Yay! 12 more days until my b-day!I don't think I'll ever become one of those people who dreads their birthdays. It's celebrating your life! I think of it as I made it this far, what more great and interesting things await me?I love how it's exactly a week after Halloween. They always feel interconnected to me.
Speaking of Halloween, yesterday I found my mom's stash of Halloween decorations. So, I put up a poster thing of a black cat coming out of a jack-o-lantern on the front door. Found some webbing that has 4 fake spiders. Put that up around the front windows. There were 2 wooden Halloween-themed figurines, I put on the counter next to the kitchen table. There's also these ghosts that hang on things like bushes, we used to put them out every year. Somewhat for directing the kids to our door. I'm debating whether I'll put those up too. (If we have a wind storm, they're a pain to find. Since they blow away so easily.) There's also some Halloween garland I can put somewhere, if I want.
Managed to get the fire started in our wood stove yesterday. Couldn't totally do it on Sunday. But, I apparently didn't put enough wood in. So, it died down pretty quickly. Might try to do it again today. I'm not used to how our stove works. Dad gave me a few tips, after I asked her last night. So, we'll see.
My penpal from Japan finally sent a letter to me!(Snail mail.) It had been about a year and a half since she last sent something. I was really on the ball last time, and sent something as soon as I could to her after that. That last letter she sent, she sounded so depressed. Which is understandable, considering she was in the tsunami affected areas. But, not hearing from her for so long, I was a bit worried, and also thought maybe she didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore.She has a number of health conditions. Mental and physical. Anyways, she sounded much better in the letter that came yesterday. Again, still depressed about what happened. (I'd probably be the same.) But, things seem to be looking up for her. Makes me feel a bit more relieved. She said she hopes we can still be friends, even if it took her forever to respond. Of course we can.She's kind of cute that way. She had a sticker pic at the end of the letter of herself. She also asked if we could talk about our fave bands and send each other a ripped CD of some of their songs with each letter we send. That sounds interesting. Not sure if I'll do it, but we'll see. We have a lot to catch up on!
Went to the Hadassah meeting Tuesday night. Only one other person had one of the cookies I brought. I think the others were too scared of it. I guess they don't like trying new things.So sad. The other things seemed a bit plain. Like brownies, shortbread, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like that stuff. But, it gets old. I think for a dessert potluck, you'd want something exciting.
Anyways, the members seemed to really like my hairstyle. (Some haven't seen me for a long time.) One member went over to me, and begged to touch my hair. It feels a bit awkward how people react to it.I love it too, but I don't constantly touch it, and ooh and ahh.
They were a lot nicer to me this time. Not trying to act like their my mom or anything. I have a parent, thank you very much.Just would like to be treated like another member. (I'm a life member now of the organization as a whole. So, I'm really a member of every Hadassah group/chapter now, for the rest of my life.)
We talked about more ideas of how to draw people in, and more ideas for fundraising. A lot of people had stopped coming because they hated that every meeting ended with mah jongg (or mahj for short). Plus, our main fundraising event turned into a mahj tournament. They felt that's all that we were about. Frankly, I'm glad we had such a great fundraiser, but I have no interest in mahj. So, it really doesn't feel quite right that our group has focused so much on it.People brought up that maybe we should have that tournament every other year, instead of every year. But, we'd have to come up with something to replace it with the years we don't have the tournament. We also talked about projects that help raise money for certain organizations or causes. Like, breast cancer research, something to do with the Hadassah hospital in Israel, something to do with mental health, stem cell research, etc. That might be a good draw for people. We thought about bringing some things back, like lecturers, a Jewish poetry reading group called Drash to come again, workshops, etc.
There's also a new movement where the organization is trying to draw in younger women. Specifically women in their 20s and 30s. My age group. They have a subgroup for them, and have a bit of a different focus. I think that's cool. I might want to join something like that. One of the members said there was a 4-day class on how to lead these groups for younger women, and wanted me to join it. I absolutely have no intention of leading them.But, I'd be happy to join one of those groups. (If you have a life membership, you're still considered a member of the younger groups.)
This same member was the person who drove my friend and I to it. She used to be the group's president, while I was the secretary. Lately, she's had major problems with her hearing. A lot of the time she forgets her hearing aids, and therefore seems cranky when she can't hear anyone. Anyways, while we were in her car on the way to my place, she snapped at me big time. She couldn't see my lips, so she couldn't lip read. She essentially didn't hear a word I said, and thought I wasn't answering her. So, I said it louder, then she got even more irate. It was a very weird/emotional situation for me.And, my friend was put off by it too. I'm reluctant to get in her car again. I'm trying to stay away from people who may hurt me emotionally. I don't need that pain. Even if it's unintentional. Feels like I have to protect myself.
Went to the cafe this week. Had some hot chocolate with whipped cream, and a little chocolate syrup drizzled on top. Really good! While I was there I read an article in Japanese from Soy Source about Halloween costume and decoration ideas. Practiced my kanji. Up to about 72 of the 'current' ones that I've gone over. I know a lot more, but these were the ones I didn't go over before, or didn't go over enough of. That's a good number of them. Went over 3 Japanese grammar lessons. And, practiced making several Japanese sentences. Started drawing the clock tower that's at the university from my story. It's becoming pretty ornate looking. Kind of fun. I got sucked into it, while I drew. Might continue it next week. And, eventually post it.
A couple of days ago, I made a thing called Noodles with Tomatoes, Sardines, and Mustard. Another recipe from my new Asian cookbook. Almost all the recipes in the book say which country they got it from, except this one. We're thinking it might be Filipino or Thai. I left that open and asked people on dA, as well. Someone said it looks and sounds like a Thai dish, so I don't know. It was really good. Just needed more 'dressing' (mustard/olive oil/garlic/lemon juice), and a lot less red onion. (WAY too much onion!) I like the flavor red onion gives to a dish, but I don't really like eating them. I think I would have either taken out the red onion entirely, or used half the amount and cooked them to nothing before tossing them in the bowl. But, I wanted to see what the end result of the recipe would be before I tweak it too much. People on dA seem to really like this one. It already has a lot of faves, and a couple of comments.
Last few days I've also gone over some of the 'new' current kanji, and some compounds. The compounds, for some reason, are really giving me a better understanding of the language. The grammar lessons have helped a lot as well.
Posted a chapter of Alliance to one of the forums I'm apart of. Apparently, someone already really likes it. I thought no one cared. They liked the post, and commented saying that they really enjoyed that chapter. But, they also said I shouldn't wait so long to post the next one. I ended the one I just posted on a huge cliffhanger. So, it might be a bit cruel of me if I don't post the next chapter within a month or so.
Also, managed to play more of my clarinet this week. Did some Mozart and some tunes from my newest solo book. Hasn't been too bad. The Mozart book is for advanced players, especially the last pieces. (One of them he specifically made for the clarinet, and was one of his last pieces before his death.) So, I messed up a little on those. Oh, and forgot to mention, today's also Pumpkin Day, Pretzel Day, and Mince Meat Pie Day. Sounds like the perfect combo, to me!