Tuesday, December 18, 2012

National Maple Syrup Day!


This was yesterday, but I like it enough to talk about it the next day.:iconheroamericaplz:I love it, actually. But, a little goes a long way. Canada's the largest producer of it, and produces over 5 million gallons a year. Vermont is the largest producer in the US, and apparently generates about 5.5% of the global supply. Very interesting. The Native Americans where the first ones to make maple syrup. It was adopted by early European settlers in the late 1600s. 

Went to the Hanukkah party at one of the synagogues last Saturday. It was a lot better planned than last year. They actually had the tables and food upstairs, this time. Last time, they had one table upstairs for lighting the menorahs. Then, everyone had to make their way downstairs, and be crowded elbow to elbow when they sat down at the tables. There was barely room for the food, as well. But, this setup was really nice this year. There was space to sit and eat comfortably. 

Plus, room at each table for their menorahs. I didn't bring ours this time, because I wanted it to be cleaned up. Couldn't really get it clean enough, even though I got huge chunks of the wax off. Thought it still looked kind of tacky that way.:iconromanoplz:Luckily, they have several menorahs they can use from their collection that's normally on display. The one we used was meant for huge candles, but all they had were the normal small ones. Dangerous, but I was able to make them stay in.:iconhongkongplz:

There were several dreidels, gelt, and M&Ms scattered around each table. Just for if people wanted to play some dreidel. There was also a raffle, which I sadly didn't win anything from.:iconpolandplz:But, still fun. There were a lot of different latkes, and their new thing this year was trying to get as many different types of toppings as possible. Personally, I like my applesauce just fine, thank you very much.:iconprussiaplz:But, they had different chutneys, a peanut sauce, sour cream, chocolate syrup, etc. (The chocolate syrup one really made me wonder...:iconkikuplz:) There, sadly, wasn't any kosher Chinese food this time. But, there was plenty to eat.

For dessert, someone made a really cool cake. When they made the first cut into it, it exploded outwards on one side. Gelt (chocolate coins) came spewing out from the center. It was a chocolate cake with a little coffee in a chocolate frosting. This guy was awesome!:iconchibihungaryplz:I don't know how he made it! The gelt wasn't melted either. He wasn't sure if it would actually work. There was also rugelach (a rolled pastry that can have many different fillings), powdered jelly donuts (sufganiyot), and something else I can't remember. (The cake really made an impression. So, hard to remember what else was there.) 

Met a couple of their new members. One was very quiet throughout most of the night. But, towards the end, he suddenly joined in and became very talkative. Maybe he was just nervous the whole time.:icontinoplz:I barely got to see the other new member. She didn't sit next to us, and there was a throng of people around her. 

Just before we left, I grabbed a bunch of the gelt. And, we forgot to have the gelt that we bought before the holiday. So, now we have a pretty nice stash of them.:iconfrancisplz:It was fun being able to catch up with some of the people we knew too. 

On Sunday, I drove a little. Went to Wal-Mart and our local market. Couldn't drive more than that because it was starting to become very hard to see. It was getting dark out, and there was a mix of rain and snow. Made things a bit slick, too. Apparently, we have a possibility for snow today, and Sunday. There was a very light dusting when I looked out the window this morning. They also predict that the rest of the time, it'll be a mix of rain and snow. I don't think they really know what will happen.:icongermanyplz:

Got 3 new lipsticks at the store on Sunday. I'm not used to wearing lipstick, but I want to wear it more often.:iconchibinitalyplz:Most of my other lipsticks are at least a few years old. They say you shouldn't be using ones that are that old. I want to get more into my makeup. It feels good, boosts my self-esteem a little, and can be fun. I tried the Fuchsia with Blue Pearl color yesterday. It was a very interesting one, and bold. Tried the Pink Ice one today. It's a lot more subdued, but fun still. I like colors that aren't the norm. That might be frosted, metallic, changes colors, 2-toned, etc. I do that a lot with nail polish, so why not with lipstick? Having colors that are just red, for example, are boring.:iconnataliaplz:I also put a 'lip dew' thing under my lipstick today. It's supposed to keep your lips from getting too dry or something. Essentially, just a lip gloss. Looks even better with it. I think tomorrow I'll try one called Breeze.

Perfect Blue is getting intense. They're finally about to find out what Kayoko's father's last words meant. (His last words were Perfect Blue.) Itoko (Kayoko's sister) was kidnapped by the people behind everything, including killing her father. Her mother and Kayoko came in to rescue her, but fell into a trap where the people that kidnapped Itoko were just lying in wait for them. They plan to kill them all in an explosion, while they're trapped inside a warehouse. Masa tried to save them, but took a bullet to his side (somewhere in between his hips and his belly). He looked like he played dead for a bit, and while they weren't looking he ran off on 3 legs trying to find help. All the while leaving a trail of blood. This dog's tough! Next episode is the finale. 

In Hitman Reborn, Tsuna's father visits. Tsuna also learns a bit more about the Vongola's 7 half-rings. I got the hint that his father is a part of the mafia as well. But, Tsuna is clueless about it. Kind of sad. He thinks so lowly of his father, and yet his father just wants to kid with him sometimes, or make him stronger in his own way. The 7 half-rings are being delivered to other members of the 'family'. So far, we know for sure about Gokudera and Yamamoto. Tsuna has one, but it looks slightly different. Still don't know much about the rings, but it's interesting. There's a rebellious group of assassins that were once loyal to the 'family'. Now they're after the rings. And, plan to destroy the Vongola family. 

Played my clarinet. Started getting more serious about it on Monday. Going over each piece numerous times until I get it right. Thought I had a CD that went with my Klezmer book, but I can't seem to find it.:iconohboyamericaplz:So, I'm listening to some recordings from Youtube. Just to see what others do to the base melody. I've noticed, for some songs, they play it faster than what it is on paper. And, for some, slower. I guess it just matters on who's playing it. But, they all have that same base melody. So, it's not just their own thing. I'm already getting a lot better with some of the pieces I've gone over. Although, these are the easiest ones in the book. But, I don't want to be sloppy with them, like I was before. Even if they're semi-easy, you still want it to be clean and played correctly. Eventually, I'll 'embellish' it a bit. But, I need to perfect these pieces a bit more.:iconchibiaustriaplz:

Edited a good portion of chapter 19 of Alliance. Reads a lot smoother now. Posted a chapter to the forum that's giving me some interesting feedback. One person commented saying they liked the chapter, but kind of scary to post around now. In the chapter before, there is a shooting. And, oddly about a week or 2 after I posted it, the Sandy Hook shootings happened. So, she felt it was a bit eerie. I kind of agree, but you can't predict things like that. I'm glad that people are liking my story, though.

Posted a pic of our menorah for the 7th night on FB and dA. 4 people faved it, and I gained a new watcher through it. Someone asked me if I spoke Hebrew, and that was her main language. She also wanted to talk a bit about Hanukkah, and how it went. Very nice sounding person. Some people liked it on FB, too. 

Went over some kanji and compounds. Rosie, one of our cats, has been 'giving' me a lot of things today. (She's also a bit of a klepto.) Maybe something is bothering her. The last thing she gave me was our really old little pamphlet full of Hanukkah blessings and songs. She started to try and rip it up. Luckily, I grabbed it from her just in time. I think she got it, because I'm sure Mom's scent is still on it. Maybe she's having another mourning wave, like I think we all have been having. They come and go. 

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