Preparing for Yamim Noraim

Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday at sundown.

I feel like it really should not be quite that time yet, but this is actually fairly late in the year as far as holidays go.  Last year we started our celebrations several days after Labor Day and that was extremely early.

For those members of the group who do not observe, it’s important to note the following: Jewish holidays are always early or late.  They are never on time.

I know that in years past, I have gone to elaborate lengths to sort through outfits, determine what to wear on what day, etc.  This year, my problem is compounded by the fact that we will be celebrating Marcus’ cousin’s bat mitzvah the weekend after Yom Kippur.  So for those of you keeping track, I need 11 outfits instead of seven to be worn over the course of 19 days.  That is six formal (synagogue-appropriate) outfits and five party outfits.

My new goal is to start the week with a clean closet and just see how that goes.  This is me, reaping the rewards of a closet full of business casual and business professional clothing.

For many, Yamim Noraim AKA The High Holy Days AKA The Days Of Awe are a period of reflection and repentance.  If you’re looking for a way to reflect as a part of the New Year (Jewish or not), I highly recommend giving 10Q a try.  I signed up last year at Meredith’s behest and it is a lovely excercise.  They run this project annually, save your responses and then send them to you before the holidays begin.

Another thing to look forward to: I am reading Torah at Marcus’ cousin’s bat mitzvah.  I am incredibly touched that she would allow me to read and it will be the first time that I read from the Torah at our synagogue.  With the help of Marcus’ Uncle John (who provided the recordings of the lines spoken and sung) and Marcus himself, I now have a playlist on my iPhone called Get Your Pray On.  To practice, I listen to the recordings while I read the words on the page and do a sort of sing-a-long.  Every time, it gets just a little bit easier.

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Link Rodeo

Can you tell that I’ve been saving up links for a while now?  I don’t know how it happens but one day, I log into my blog e-mail account and I discover that I have been overrun!  It is time to start sharing, clearly.

From The New Yorker – A Dating App for an Old Generation

From Babble - What I Learned After Taking A Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

From Gizmodo - Antiques Roadshow Appraised My 2008 Toshiba TV

From GloriaSteinem.com - I Was a Playboy Bunny

From The Atlantic - The Law-School Scam

From The New York Times - In E-Sports, Video Gamers Draw Real Crowds and Big Money

Friday Food Round-Up!

Y’all, it is finally the weekend and I am truly So Glad.  There’s the promise of just enough free time to make it sound like a relaxing concept even though I volunteered to host brunch on Sunday.

Miscellaneous – Garden Pie

Misc

Marcus was out of town until Wednesday and I knew that if I didn’t do something, I would be lunch-less.  Garden Pie to the rescue.  Marcus tolerates this dish but I really enjoy it.  Plus it’s a fast, generally mess-free meal to eat at your desk.

Wednesday – Sherry’s Chicken Salad

Wednesday

Sunset’s: Restaurant Of Our Youth closed this summer while Jillian was busy getting married.  Sherry’s Chicken Salad was a staple menu and meal item along with their Chicken Wild Rice Soup.

To honor our loss and to deal with a craving, we decided that our girls’ night would be best spent learning how to make it on our own.  It was Just The Best.  And easy enough that I will definitely be making it at home again.  The recipe I linked to is really more of a loose guideline.  I think if you added two more chicken breasts and a bit of extra lettuce, those amounts would serve four.

Another Gorgeous Day for a Run

You guys, I feel like my blogging about running is so boring lately.  Yes, I’m training for the Twin Cities 10 Mile, and yes, I really love the sport but I feel like all I’m doing is stating the obvious: that I’m running.  The End.

Summit

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, I went for a run on Summit Avenue yesterday.  We’ve been having a spate of Best Behavior Weather this week (aka the one weather pattern we would all agree to choose if Minnesota was going to have consistent year-round weather) and I was going to be in St. Paul for a girls night anyway, so it made sense.  Generally speaking, I have a superstition against running on Summit Avenue during non-race times because I sort of like that it’s special.  But OHMIGOD This Was The Most Perfect Of The Runs.

Cathedral

Right?  Nothing could be prettier.

The 10 Mile is three weekends away and I really don’t have anything to say other than I’m following the plan I wrote.  There is no experimenting or hoping or waiting.  Okay, I sort of lied about that bit right there.  I still have a few Honey Stinger chew packets left (that conveniently expire post-race) but I’ve been playing around with the idea of fueling with Oreos.  I can eat them during a run without feeling sick and since I really only need to Eat Once, it’s pretty low stakes.

I ran 90 minutes last week so I’ve pretty much topped off where distance/time is concerned for my long runs.  I’ll go for 100 minutes this week just to make sure that I’ve gone all the way.  Otherwise, I’ll do a little bit more building where speed training is concerned because I have the time and it helps me with my pacing for the race.

My only “real” project for the next few weeks is to spend more time running outside, that way race day is not a total shock to my poor tendons.  What a thrilling goal to work towards, I know.

What I’ve Been Reading

I’ve read a weird combination of books lately.  The Hennepin County Library system has a great eBooks catalog (I have yet to buy one!) but since everyone else in the county knows about it as well, there are definitely wait times for certain books.  I guess the exciting part is that I never know what I will get to check out next?

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Astonish Me

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch

Leisureville by Andrew Blechman

Leisureville

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read lately?

Walleye Catchin’

Girl CousinsA few months back, we discussed the idea of a girl cousin fishing trip with Marcus’ grandfather.  I don’t know who brought up the idea or how it really came about, but since the men go every year, we finally got to go!  I know that I was really excited to go because 1) I really felt like it was time to catch my first walleye, and 2) I have incredibly fond memories of fishing with my grandfather and all of my cousins.

So the six of us piled into the car in our sweet matching outfits and headed toward Lake Mille Lacs.  Don’t worry, I packed my camo thermos, camo koozie and a stash of LaCroix.  I was not about to be caught unprepared!

Mille Lacs is really only about two hours north of the city, which makes it perfect for a day trip.  We built-in some time for lunch (Happy’s, obviously) and then we stopped by the giant walleye and enjoyed the shoreline.Big Walleye

Mille Lacs

I will be honest, even though it was a clear day (I think we would have died if it was raining), the wind+50 degree weather combination was just a touch bit chilly.

My first catch was this perch.

Fish 1

It (actually) became seagull food.  Circle of life, people.

When we pulled the boat up to the second hole, no sooner had I thrown my line into the water than I had gotten The Bite.

Fish 2

I was so so so pleased!  First Walleye ever!  State Fish Of Minnesota!  Mine!  It was only 17.5″ long, so we threw it back.  The guides seemed sort of sympathetic but again, since we’re all about the catch and release I was happy to do it.

And at the third hole, after a lot of casting about, I caught this little fish stick.

Fish 3Fish 4

Another Walleye!  So special!  I don’t think I will ever stop laughing about it.

Just as we were reaching the point of total hypothermia, the boat pulled back up to the dock and our adventure was no more.

The actual boating portion of the trip was four hours, which left us with just enough time to grab dinner (the base of our collective food pyramid was hot tea and soup) and to drive home.  By the time I pulled into the garage at 10:00 PM, I was ready to pour myself into bed.

Workshopping

Table

Hello, kittens.  In case you were wondering, this is what my Saturday mornings look like.  I’ve been absolutely terrible at waking up early for any of my long runs this training cycle (sleep has become extremely valuable to me over the past year) so instead I roll out of bed, get some coffee and breakfast going and wait myself out for ~1.5-2 hours before I start running.  I don’t drink coffee from my camo tumbler during the week, but for whatever reason it seems like the fun thing to do on the weekends.

It was 39 degrees this morning in Minnesota, so that should really tell you all that you need to know about how our descent into fall is going.  I’m still sorting and packing and purging and arranging and it is quite soothing.  The pile of things to be sent to the Goodwill just continues to grow.

We celebrated Dad’s birthday yesterday with a trip to Fulton’s taproom and Anchor Fish.   Sweet Child of Vine is one of his favorite beers and Mom had never been to Anchor so it was an excellent adventure for all.  After dinner and some celebratory cheesecake at home we called it a night.

Cheesecake

This thing is a monstrous pain to make, but the end result is so delicious you will not be disappointed.  We are not big cheesecake eaters, but even I am tempted to attempt actioning this with some berries/oreos/something mixed in.  It has been approximately two years since I last baked a cheesecake so I don’t anticipate that this next project will be happening anytime soon.

One of my summer projects that faded into fall was finding some volunteer work that I could do with the hours I’m not spending studying for the SPHR.  I contacted a few organizations that we are connected to with varying degrees of success.  One processed my interest indicator, waited three months and then asked me to complete a NEW interest indicator.  That got scratched from the list immediately.  Another took a month to respond to my initial application and the act of scheduling the introductory phone call was such an ordeal that finally I realized that while I really liked the group, it wasn’t really where my heart was at.

What has clicked is the opportunity to volunteer with Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners.  I used to do food shelf donation intake there in 2012 and we like to participate in their back-to-school/Christmas programs.  They had some needs that really seem to be a fit with what I am available to do and what I am good at doing, so I am looking forward to sitting down with them next week to discuss this more.

It seems that by degrees, life is finally settling into a pattern that I would describe as “normal.”  I couldn’t ask for anything better.