It's a little late, but this is my first post of the year.Crazy that it's already 2016!Although, on the Jewish calendar it's still 5776...(Has been for a little over 3 months.) Still cool to see for the regular calendar. Hopefully it'll be an amazing year for everyone!Hopefully I'll post more often on here, too. For New Year's Eve we just stayed home and had our own little party. We usually go to a couple's place, who have been family friends for most of my life. Dad was still not feeling too well, and it was icy out. So, they dropped by while we were out shopping during the day, and left some chocolates, oranges, and a single serving bottle of sparkling apple cider. The chocolates are an assortment of 3 different kinds of roca. Almond, dark, and cashew. I love sparkling apple cider, they know I don't drink alcohol, and it's usually their alternative for people like me. I don't think one of them drinks alcohol that often either. She usually drinks apple cider or regular coke when we're over. So, it was really nice of them to leave those for us.
This is my wallpaper for January. Another Pandora Hearts one. This one's not as cheery, but gives off more of the darker undertones of the series. It does get very dark halfway through the manga and on. Not sure whose arm is on the far left (kind of makes me wonder...), Gil (or Gilbert) is 2nd to the left standing, Vincent is sitting down next to him, Break is 2nd from the right, and Oz is on the far right. Seems like they're in the Abyss, only standing on a chess board with pieces.
My new 'secular' calendar is beagle themed. It's put out by the American Kennel Club or AKC. Almost every beagle I see reminds me of Buster. He passed away a little over 10 years ago, but I still miss him.He was such a character! He got into everything (coffee, candles, bark, etc.), was a clown, very intelligent, a trickster, very passionate, and more. For this month, they have a little puppy who looks like they're happily howling with their tail straight up while balancing themselves on a barrel. The info they give out is an intro to beagles. At one point, they mention that no one is sure where the name 'beagle' originated. It lists some speculation about it, though. Also, they say a nickname for the beagle is 'Snoopy'. Snoopy from Peanuts is a beagle. So, apparently that's had some influence.
My new Jewish calendar is put out by the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. The same museum that did last year's calendar. Again, they do something a bit weird with their calendars each year. They have it as starting during the month Rosh Hashanah falls in (around September or October), and ending 2 Decembers later. This makes it so that it's off each time. After finishing one, you're a few months late with the next.I think it should probably start the month Rosh Hashanah lands in, and end the month before. That would make a lot more sense, and follow the Jewish calendar that way. Oh well.The main pic for this month is a painting called: Portrait of Klara Frankfort-Kloots, by Edward Frankfort, oil on canvas, from Amsterdam, Netherlands; 1910-20. She looks kind of scary. Somewhat like she's angry, but it's pretty well done. The second pic's of candlesticks, anonymous maker, made out of copper. Interesting that they don't have a time or place for this one. That's kind of rare. The candlesticks look interesting. They have little handles at the top, and notches along the length of them. The last pic's of a kiddush cup, anonymous maker, made out of silver, Germany; c. 1860. It looks like a fancy one. An intricate design around what I could make out is part of the blessing. The rest (below the cup part) has a lot of detail.
The month-long holidays are: National Candy Month, National Egg Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Meat Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Soup Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Although, lately I've mostly been finding food related holidays. They can still be fun, and make you appreciate them a bit more.
I started a new thing on New Year's Eve. I'm going to try a different cheese every week or month. Depending on how long each one takes me to finish. It'll just be me eating it, so hopefully I can find somewhat small versions of things. I'm tired of the generic market type cheese.I normally would get Colby Jack, Gouda, or provolone. They probably weren't the 'real' kinds, though. (I do like Boursin, but I want to try more of a variety of cheeses.) So, the first cheese I decided to try is Blarney Castle cheese from Kerrygold. Like its name suggests, it does come from Ireland. Interesting I chose a cheese that wasn't from the more popular countries. France and Italy seem to be the most popular. It'll kind of be like I'm visiting each country when I try their cheeses. It'll be an interesting expedition.Anyways, Blarney Castle is really good. They say it's like a young Dutch Gouda, but it's not like any Gouda I've had before. It's semi-soft, mild, yet rich tasting. Doesn't have much of a smell either. The smelly ones can be iffy with me. Either they're amazing, or really disgusting. So, this was a nice cheese to start off with. It's kind of addicting, too.I might go to another market nearby that has a much bigger selection of cheeses, in the future.
I'm pretty much finished with going through things in my room. The only spot I didn't get to is under my bed. I'm a little nervous about going under there, though.I'll probably do it sometime in the future. Went through my large bookcase on Sunday. Had about 2 shelves filled with stuffed animals, and 2 on top of the bookcase. (I had other toys and inflatable things mixed in with the animals.) I threw out most of them. I think I was able to find 3 to donate, and about 5 or 6 to keep as keepsakes. I found things that were older than me, or given to me around the time I was born. A lot of those looked really bad. Disintegrating, stuff caked on them, etc.Found a Peter Cottontail music pillow, that apparently was given to me when I was 3 months old. The music box-like part still works, and the rest of it is in semi-good shape, so I'm keeping it. My favorite stuffed animal was still there, too. I called him Baby Bear, and he originally looked like a polar bear. He's grey in color now.When I was little, I couldn't sleep without him. His nose is kind of bashed up, but he's still in relatively good condition. I'm keeping this one, too. Also, found my submarine model that has a motor in it. (I think I got it from a local naval museum.) By turning a crank, it can navigate through bathwater on its own. Didn't use it too much, so it's almost like new. Obviously keeping this one. I gave my Jibber Jabber to Dad. It was an annoying toy.Supposedly you grab his neck, shake it hard, and a weird noise comes out of its head. Although, you don't have to shake it or hold its neck. It can easily make sounds. A little too easily.Dad liked it, though. So, I asked if she wanted it, and she took it. Tasha seems to like it, too.
Then, I went through the mountains of books I had stuffed in the other shelves. As I went through them, I'd throw them in certain piles. At one point I ran out of room for piles...I was amazed at how many books I actually had. I threw out a good chunk of it. Many of those were Mom's old Jewish kids' books. They were falling apart, and I was never all that interested in them. It feels like she just wanted me to store them for her. But, now I don't have a reason to keep them.I'm donating quite a lot of books, too. One of them is a geology book that Dad was given when she was little. It's slightly falling apart, but I think it's still good enough to donate. I asked her if she wanted it before I put it on the pile, and she seemed a bit reluctant, but said it was ok to get rid of it. After cleaning up the shelves, and putting what I wanted back, it looks a lot nicer. A lot easier to get to things. I didn't remember half the things I had because of the way they were before. Kind of feels like I'm rediscovering a lot of it. I have a lot of Jewish-themed books (more than I thought. Ranging from just stories, to religious books, to reference books, a Passover cookbook, etc.), some cookbooks, 2 manga series (not all of either series. 3 volumes of Azumanga Daioh, and 12 of Fruits Basket. I still like both. Fruits Basket's manga was a lot better than the anime, although I liked that, too), a few mystery books, several fantasy/horror books, a few drawing-related books, some keepsake children's books, yearbooks from when I was in 8th grade up through 12th grade, a French textbook, a Hebrew dictionary (won it at a congregation's Passover seder when I found the afikoman), a regular dictionary, and a few Japanese language-related books. I also have several awards, some band group pics, a VHS tape of my high school band (not sure what's really on it. Field shows? Concerts? Maybe some day I'll find out), and some framed pics. Could put my tallit bag, reeds, 2 Jewish trivia card games, and metronome in the bookcase, too. I still have a ton of space in it. More room for new books...
My room looks quite a bit bigger now. Rosie has found some new fave hiding spaces, too. I think it's going to take some getting used to. After vacuuming it yesterday, it's even nicer. I also went through the 'posters' I made from old calendars. Threw out quite a bit. Only found 5 pics from last year's calendars to turn into posters. Also, moved my back scratcher so Rosie couldn't get to it. It originally was close to my bed, so I could get to it quickly if I needed it. But, Rosie has this weird fascination with it.It's a bamboo one. Maybe that's why she feels the need to chew and scratch it? Anyways, with all these changes included, it looks and feels like a different room.
Last Wednesday, Dad and I went to Shari's. Even though the group wasn't meeting that time, we just decided to go. When Dad left briefly, a waitress that normally waits on the group, came over to talk. She didn't know if the group was coming or not, and wanted to talk when I was alone. She first asked how I got so 'small'. Not necessarily how I lost weight, just how I got so small. She said I looked like I was shrinking everywhere, not just losing weight in certain areas. I told her about eating fewer calories (and some days I splurge a bit), my walks (which I haven't been doing for a while, because it's been so cold), and sit-ups. I didn't bring up that Crohn's might be a huge factor lately. She said that sounded like a great plan. She was worried about me. She thought I had some sort of disease or had somehow gotten sick. I don't think I've ever had someone say that to me before. It was incredibly nice she was worried and cared about me, but it felt very odd to be thought of that way.Like a disease was the cause. And, she might not have been far off with that. She didn't really seem to believe me when I told her those other reasons. Kind of gave me a look of 'I'll get it out of you at some point.' I was going to tell her about my IBD, but our waitress was back, and Dad had just gotten back, too. She took that opportunity to leave. Oh well. Maybe it'll come up again. I don't like to keep things from people (that's what it felt like afterwards), but the questions threw me off a bit. Before my first symptoms of IBD back in May, I knew I had lost 100 pounds from my heaviest weight, already. I know I've lost a lot more since then. I'm bonier, and my clothes are baggier. Most of the time I just go by sizes. I'm used to people saying: "Wow! Look at you! You've lost a lot of weight!" It's been more of a celebratory tone, and that's been kind of nice that people actually notice. I think it's ok if Crohn's is making me lose the weight faster. As long as I get the right nutrition, and I don't become underweight because of it, I'm happy. It's one of the rare good things about it. Good to me, at least.
I do know I need to make sure I'm eating enough. I'm already starting to get the feeling many people with IBD get, where they equate pain with eating. So, they avoid it. Also, many just don't feel hungry, or after a few bites of something they're full. I've also had moments where I'll feel nauseous after eating a couple of bites of something. Lately, I especially get nauseous after eating. So, there are some things I have to keep track of with that. I'm surprised I'm getting such a range of 'feelings' with eating. Half the time I don't experience nausea, and I have a healthy appetite. The see-saw affect is getting weird.I'll have to bring this up with my gastro in the future.
An Uchouten Kazoku or Eccentric Family amv:
A Pandora Hearts manga mv (I'm really surprised by mmv's. I'm new to seeing them. Some have made them look almost like amv's, which is cool when all they use is the manga itself. Makes it come 'alive' in an interesting way):
4 Gintama amv's (the last one shows you how varied the voice actor for Gintoki is. He's really good. The second one, I guess isn't really an mv, but has some funny/memorable moments):