rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Okay, I kinda did a lot of complaining in my last post, so today I decided to make today a Thankful Thursday. I'm calling this one the "cold weather edition," even though it isn't exactly cold here. It's a typical Louisiana winter, cold one day and warm the next.

Things Rebecca is thankful for during the wintertime:

  • Tovah loves sleeping in bed with us, and on cold nights, it's really nice having a warm cat curled up next to you. (Although she's very obviously about preferring Sara's bed over mine.)
  • The water in this apartment gets hot and stays hot! In fact, I almost burned myself right after we moved in. The hot water never lasted this long in Smallpartment, which had the oldest plumbing known to man, so I try not to take this one for granted.
In other, more embarrassing news... I can't believe I'm posting this, but here goes. I've set a goal for myself to write a fanfiction for fandoms in every letter of the alphabet. I made this goal recently, after realizing that I'd written for fandoms starting with A, B, C, and D. It's going to take some time, but I'm sure that I can do it, since I've already written fandoms in more letters than not. Writing fewer NCIS stories has helped. Make no mistake, I still love NCIS, but writing for new and different fandoms feels kinda liberating. My other goal, to write more stories about Jewish characters in different fandoms (made here), is still going, too.

For my own future reference:
Fandoms I've written stories in: A, B, C, D, G, H, J, L, M, N, P, R, S, X, and Z.
Letters I have yet to write: E, F, I, K, O, Q, T, U, V, W, and Y.

I've never written a fanfic for Star Trek, but recently I browsed around in that category, and the first fic I happened to see was Data/Tasha Yar. When I told Adam and Sara this, they said: Adam: "Well, they were a canon couple. I mean, sorta." Sara: "Well, it could've been worse. It could've been Warf/Troi!" Adam: "I kinda like Warf and Troi together."

P.S. Quvenzhane Wallis, the young actress from Beasts of the Southern Wild, got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress today!!! She's nine years old and the youngest actress to ever get this nomination and she's from Louisiana! What a time to be alive!
rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
The High Holy Days can be stressful (especially when the Season 10 premiere of NCIS falls on Yom Kippur -- ugh!) but they can also make Rebecca very thankful to be Jewish. Rosh Hashanah meant a lot to me this year. In a way, it makes more sense to have a new year now, instead of in January, which I think is leftover from being a kid and always starting a new school year in the fall. And it doesn't hurt that the weather is infinitely nicer now than it ever is in January. Anyway, I'm thankful to have an opportunity to celebrate another new year and another fresh start, and I'm trying to make the most of it. So far, I've stuck to my goal to ride my bike more, and it's making a great difference in my mood. I hope to get in as much bike-riding as I can before winter.

And now, a recap of the last few days. )

Two little things: I got my hands on a big orange plastic bag at work, and I immediately cut it down into plarn! I can't wait to crochet it into my blanket. And on the suggestion of a new coworker, I tried cooking Velveeta Cheese Hamburger Helper instead of regular Hamburger Helper (which I eat for dinner about once a week) and it was so good.

FIVE ... DAYS ... LEFT UNTIL SEASON 10 OF NCIS!
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: (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: (happy smile)
This will probably be the last post I make from this apartment. Today, between Yom HaShoah events, I signed the lease and got the keys to our new place. It's still kinda hard to believe that we're moving. When I woke up this morning, Sara said, "I can't believe we're moving tomorrow. And I don't think this apartment believes it, either." Haha. True to our procrastinating nature, we left everything to the last minute! I did put a very small dent in moving things into our new place, but I wasn't able to carry much with my skinny arms -- and it didn't take long before sweat was dripping off me!

I will be glad to see the last of "Smallpartment" -- as Sara and I have decided to refer back to this one in the future -- but I don't want to make it seem like living here was a totally bad experience. There are two big things to be thankful for:

#1) Living within walking distance of Grandma, right up until the day she moved out of her old house. Now that Grandma has died and the house where she lived for 47 years is sold and being remodeled, I realize how precious this was. I will always treasure my memories of all those lazy afternoons spent walking Sable (who's also gone now, the poor old puppy) over to her house, visiting with her, eating her cooking, watering her garden, and swinging on her porch swing. It was a blessing to have her so close by during her final years.

#2) Living within biking distance of the only Jewish temple in a 50-mile radius. Sara says I wouldn't have converted to Judaism without NCIS (which led me to writing fanfiction, which led me to learning more about Judaism for a Ziva-centric fic I wrote). But I honestly don't think that I would've converted -- or at least, not at this time in my life -- if I hadn't lived in such close proximity to the temple. (It's almost literally right around the corner from this apartment, and so easy to reach on my bike.) I've always been interested in Judaism, but riding my bike past the temple all the time was what really gave the courage to walk through those doors for the first time. And I've never regretted it. What a blessing.

I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous about leaving Smallpartment. I guess change is always hard. I pray that our new place will bring us blessings, too. It's appropriate that we should move so soon after Passover.



The Lord said to Moses, "Remember that I have brought you out of Egypt by a mighty hand." And the Lord led the people out of Egypt by way of the desert, which is by the Red Sea. The Lord went before them to show the way, by day in a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire, that He may be with them at all times. -- Exodus 13.
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
You all know where Rebecca's priorities lie -- in her stomach! These are three recently-discovered foods that I'm thankful for:

1) Sweet and salty peanut granola bars. The perfect snack to eat at work.
2) Blueberry waffles. I don't really like blueberries by themselves, but put them in waffles, pancakes, or muffins, and they're my new best friends.
3) Mint-flavored Oreos. You've probably seen them -- they're the ones with green cream filling instead of white. I have to restrain myself from eating an entire pack at once. It's heaven in a cookie!

And while I'm on the subject of things to be thankful for, one of the movies we have in our break room at work is my old childhood favorite, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze. It's up there with The Sound of Music as a movie I watched non-stop as a kid and can still recite from memory! Every time I walk into our break room and find it playing, it just makes me grin. "Look at those costumes! Man, I love this place!"


ETA: Oh my goodness, I just went to YouTube to find a video of the Vanilla Ice song at the end of the movie, but instead I found an upload of the movie dubbed in French! How awesome is that?!
rebecca_in_blue: (dropped jaw)
On the last Thursday before Hanukkah, in the final days of 2011, three things I am thankful for:
  1. Warmer weather has returned, at least for now. This week has been very warm and wet. I'm not crazy about the wet part, but I prefer it to being cold.
  2. A lovely virtual Hanukkah card from [livejournal.com profile] kew121 (thanks, Kew!) and an old-fashioned paper card from Grandma and Aunt Carla. Theirs was actually a Christmas card, but Aunt Carla wrote on the side, "Happy Hannukah! I hope I spelt that right." She didn't, not that I'm going to point that out to her. I can remember how to spell it by comparing it to my name. Hanukkah: one N, two Ks; Rebecca: one B, two Cs.
  3. The Christmas lights in my neighborhood. I love seeing all of them when I ride my bike to and from temple.

Three things I'm looking forward to:

  1. Making my trademark holiday treats, bacon & eggs candy, this weekend.
  2. Forcing convincing Adam to see the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" display downtown with me. Now if I could just find someone to see the gingerbread houses with me.
  3. Cooking latkes with Sassy Jewish Grandmother #2 (at our temple, next Friday) and Sassy Jewish Grandmother #1 (at her house, date to be determined). I had my first latkes at our temple's Hanukkah dinner last year, and they were so delicious that I could've eaten my weight in them! But they were in such high demand that I only got a few.

Three things I can't believe:

  1. In just a few short weeks, 2012 will be here!
  2. Season 9 of NCIS is already halfway over!
  3. As recently as October, Grandma was just fine.

I'm determined to get my Christmas shopping finished before Hanukkah, and the fanfic I'm currently writing finished before Christmas.

rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
Well, Thanksgiving Day had a few bumps this year, but for the most part, it's a holiday I really love. I love that it's a national holiday that ALL Americans can celebrate, not a religious one that excludes non-Christians. (I'm already sick of Christmas!) I thought Thanksgiving was uniquely American for years, but in 2007, when I had to teach my French classes about it, I did some research and discovered that they celebrate it in Canada, too. I love that it's not a gift-giving holiday, so the mass market hasn't been able to commercialize the life out of it, and I don't have to deal with the money and stress of finding the perfect gift. I love that it's a holiday devoted to just being thankful for what you have. I think even the most pessimistic people can find something to be grateful for on Thanksgiving. As for me, last week, my bad-ass Cajun grandma was in the hospital; this week, I'm thankful that Grandma is home again.

Still, I've been so nostalgic for last year, when all Sara and I had to do was walk over to Grandma's house and everyone was there. I visited that house earlier this week, peered in the windows, and almost didn't recognize the place. *sigh*

In other news, Sara has told me that Mom is getting me "Jew stuff" for Hanukkah. (She loves to the spoil the surprise for you. She'd tell me what all my gifts are if I let her.) I'm kinda surprised by this, because Mom, like most people in our family, doesn't know a lot about Judaism. Me: "What kind of Jew stuff is she getting me?" Sara: "Um, I think it's a bunch of yellow stars to sew on all your clothes." Me: "That is not funny!"
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)
Here's my sporadic but thankful Thursday for today:

~ Real music from a real radio station at work! Hallelujah! (We'll see how long this lasts.)

~ Even Sara had to admit that Sable's bladder-control pills seem to be working. He's still not quite 100% accident-free, but he's been having them a lot less.

~ I finally bought a bike light and a mezuzah for myself. They were both more expensive than I would've liked, but I feel like I've been putting off buying them for forever, so it's good to finally have them. My mezuzah is rosewood, has a shin (ש) and a nun (נ) on it, and came with a scroll. Hanging a mezuzah is one of the mitzvot commanded in Deuteronomy, and while I have no intention of following all 613 of them, it felt good to do this one. My bike light is very bright (I almost feel like I'll need sunglasses!) and has strobe and solid options.


/\  My mezuzah. (Update: My mezuzah on the doorframe of our new apartment.)

~ And just look at what I came home to yesterday!!!  \/



It was such a beautiful surprise. One of my neighbors put up this stained-glass in the stairwell window right outside our door. It's really dazzling when the sun is out, and I love looking at the colored light shining through onto my mezuzah. :)
rebecca_in_blue: (raised eyebrows)
For the last few years, I seriously get so depressed on my birthday. I feel old enough already, and when I have to add one year onto that, I feel like I might as well stick one foot in the grave. Today I saw an old lady in a denim dress, with a bow in her long, solid-white hair, and it made me shudder. Ugh. I really, really hope I'll be lucky enough to age like Grandma.

So in an effort to make this birthday a more positive experience, I'm doing another Thankful Thursday. A few things I'm thankful for this week:

~ Hallelujah, my new debit card arrived! Finally!

~ This weather! It's a bit too chilly for me at night, but the days are so nice and cool. Perfect weather for sleeping with your window open and bike-riding! I've biked to work twice this week, and plan to do it again tomorrow. We don't get any fall foliage down here, but lots of my neighbors have Halloween decorations up, and I like biking around and seeing them. One of the things I love about this neighborhood.

~ I'm always grateful that I don't live with my mom anymore, but that goes triple at this time of year. When I biked over the other day, you could hear the high school marching band at practice and the football coach shouting orders through a loudspeaker on her front lawn (and probably inside her house too). Then there's the stadium lights and football traffic to deal with on game nights. I am so, so thankful that I don't have to deal with that anymore.

~ On Tuesday, after NCIS, Sara took me out to dinner for my birthday! We went to a local pizzeria that's been here forever but where we'd never been before. We had a thin-crust with mozzarella, pepperoni, oregano, and parmesan, and it was delicious. Then we went to the frozen yogurt place. Sara is addicted to the original tart flavor. I don't have a favorite flavor, but my favorite topping is marshmallow cream. Then we browsed around in the bookstore. I found greeting cards for Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah!

~ On Wednesday morning, I dropped some stuff off at the recycling truck in the grocery store parking lot. I happened to be wearing my NCIS shirt (that Sara gave me for my birthday last year), and when the guy loading the truck saw me coming, he said, "Watchya got for me, Abs?" IT MADE MY DAY!

~ Today, I woke up early enough to get breakfast from Wendy's (much more to my own amazement than anyone else's) and went out for dinner with Mom and Sara. I had sweet potato fries and a pulled pork sandwich with pecans, carmelized onions, and carrots. It was a little strange, but very good.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011

rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)
Even though I was attending temple during the High Holy Days last year, I wasn't able to go on Rosh Hashanah, so this year was my first time. It was very different from regular services. There was a lot more structure and singing (it actually reminded me of a Catholic Mass) and our temple had a guest rabbi from Dallas. I did some soul-searching, and (also like a Mass) it left me feeling a little guilty. I realized that there's so much in my life that I'm not really grateful for, because I'm too busy bitching, moaning, and whining about the things I don't have. So in an effort to make this journal a more positive place and get 5772 off to a good start, I'm making this a Thankful Thursday. Things I'm thankful today:

~
My sister bought me an order of cheesey bread from Little Ceasar's. I had a craving (I might be addicted to that stuff) but my new debit card still hasn't come in, and I didn't have enough cash on me.

~ I bought a new pair of shoes! They are cute, cheap, and fit with the uniform code at work. They are also much lighter than the old two-ton shoes I had been wearing. I try to practice "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without" as much as I can, so I wore my old shoes until they were literally coming apart at the seams.

~ The dessert oneg after Rosh Hashanah services last night was so delicious! We had pumpkin bread, lemon squares, a very rich crumb cake, cookies, brownies, a fruit tray, and of course, apples and honey. I dropped an apple slice in the honey pot and had to dig it out with a fork. I'm so grateful that our small, aging congregation has kept a vibrant Jewish community alive. I'm also grateful that my bad-ass Cajun grandma baked pumpkin bread on my behalf. Everyone loved it.

~ I canted the Torah blessing at services this morning and didn't mess it up! I even wore a skirt since I was going up on the bema (and I haven't worn a skirt since 2007). But I don't know what I was thinking wearing a sleeveless shirt. They keep it so darn cold in the sanctuary, so I was freezing by the time services were over. I'm considering buying a tallis (a Jewish prayer shawl), not because I'm pious, but just to keep me warm.

And last, a funny exchange to remember... Michael [Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1] helping me practice the Torah blessing: "You know, nobody in the congregation really knows the Torah blessing. If you mess up, no one will be able to tell." Me: "But Jacob [Sassy Jewish Grandfather #3] knows it. He said it that one day, and he knew the whole thing." Michael: "Jacob is a Jew by choice, and you guys make the rest of us look bad." Jacob: "Well, that's not our intention, but sometimes it does happen." Haha.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)
(I will be keeping this post up here for a while so hopefully everyone sees the message at the bottom.)

"Thankful Thursday" is not something I came up with. I discovered it via [livejournal.com profile] morningloryblue, who probably found it through another user in turn. I almost certainly won't keep up with it on a regular basis (kinda like with Wordless Wednesday). In fact, I may never do it again after this! Who knows? But for today, at least, I wanted to give it a shot.

  • Aunt Connie gave me a new Beatles t-shirt! Although technically, it's not quite new: it used to be Athena's, and since she's so much shorter than I am, I've had to stretch it a lot to make it cover my stomach. Still, I love it. It has their Rubber Soul album on the front of it. I have another Beatles t-shirt (Abbey Road cover) but I think I like this one better.
  • Sara bought me my own copy of Homecoming! It's an excellent book, and now I finally get to find out how it ends.
  • Boss Man did something unexpectedly decent at work. (Maybe he knows I'm looking for a new job. Little does he know how badly it's going. Uh oh, now my Thankful Thursday is starting to sound negative.)
I'm hoping to make a drive to Lafayette tomorrow to attend shabbat services at the temple there. During my meeting with the rabbi last week, I realized that I'm converting to Judaism, but I've only ever attended services at one temple! Unfortunately, there isn't much opportunity for different Jewish services in southern Louisiana; this is the only other temple within a reasonable driving distance. I'm considering attending services at a Messianic temple. I'm really not comfortable with the idea of Messianic Judaism, but I have to admit, I'm curious. I think there are two Messianic temples nearby. I will probably keep it a secret from the folks at my temple if I ever go.

On a similar note, word has reached me that Grandma has asked some family members (not me) things like, "Why is Rebecca converting to Judaism? Why does she want to do that?" I suspect that other friends-and-relations might have similar questions but for whatever reason, don't want to ask me. So...

Attention, Readers! If you have any questions about converting to Judaism, even if you're afraid they might be rude/ignorant, please ask them now. I am by no means an expert, but I will take any questions I get and try to answer them all in one master post. You can click the "this is just to say" link below to leave a comment, or e-mail me at snow4849@hotmail.com.

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