This was actually last Thursday, but I love ravioli!The beef or cheese filled ones are great. I think I've tried a cheese and spinach one that was really good. Artichoke and cheese ones aren't bad either. They can have all sorts of different fillings.
Well, I finally made an appointment to see my new doctor. That will be close to the beginning of the month. I'm glad I did it, but a little nervous at the same time.There are quite a few things I need to go over with her, and I hope she's nice and understanding. Sounds like she might be from her profile. It's interesting how during that week there's the support group, then this appointment, and then another appointment with my therapist. So, I'm kind of getting my mind and body looked at towards the end of the week.
I haven't been able to have an appointment with my therapist for a while. Only met her once, I think. A lot of the time she ends up having a conference or she's sick, and sometimes I'm the one who's sick.She's more into the spiritual or religious stuff. Which I think I might need, but I'm not sure. She's not Jewish, so I'm not getting that perspective and I kind of want that instead. Since that is where I'm coming from. She's Catholic, which is obviously quite different, and already during that session where I met her I was 'teaching' her a few things about Judaism.So, personally, I still feel iffy, but again I've only met her once and have talked on the phone a few times. I'll see how it goes this time. Hopefully, she won't be sick or have a conference spring up that she forgot about...
I am feeling better than I did this past week. I can breathe easier, and I'm not coughing as much. Also, got up early like I usually try to. (Went to bed later than I'd like, though.) I was sleeping in so often because I was sick, so it felt nice to get up at a better time. It was really beautiful out yesterday, which made me feel even better. It was sunny and the trees were blooming. It was kind of deceiving, because it was only in the high 40s and low 50s. Hot in the sun, but really cold in the shade. Kind of odd.
Managed to do both my morning and evening sit-ups, and a walk yesterday. Yay!Did my morning sit-ups today, and I think I'll definitely be able to do the evening ones again. I've decided to do 50 sit-ups both times this week. It's a good starting point for me. The only thing I didn't do yesterday was my second walk. Not bad at all. Hoping to do both walks today, too. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of it again. I need to stick a little more to the way I want to eat. Its helped me a great deal.
Went shopping yesterday. There was a special at Costco for bulgogi. It was already marinated and ready to be cooked. Bulgogi is Korean BBQ or grilled beef. I think I've only had it one other time and it was amazing.It's one of the most popular Korean dishes out there. We had some of it for dinner over some noodles. It was pretty good. Just that the meat seemed to be only a couple of very long strips.There's still quite a bit more meat, so that should make another good couple of lunches or dinners. It was 3 1/2 pounds of meat... (That's a lot!) Also, got a few essentials that we were low on there.
Later we went to the market to get some more fruit. I noticed that they finally put the sign out in front of the Pesach or Passover stuff. (They've slowly been adding stuff to this special section for a week or two.) Also, added more to the section this time. It's always good to get the interesting/new stuff or some of the staples as soon as you see them, because they might not last long on the shelves.Certainly, most of that section on display will probably be bare a few days before the holiday. We perused it for a little bit, and got some chocolate covered orange peels, potato chips (these seem to go really fast!), and chocolate macaroons (also goes pretty quickly). I'm not sure if I've had the orange peels. They sound interesting. The chips are very popular, and I think even people who don't celebrate the holiday get them. The macaroons are something we usually get. They can come in a variety of flavors, which the QFC in Seattle has more of. They usually have a huge section devoted to Passover stuff. Biggest section that many know of in this region. It's like a pilgrimage there just to look and get stuff.
I can't believe Passover's coming up so quickly.It starts the night of April 14th and ends on the 22nd. It's a pretty big holiday for us. You can't eat anything leavened during it. And depending on which custom/laws you follow, Sephardic (Jews with ancestry from Spain, Mediterranean) or Ashkenazic (Jews with ancestry from Germany, Eastern Europe), there are different food restrictions. (These are not the only customs people follow according to where they come from, but these are the most known. There are several others.) Ashkenazic seems to be the most strict, and that's what I follow. For us, you can't have ketiniyot either. They're certain grains and all legumes. So, no corn, rice, beans, peas, lentils, mustard, peanuts, etc. The leavened part, or what we also call chametz, means we can't have anything made with these 5 grains: wheat, spelt, barley, oats, or rye. So, that's what everyone has in common. (With ketiniyot there are other types of grains in addition to this.) But, oddly, I don't feel restricted during most of it. (Sometimes it gets hard towards the end...) It might be because I can have things I don't normally have the rest of the year. But, everything seems to be matzah, or potato, or egg related. I usually have a lot of vegetables, fruit, and meat too. There are some amazing things that people have come up with, even with these dietary laws.
Usually, we go to seders or special dinners for the first and second nights. Seder literally means 'order', but it's associated with these special dinners. Everything has some sort of symbolism to it and it does have a specific order, except for the actual dinner part. We go through all the symbols, read the story, sing songs, etc. before the actual meal. Afterwards we finish the story, and there are some more songs. Different communities do different things during it. Kind of acting out the story.
Anyways, there's a couple that have been friends of the family for a long time that usually invite us to one of the nights. The other night we might do one at home with just the family or with guests along with us. There's a thing where we're supposed to invite the stranger, so many invite people who are not Jewish along with friends and family who are. It gives them a taste of what our religion/culture is like. And, many of my friends have liked it when they've been invited.I'm not sure when our friends are having theirs. There are usually quite a lot of people. More people than we can fit comfortably in our dining room. So, ours have been kind of more cozy with less people.
I'm thinking this year of inviting 3 people. So, it'll be 5 of us. Not too bad a crowd. That's if they can come. It'll be my first time inviting people to our home one without Mom there.Last year we just had one for the 2 of us. I think I made too much food for it...(Dad helped a great deal with it too.) Although, I think it's better to have too much than not enough.Plus, there are so many awesome 'regulars' we have. Matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, salad, a main meat dish usually (like brisket, roasted chicken, etc.), hard boiled eggs, popovers (made with matzah meal), potato kugel (it's like a potato casserole), etc. And, that's not even mentioning the myriad of desserts we sometimes have at seders. (After 2 seders, I feel very full and tired for a while.) I invited and hosted for several people in college. But, that was quite different. (For one thing, I had a bigger space to 'play' with in the study hall of our dorm floor.) All the people I'm inviting are neighbors, so this should be interesting. They won't have far to go to and from for it. I don't think they've been exposed to too many Jewish things, either. But, when I know which night our friends are having theirs, I can invite these people to ours.
While I went for a walk late Friday afternoon, I was stopped by a neighbor of ours towards the tail-end of it. I thought she just wanted to have a quick chat. I've known her probably since we moved here. But, never was all that close. She invited me into her place, and I stayed there for roughly 2 hours. First, she asked me if I babysat, and had any experience with kids who have downs syndrome. I haven't babysat in years. Her son's 2 and has downs. I've never watched over a 2 year old, and don't know much about taking care of a kid who has downs. (She told me that they use sign language to communicate for now, and I don't know how to sign. So, communication will be down as well.) So, I couldn't really help her there.But, after that she told me she's been meaning to talk to me for a long time. She wants to become friends, which is great. She seems interesting, nice, and quite a talker. I just didn't expect to stay there for so long. And, she even suggested we watch something together. I had to sadly decline. (My stomach was starting to growl.) Her kid's actually pretty cute. We swapped phone numbers, and I wrote down the name of my novel and where she can get it. She's one of the people I'm thinking of inviting. I used to think of her as just the really nice lady down the street with the chihuahua. She still has the chihuahua. It's really cute, although a bit too energized and excited. He always wears some sort of shirt or sweater.
After that, I had a shabbat dinner to myself. Dad had an appointment around that time, and was going to come home late. I finally tried something from the new Asian hot case section at the market, which is right next to the sushi shop area. I thought it'd be cool to try an onigiri that a pro has made. The only 2 that were left were a bonito one and an umeboshi (pickled plum) one. I got the pickled plum. They're huge! And, theirs seem to always have the nori or seaweed strip. It was really good.First time I had something with whole umeboshi. The nori didn't become sticky/slimy at all, which was cool. I had some orzo pasta salad with it.
For dessert, I had a lemon 'surprise' cupcake. I didn't really read the surprise part when we got it. So, I was literally surprised.It had kind of a white chocolate ganache or candy coating over the icing part. The icing part was like whipped cream. After going through that (it's a huge section of the cupcake), there's like a lemon curd thing. Which seems to have chunks of lemons. The first one I had, it kind of jumped out at me.The cake part is like angel food cake. Once I knew what was in it, it was pretty good but odd.
Watched the finale of Hard Nut. It didn't really feel like a finale. There were far too many things that weren't covered or explained. Leaves it wide open for a 2nd season. In this last case the head of homeland security basically pulled off a money scheme. He got his hands on a deadly virus, killed many people to test its effectiveness (including his wife), and finally was going to kill a room full of people. His men tampered with the sprinkler system, and if a switch was set off, the sprinklers would spray the virus on everyone in the room. There was a big meeting/party for a politician going on. That part of his plan worked, but in the end they were able to save almost all the people who were sprayed with the stuff. During the panic, his money scheme was going to go into place. So, no one would know something had happened. The other police officers didn't believe Tomoda, and said even if that were the case, their jobs would be on the line if they did something about it. He was thinking of shooting the head of homeland security at a press conference, but was stopped by Nanba. She thought he sounded like he was either going to kill himself or go somewhere far away, on the phone just before. It turns out from the screenshot of a report he might have some sort of terminal illness. He was worried about it earlier in the show, and with the advice of Nanba, he told her he would get another test done. I'm not sure really what kind of illness he has, but it doesn't sound good. So, for now, in the end the head of homeland security got away with it. Still don't know much about Tomoda's or even Nanba's past. They revealed only a little of Nanba's story, and said that Tomoda comes from a yakuza family essentially. Nanba's father committed suicide when she was little because he was played by people who gave him a patent on something. They got most of the earnings, and he got close to nothing. Her mother became sick soon after, and passed away. According to her, her revenge against the patent company is going to involve math. Not sure how she'll do that...So, lots of questions left unanswered. I really liked it though. The beginning was a bit iffy, but with each episode it only got better.
I've been going over my kanji/vocab on JapaneseClass' site for the last few days. Mainly going through my 'oblivion' lists. The oblivion list is a list of vocab or kanji that you haven't covered in a while (like if you haven't 'seen' or gone over them in at least 3 or 4 months). In order to get rid of them you have to take quizzes based on 15 of them at a time. I had roughly 300 of them before I finally decided to take the quizzes on them. Finished with those quizzes yesterday.In the process, I have gone up a level to level 6, and I've been in the top 20 rankings for a little while now. Pretty cool. Another person on there friended me a couple of days ago. Maybe they're noticing me more because I'm actually using the site, and I've ranked so highly lately. I think next time after the practice part, I'll do more of the chapter tests. (Might redo a couple of them.) I need to get better at the kanji ones especially. Vocab seems to come much easier to me. My overall grade is still at a B+ though. It's pretty good, but I hope to get that up even more. Things are sticking more with the help of this site. I think I should also use the reading tool more often in the future. Wish they had a grammar section, but they do quiz you on some common phrases.