manage to take a few pictures. Some of them are kinda repetitive of my photos from the ceremony last year, but I had a much better camera this time.



Beams from the World Trade Center rising up from the reflecting pool.


An American flag and candle that someone left at the memorial. The card on the front reads: 2,819 People Lost. [This is number is incorrect.] Please take a moment to remember all the victims of 911 and NEVER forget.


Flowers in bloom outside the memorial, with the beams and flag in the background.

And you know, something just occurred to me as I was typing this entry. Sept. 11 is a day of mourning of our country -- and it should be, because terrible things happened that day and thousands of innocent people were killed. But for me, it's a day of gratitude and celebration, because it was the birthday of one damn amazing lady. Grandma was one of the kindest, patientest, most understanding, generous people I will ever know, and when I think about how blessed I was to have her in my life, there is no room in my heart for sadness. So for me, this day isn't about death (no offense to those who died on 9/11 and their families) but a celebration of life.

You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have clothed me in joy, that my heart may sing and not be silent. ~ Psalm 30


Shallow P.S. 13 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
Yes, this is another entry devoted to Tovah. That cat has now successfully taken over our apartment, this blog, and the SD card on my camera! Miss Tovah is pretty spoiled. She has her own big, comfy cat bed that Sara bought for her. But she prefers sleeping on the scraps of plarn that I drop on the floor while I'm crocheting. She gets mad at us whenever we pick them up.



She also has a clean, stainless-steel water dish that I bought for her, and we make sure that it always has fresh water in it. But Tovah prefers getting a drink like this...


(We see this almost every time we turn on the lights in the bathroom.)

...or like this:


(This picture makes me laugh every time! Notice our very old Beauty and the Beast mug from the Disney Store in New Orleans.)

And here's one more photo of my Tovah, just for good measure.


Anything that is or resembles string (a length of floss, shoelaces, headphone cords, my necklace chain, the plarn I crochet with, the strip of cloth on her cat toy, etc.) is her arch-nemesis, and here she was plotting an attack on the wrist strap dangling from my camera. Those eyes!!! Hahaha!!


32 DAYS LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS! And CBS recently released promo photos from the premiere, which you can see here. Cote de Palbo just keeps getting more gorgeous!!!
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
A stomachache chased me out of bed early this morning. Ugh. I was off yesterday and had the bright idea to go canoeing with Adam in a local state park. It took forever for us to find the park, then another forever to find the boat rentals. Then the boats turned out not to be canoes at all but flat-bottom boats that were much harder to navigate. Still, we had fun and I took some photos (in awful bright direct sunlight).


Lots of tricky Cypress trees for us to navigate between. I barely tapped a big Cypress knee with my paddle, and the whole thing collapsed.


Adam didn't know Cypress knees were called that -- sigh.


I had never seen so much Spanish moss in one place in my life!


My Coke commercial pose. See how RED my face is?! And that's with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat on! Ugh! Rebecca just can't win.


We got up close and personal with this beautiful deer...


...and fortunately, not with any of these!

It was
broiling! Adam and I bought sno-cones (ahhhh) on the way back, and I was so sweaty and gross that I had to take a shower as soon as I got home. I will never go back to that park in the heat of summer again, but I might go back for a hike or a picnic in the fall. I'd love to find the spot on the riverbank where this skinny little girl once had a ball climbing on the tree roots.


Holy Moses, look at how skinny I was! I wonder if those tree roots would still support me?
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
In addition to taking over this journal, Tovah is also taking over our apartment! I have secured these photos as proof:


That's my bed. She slept in it all night with me earlier this week.


That's our laptop. It was on and I was using it (writing fanfiction) when she decided to jump up on the desk and sit down right on the keyboard.


We were both pretty impressed when she climbed all the way up on top of the TV. You can't tell here, but she's pretty high. We sit on the couch and watch the TV, but Tovah sits on the TV and watches us!

On the art calendar, I'm currently looking at Magnolias and Irises, a 1908 stained-glass panel by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Imagine how gorgeous this would look with the sun shining through it. It reminds me of the old window outside Smallpartment.
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Shavua tov is a greeting my rabbi uses; it means good week. We adopted Tovah one week ago today, so it seems like a good time to give an update. I am so thankful to have this kitty, who has so much personality and fits in so well already. Sometimes I wonder about Tovah's past. She's nine, and I can't imagine having a cat for nine years and giving her away, especially one as sweet as Tovah, so maybe she went through multiple owners. Either way, it's sad. But Tovah is settling in with us well. I was worried having a pet would aggravate my asthma/allergies, but so far, it hasn't. Tovah has even slept in bed with me a few nights, and it didn't bother me.


She's a dilute tortoiseshell and kinda blends in with our carpet, but she seems more cooperative with my new camera (I love it!). I got her a license tag with her name engraved on it, so now she really feels like our cat.
I also got her a new, non-tippable water dish because for some reason, she loved tipping over her old one. She also loves sitting in the bathtub when it's empty. Crazy cat.


Tovah also loves lying right in the middle of the floor and stretching. You can see here how skinny she still is, but we read that cats don't eat a lot during their first days in a new environment, so maybe that will change. She seems to be a picky eater, too. She begs us for anything we eat, but when we offer it to her, she only sniffs.


She really likes sitting in our laps when we're on the couch or at the computer desk. (It was hard for me to get a good photo because she was right on top of me.)



Her favorite spot, though, seems to be the rocking chair. Sara and I don't sit in it too often because it's so low, so it might become Tovah's chair.

Bitter P.S. Muse Watson (my car) is in the shop getting an oil change and his air-conditioner fixed. I had to walk home today because neither Mom, Sara, nor Adam answered one of my repeated calls. (2/3 still don't have a voicemail set up, so I couldn't even leave a message.) This is the second time this has happened recently. At least this time it wasn't dark outside. It's really my own fault for thinking any of them would answer their phones.


Thankful Thursdays Button
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
Sara and I have been meaning to get a pet since we moved into the new place, and today we finally went out and did it. We considered getting another dog but decided it was too soon after Sable, so we settled for a cat instead (I'll admit, I like dogs better than cats). So this afternoon we drove out to the pound. They brought us into a room crawling with cats, and after some time, we picked a shy, skinny tortoiseshell female hanging back against one wall. She's older, about nine. We considered a few others, but this one won us over because she is so thin. We felt obligated to bring her home and feed her -- blame it on Grandma's genes. :)

I wanted her to have a Hebrew name, so we named her Tovah, the Hebrew word for good (as in the Rosh Hashanah greeting Shanah tovah, a good year). Like most cats in a new home, she hid from us at first -- under my bed -- but she's already starting to come out of her shell. I think Tovah must've been the only pet in her old home, because she was really timid around all the other animals at the shelter, but now that she's here, she seems to love getting more attention. She's been so busy exploring, it was hard to get photos of her. And my camera is still held together by tape! Ugh!


Tovah looks kinda mad here because she was busy batting at my camera strap.


She wandered out of the frame, but you can see here how really skinny she is. Her shoulder blades and everything else stick out, and her skin hangs off her in places! I sure hope she gains some weight soon.


She is not keen on being picked up or held -- we're working on that -- but she loves to be petted and rub against our legs.
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)
Rebecca ate her first Big Mac today. (I know, but as much as I love fast food, I've never been big on hamburgers, only cheeseburgers.) It was surprisingly bland, difficult to eat, and not filling at all. Why in heck this is McDonald's #1, I have no idea. In other news...


Hope looks like this: the one brave seed that decided to sprout into something green, in spite of the fact that I managed to kill every other seed in the packet. And I'll probably kill this one, too!


Dead-and-gone looks like this: I finally got Sable's remains back from the vet. A little bag of gray ashes and bone fragments. I put it on a shelf in my closet. I don't know what to do with it, and right now I get all weepy just looking at it.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
Sara and I were both off yesterday, so we drove downtown to the art gallery. There's an exhibit there called Reflections on Water in American Painting -- tons of different paintings of seascapes by American artists. We enjoyed looking at all of them. This was one of my favorites:


Children Playing on the Beach, an 1890 oil-painting by Edward Percy Moran. Isn't it pretty?

Then we drove over to the lake to feed stale bread the ducks. And of course, I had to take photos.


We attracted ducks, pigeons, geese, seagulls, and more. It kinda turned into a feeding frenzy.


Ugh, those geese were awful! They were very loud and aggressive. This one charged at me, and like an idiot, I decided to take a photo instead of running away. God hates geese!


Then we went for a walk along the lake. I climbed down to the shoreline to walk on these rocks. I took my shoes off, which turned out to be a very bad idea because the rocks were sharp, the pavement was scorching, and the grass was prickly! I also got sand all over my jeans.


The water was cool, though.


Then we meandered back over to the fountain...


...where I found this little butterfly necklace that someone lost.


Ahhh, summer! I hope to get out and do more activities and fun stuff this summer than I did last year. Wish me luck!
rebecca_in_blue: (dropped jaw)
Sara and I have finally finished unpacking everything, so I figured today was a good day to take you on a virtual tour of our new place. It's a pretty average-sized apartment, but Smallpartment was so tiny that this place feels huge. We bought a few new things, and we still have space to spare! It's in a much larger complex, so we have more (noisier) neighbors, but there are a lot of things to be thankful for.


My mezuzah on the doorframe. You can see it on the doorframe of Smallpartment back here.


This "Bless Our Home" plaque hung over Grandma's mantle for about 40 years. I got it back here when she moved out of her old house. We hung it up in a prominent place in our living room, and I'm so thankful to have it. :) On the opposite wall of our living room, we have an old photo of me, Sara, and Athena in Grandma's old house on a Christmas Eve of long ago. I just noticed that this plaque is visible in the background over Sara's shoulder.


Our new movie stand! It's nice being able to see all of our movies at the same time. Above it is the rubbing that I made of George Llewelyn Davies's grave in Belgium, on a scary trip back here.


The door to my room. Chinese Sara gave me the pendant in France the last time I saw her. The paper is the Chinese word for happiness (I think); she made about a million of these for Chinese New Year back here.


My bookshelf will never be this organized again, so photographic proof that it ever was had to be secured. I put all my Jew books together on the top shelf.


Isn't this the cheeriest window you've ever seen? The rooms all have bay windows that make them seem even bigger. The plant is the one I brought home from Grandma's funeral (back here), and I'm amazed I haven't killed it yet! I came close, but it gets a lot more sun here and already looks better.

Now, if we can just keep this apartment as clean as it was when we moved in!


rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Busy day here! We had three events at the temple this morning: Hebrew school with the kids, Torah study with Rabbi W, and a centennial tour. It's hard to believe, but this could've been Rebecca's last Hebrew school class for this school year. (Our official last class is next weekend, but I don't know what I'm working and might not be able to go.) Today the kids learned about the twelve-jeweled breastplate the high priest wore back in the days of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, then they created their own using graham crackers, peanut butter, and twelve different-colored jelly beans. It was fun, but it was hard for us teachers to keep them from making a mess with the food.

My city hosted a centennial tour downtown today, of a few buildings that were +100 years old. I went through the one at our temple (and learned a few things about it that I didn't know), the Catholic cathedral, and the Masonic lodge. I didn't volunteer as a tour guide for the temple, but now I kinda wish I had. The guy from our congregation who ended up as the tour guide can be very long-winded and know-it-all. I hate to think he might've given a bad impression of our temple. We had a lot of outside visitors from the community.



There he is, rambling on and on to the tour group.


A pretty flower outside temple that I decided to photograph.

When I got home, Sara and I bought a box of cake bites over to CJ & Co.'s, as a thank-you to Uncle John for helping us move in. After we got home from that, I was so tired I conked out. Today was the first time I biked to temple from our new place. It's much farther, but I think I do it regularly, as long as it's warm and light out.

Ni Hao Yall
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
We had a lay leader at Shabbat services tonight, and only a very small crowd turned out. (And guess what? Our social hall still smells like pickles!) While we were all leaving, Maggie decided to climb up on my bike seat -- which isn't easy when you have such short legs -- and I pushed her around. I was impressed, because I tried to get her to sit on my bike seat once before, but she was too scared. This time, she climbed right up there. Good for her!

After services, I biked down to the lakefront, where my city is currently holding a live-music festival that they hope will grow as big as Jazz Fest in New Orleans (yeah, right). I really couldn't care less about live music, but I heard there would be carnival food for sale, and you all know how much Rebecca loves carnival food. It was almost funny going from the quiet, solemn service at temple straight to the crowds, noise, and Zydeco music on the lake. I wondered around for a long time trying to decide between meats on sticks, nachos, pickles, ice cream, sno-cones, and funnel cakes!



I loved the back of this guy's shirt! Pour vous qui parlez français, il dit: Louisianne Association de Musique Française. This is the same amphitheater where the conga-drum line was hosted back here. Look at how much bigger the crowd is this time!


How cool is this concession stand? It was covered in historic old photographs of downtown city landmarks. I still bike past a lot of these buildings.


I finally bought a pulled-pork sandwich (YUM! I could eat my weight in that stuff!) and ate it in front of the lake, watching the sun set. No improvement necessary. Well, I was kinda bummed to be there by myself, but then a little girl whose dad was fishing off the marina wandered over and started talking to me. It was kinda weird -- exactly the sort of thing that young Rebecca never would've done -- but I made conversation with her until it got dark. And I was happy to bring home a cup from Let's Be Totally Clear, a cause I totally support!

I guess eating pork immediately after temple makes me a bad Jew, but going to hear a Zydeco band makes me a good Cajun!
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
I'm still not doing well with being at home by myself without Sable (Sara is at work right now), so I'm glad to find any excuse I can to get out. Luckily, the annual corn beef sandwich sale is here again. It's our temple's main fundraiser, and it's insane how much work we all do in making sandwiches, bagging pickles and cookies, and packaging them all into individual boxes along with napkins and mustard packets. This year, we sold about 1800 sandwiches! You've never seen as much corn beef, rye bread, and pickles in one place as we had stacked to the ceiling in the temple kitchen and all over the social hall.

Last year -- which I blogged about here -- pickle-loving Rebecca spent six torturous hours bagging pickles but not eating them. This year, fortunately, bagging pickles went much faster. I still worked for six hours, but I was able to spread out it between pickles, cookies, and sandwiches. It was fun, and I think everyone enjoyed coming out and working together, but I was so exhausted that I conked out as soon as I got home.




A very, very small portion of all the pickles we bagged. They were delicious Kosher dill spears. (Yes, Rebecca may have snuck a few into her mouth.)



Sarah, one of the kids in our religious school, was my sandwich-making partner. She worked harder and longer than most of the grown-ups and never complained! (Well, not too much.) I was impressed. We both agreed that the corn beef smells GROSS! She actually said something like, "Eww, people eat this?" I'm not a fan of corn beef either, which is funny because I always thought it looked appetizing when they ate it in Meet Me in St. Louis. But in real life, no thank you.



These guys are Jacob (left, Sassy Jewish Grandfather #3) and Paul (right, Sassy Jewish Grandfather #2). They're so much fun, they're almost like kids themselves.

It's hard to find anything to look forward to right now, but I do have a few: Tuesday's new (finally) episode of NCIS looks fun, The Hunger Games comes out on Friday, and sign-ups at
[livejournal.com profile] ncis_ficathon should start soon!

Sunday Snapshot
rebecca_in_blue: (worried eyes)
This is what our ticker looked like today. Sable was my dog for 15 years, 3 months, and 3 weeks. It was hard not living with him for five of those years, and I am grateful that he died while he was living with me and I got to see him every day. When I left for France, I was terrified that would die while I was gone, thinking that I was never coming back and not knowing how much I loved him. To think that was four years ago.


I love this shot of Sable lying on my bed. Look at how messy my floor was!

Sable and I woke up early this morning. I gave him some chicken bones for breakfast (I don't usually give him any non-dog food to eat; it makes him have diarrhea all over the carpet) and he gobbled them right up and licked his chops. Then we went outside for a little walk. It was a beautiful Spring morning, with dew still on the grass and so many plants and trees in bloom. Then my uncle picked us up and took us to the vet. I held Sable the whole way. My arms felt so painfully empty on the ride home.


I stayed in the room with him and held him when they gave him the shot and when he died. It was HARD, but the alternative -- not being with him, and instead just leaving him to die among strangers -- was unthinkable to me. It was fast and seemed peaceful. I cried a little bit, silently, when it happened, but I held most of it in until I got back home. (I try not to do crying in public. I didn't even cry at Dad or Grandma's funerals.) Then it was like a dam burst. I managed to keep it under control at work, but I fell apart all over again when I came home tonight to an empty apartment. I've felt kinda nauseous all day and haven't eaten much.


Sable died at the same vet clinic that we adopted him from way back in 1996. I asked the secretary if they still had a copy of his adoption record on file. She looked, but they didn't have it. The oldest record they had for Sable was from 1997 and it was titled "Emergency." It took me a minute to remember that he got hit by a car that year, when he was still just a crazy puppy running wild everywhere. Thinking about it actually made me feel a tiny bit better. Dogs and cats get hit by cars and killed every day. That could've happened to Sable, but instead, he survived, made a full recovery, and lived for another 15 years. I am so grateful to have had him in my life for so long. I could've had a prettier, smarter, better-behaved, or more obedient dog -- but I wouldn't have traded Sable for anything.

Sable Winston C.
1996 - 2012
A Good Dog
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Due to worsening incontinence, skin issues, loss of hearing and vision, mobility and respiratory problems, and other effects of very old-age, I have made the absolutely heart-wrenching decision to euthanize my sweet 15-year-old dog, Sable.


My first picture of us. Sable had been home for less than a month.

This wasn't a decision that I made lightly. I have been thinking (and crying) over it for some time now. I LOVE this dog. I have loved him for over fifteen years, more than half my life. Anyone didn't would've had him euthanized already. My mom has wanted to do it since 2006. I knew that it would be hard to go through with, and I hoped that if I kept putting it off, Sable would die naturally and I would be spared from making this horrible decision. Alas.


"Sit still for the camera? I think I'd rather lick your ear!"

I know this doesn't even register on the scale of human suffering in this world, but on Rebecca's personal scale, it is very, very hard, especially so soon after losing Grandma. Even though I've made this decision, told others about it, and made the necessary arrangements, I know that it will all be easier said than done. I just hope that I can go through with it without falling apart completely.


I love the wary expression on Sable's face here.

Lately I haven't had much of an appetite, I've been biting my nails until they bled (a habit I thought I had kicked), and I've had trouble sleeping because I lay awake listening to Sable breathe and thinking about how much I'm going to miss that sound. Last night, I had a terrible dream where I was walking Sable and we were both attacked and ripped apart by big, mean Rottweilers. It's anyone's guess as to how I'm not dehydrated yet.

He spoke through tears of 15 years how his dog and him traveled about.
The dog up and died, he up and died. After 20 years, he still grieves.


See a pattern? I always have my arms around him. I love this dog.
rebecca_in_blue: (downcast eyes)

It's that time of year again -- spring has returned to southern Louisiana (it came a bit early this year). The Live Oak trees are dropping carpets of pollen, and the baby's breath, ligustrums, jasmine, and azaleas are blooming everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except in the front yard of Grandma's old house, where the azalea bushes and other plants that stood there since the 1960's (I have photos to prove it) have been ripped up. I live near Grandma's old house, so I get to see a huge part of my childhood being remodeled beyond recognition on a daily basis. It was depressing before Grandma died, but since then, it's been especially hard.

The other day, I was riding my bike past her old house and "Copperline," by James Taylor, came on my iPod. (I got hear Taylor sing it live when I saw him in concert last year.) In the song, the singer waxes nostalgic about his favorite childhood haunt, Copperline, but he isn't bitter when he revisits it as an adult to find it's been "torn up good." These are the last lyrics, but with Copperline replaced by Seventh Street, where my Grandma used to live.

Day breaks and the boy wakes up
The dogs bark and the birds sing
The sap rises and the angels sigh




I tried to go back, as if I could
All spec house and plywood
Torn up and torn up good
, down on Seventh Street



It doesn't come as a surprise to me
It doesn't change my memories
Now I'm lifting up and rising free, down over Seventh Street

Sunday Snapshot
rebecca_in_blue: (excited grin)
We had such a beautiful Sunday here. I visited with JC & Company this afternoon, and this evening, I biked down to the lake to hear a conga-drum line. It's not something I would usually go to, but I got an invitation from a friend on FaceBook and didn't have anything better to do.

It turned out to be pretty fun. Photos under here! )

Tomorrow is the day when we go RED at work! Ugh! As you can tell from this blog, Rebecca prefers being in blue.

Sunday Snapshot

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