Friday, April 15, 2011


Due to the holiday of Passover approaching rapidly, I will be taking a break from writing this blog. After Passover is over you can expect numerous posts to make up for it. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 36- Wednesday

1. I finally wrote a nice to-do before Passover list so I can remember everything I have to do. Writing myself to-do lists helps me get stuff done on time, and it also helps reduce stress because I don't have to keep a gazillion things in my mind when everything is written down.
2. I went on a big grocery shopping trip today and bought all the food I'll need for the rest of the week, including for Shabbat, so I'll be able to finish up all my non-Passover cooking quickly and concentrate on that to-do list.
3. I was able to fit the really heavy stuff in the basket under Rena's stroller and everything else fit in the bags that I'd brought, so I was able to drag everything and Rena home in or on the stroller without risk of it tipping over.
4. Hubby had texted earlier to tell me he was going to be home late because he was going to help his father with something after work. Well, he got out of work early because he ran out of work to do (that's my hard-working hubby! :) ), and because his father drove him home when he was done helping and the car ride was short, he ended up coming home around the usual time! :)
5. Rena has been especially happy in the last couple of days and extra-prone to big smiles and giggles. :) Hey, her first name is Hebrew for joy and her middle name (in her English name) is Rainbow. :)
6. I called a new friend tonight because she said she had something she needed to tell me. After she told me, we had a nice long conversation about everything from the ways she practices Judaism to kittens she has for whom she's trying to find a home. (I did not agree yet to take them because I have to run it by hubby first, of course, and he was already asleep when I called.) She's the one who had invited us to the Rainbow Gathering to be held in July somewhere in Washington state.

Gratitude to Bliss 35- Tuesday

1. I realized that I hadn't yet written a post this week in my Environmental Tip of the Week blog. While I was trying to decide what to write, I came across an ad on Facebook for a petition of sorts that I ended up using as the subject of this week's tip.
2. The food waste disposal in our kitchen sink was broken, the sink was clogged, and when I ran the dishwasher it overflowed and got all over both the inside and outside of the cabinet under the sink. All I had to do was wipe it all dry with towels, and there I have a cabinet that's already been cleaned for Passover. (See this article for info about cleaning for Passover.)
3. I got an opportunity to and agreed (after running it by hubby) to host for the second night of Passover a new friend who works with poor people and some of the people with whom she works. (This is especially awesome on Passover- During the seder, when we begin to tell the story of the Exodus, we invite the hungry and needy to join us.) She's the one who had invited us to the Rainbow Gathering to be held in July somewhere in Washington state.
4. I'm grateful for my awesome hubby! :) He sent me a text message that said, "Thanks for being such a sweetheart, Sarah."
5. I came close to being totally distracted by Facebook at night and staying up the entire night, but I caught myself and managed to catch a few hours of sleep.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 34- Monday

1. I napped all morning while Rena did the same. I felt more rested afterward.
2. We had some beautiful, sunny weather! :)
3. I had enough time to take Rena to the playground at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, where I'd ridden my bike on Sunday (see previous post), on our way to Whole Foods.
4. I again had the floor picked up and vacuumed by the time hubby got home.
5. Hubby had a long talk with me about my short-term goals for myself and Rena and my goals for the future.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 33- Sunday

1. My father-in-law brought us the bikes and helmets they'd promised us! :)
2. He, hubby, and I did some gardening. We replanted our new plants in pots.
3. We didn't have to water them because it rained soon after.
4. I left Rena at home with her daddy to go try out my new bike! :)
5. I ran into the building manager on the way out, so I was able to ask her if she knew of a nice, flat place where I could practice riding (as I hadn't ridden a bike since high school).
6. The place she recommended, Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, turned out to be perfect! It has an area that looks like a parking lot but is really for playing basketball and such. There's also a circular path surrounding a grass area. It's just a few blocks away from our building!
7. Though I was a little nervous about riding a bike for the first time in about a decade, I basically just hopped on and took off. So apparently it's true that you never forget how to ride a bike.

Gratitude to Bliss 32- Shabbat and Saturday night

1. Rena slept in, so I got to as well.
2. I had lots of time to play with Rena.
3. I even had time to catch up on some kitchen cleaning.
4. My sick husband felt a little better after a nice long nap.
5. I finally wrote Thursday's list.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 31- Friday

1. Hubby was home sick, so when I had to run out for some things with little time to spare before Shabbat, I didn't have to drag Rena out again. This saved precious time.
2. Though I was running very late, I managed to finish all the Shabbat cooking, even dessert, in time. (Observant Jews don't cook on Shabbat.)
3. Our couch is so comfy! :) I dozed on it Friday night until hubby woke me up to clean the kitchen.
4. I cleaned the kitchen for awhile though I was exhausted, but then hubby said just go to bed. This was despite the fact that it was my fault I was exhausted because I'd stayed up all night on the computer the night before.
5. I fell asleep in bed almost immediately.

Gratitude to Bliss 30- Thursday

1. I had my Shabbat shopping list ready to go quickly. I had to add just a few items to the list that was already written.
2. Rena was happy when we entered the room at the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library where toddler storytime is located.
3. We had a great time again! :) We made new friends, had a book read, and learned new songs.
4. Some songs are repeated every week. I was amused when, during "If you're happy and you know it," Rena smiled and stomped her feet at the corresponding line in the song.
5. After storytime, we found the children's section of the library. Wow, this is like the best library ever! In addition to shelves and shelves of books on a wide variety of subjects, there are comfy living-room-type chairs and beanbag chairs to sit in, and there's also a big toy of the type where there are big beads for the babies to move along a track.
6. We made new friends there, to, and Rena kept asking another mommy to pick her up.
7. I was able to get a library card, despite having a New York ID, because I remembered to bring a piece of mail proving I live in Seattle.
8. I found an interesting-looking book to check out just by briefly browsing the nonfiction section.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 29- Wednesday

1. A famous health expert took the time to debate with me, via Facebook messages, about a controversial health topic.
2. I also posted this discussion on the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Facebook page regarding the same topic, if you want to know details. I appreciate that someone working for the school replied immediately and politely.
3. I was also glad to find out that the school does not take up what is typically the holistic position regarding this topic but has a more balanced approach, and that it encourages open debate in its forums.
4. I once again had the floor picked up and vacuumed before hubby got home from work, which makes him happy.
5. I even had dinner ready already when he got home from work! Of course he loves when dinner is ready when he gets home; he's usually starving because he doesn't get home until after 7 usually!
6. Thank you, FlyLady, for introducing me to Anti-Procrastination Day, which I celebrated by doing the previous two items earlier in the day than usual. (#4 didn't always even get done at all if I waited until too late in the day.)
7. I had my Shabbat menu and most of my shopping list all ready to go before going to sleep so as not to have to hurry up and do it in the morning. (You'll see in my next post why I would have had to do it in the morning.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 28- Tuesday

1. Rena napped in the morning, so I was able to nap, too. I felt pretty rested afterward.
2. I gave Rena some cereal with raisins in it to eat, and I remembered to break up the raisins for her so she wouldn't choke.
3. I saw trees blooming with beautiful flowers and heard birds chirping on the way home from grocery shopping.
4. I finished vacuuming right before hubby walked in the door so he was greeted with a clean floor. :)
5. Rena did not wake up from her late afternoon nap and slept right through the night.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 27- Monday

1. As I couldn't find any kosher organic cheese locally or available for purchase online and we were running low, I made some cheese myself. Yummy! :) More details will be posted later on Foodiscovery.
2. I finally posted on my new blog, The Road That Never Ends.
3. I got the floor all picked up and vacuumed before hubby got home! :)
4. I managed to clean up the kitchen throughout the day after using it so the mess after dinner wasn't so overwhelming.
5. Hubby loves making up random songs, and he sang me a song about how I'm so good to him or something like that. :)
6. I remembered to write my weekly post in my Environmental Tip of the Week blog before getting off the computer for the night.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 26- Sunday

1. Rena's grandma and grandpa (my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law) came over to pick us up. She gave us a lot of food, and, while she was waiting for us to finish getting ready to go (as we were running late), proceeded to clean our kitchen for us. I had it somewhat clean but she got all the stuff I'd missed, hadn't done properly, etc.
2. They took us to get new pretty shoes for Rena at Nordstrom in a mall.
3. Even better, the kids' shoe section was great and provided free helium balloons to take home as well. Rena got a pink one and a green one. Tonsa funsa! :) (That means "tons of fun. :) )
4. Then, Rena played in a free climbing and fun area for young kids -- also located at the mall -- and played nicely with new friends!
5. Later that day, I finally put together this little shelf I'd gotten soon after we moved in intending to use it as a safe-for-a-toddler bookshelf, and I was able to fit a bunch of books on it.
6. Hubby used our new barbecue for the first time on some steaks from my step-mother-in-law, and I observed how he did it so I would know how to do it myself.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 25- Shabbat and Saturday night

1. We made it to synagogue.
2. While hubby prayed and -- he told me later -- had a fascinating debate with someone -- Rena and I checked out the kids' room which I hadn't even known existed until Purim. There were boxes and boxes of toys and lots of kids playing! We made new friends. I didn't get any praying done but we sure did lots of playing! Good thing we women don't have to pray the set prayers once we get married....
3. As there was food served afterward, I took my time chopping lots of veggies and served my planned meal at dinnertime. I think this synagogue might always serve food after the Shabbat morning service. I think I'm going to try to go every week because I can't resist free yummy food, even though it's probably not organic. I'm not yet at the point where I'm eating all organic; I'm just making sure my own purchases are all organic.
4. Rena napped for a few hours in the afternoon so I could chop my veggies uninterrupted.
5. I managed to write Friday's list though it was already late at night/early in the morning.

PS I'll be purposely writing each day's list the next day from now on so I can get a single day and every yay that happened in it in a single post.

Gratitude to Bliss 24- Friday

1. I'd messaged a friend on Facebook simply requesting a source for a statement she'd made on s message board. I thought I would get just a quick response with a link to an article or a book title or something, but in addition to a link to an article she took the time to write me a long message with advice on doing my own research.
2. I only had a quick grocery shopping trip because I'd done most of my Shabbat shopping already on Thursday.
3. I also didn't have to find any more recipes, which saved more time.
4. Good thing I had to go shopping again anyway because there were a few more items that I added to the list last minute.
5. Earlier this week I switched to purchasing all organic food (with the exception of fish, which I understand is better wild-caught). See this recent post in my food blog, Foodiscovery, if you want to know why. I could not find kosher organic meat in any of three stores in which I did my Shabbat shopping this week. I'd actually called two of them before deciding on recipes to find out if they had any, but they both said no. My husband had been looking forward to meat all weak, as I'd been serving a lot of fish, but I wasn't going to give in and get the usual non-organic kosher meat. There also wasn't enough time to order organic kosher meat online for Shabbat. I decided the only solution was to find a vegetarian recipe that would look and taste like it had meat in it. I made a vegetarian meatloaf and told my husband it was meatloaf. Thank G-d it turned out to be the best "meatloaf" ever! I still haven't told him it didn't actually have meat in it, and I don't know if I ever will. (He doesn't read my blogs unless he happens to pass by while I'm writing something, which is good because he majored in English.) This post is not cross posted in Foodiscovery because I'm going to write a separate post that will go into more detail.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss 23

1. I took Rena to the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library this morning to check out toddler storytime. We had a great time! :) We made new friends, had a book read, and learned new songs.
2. As the library turned out to be somewhat near the synagogue, and I'd already made my shopping list for Shabbat in the hopes that I'd go grocery shopping right after storytime, I realized while we were heading toward the library that I could check out this local organic grocery store that I keep seeing just a few blocks from the synagogue. I did, and surprisingly, I was able to find most of the items on my list, even though it's a small store. As I had healthy stuff -- mostly raw ingredients -- on my list, it makes sense in retrospect that that would be the case at such a store.
3. At one point while we were out and about, I "randomly" saw a beautiful yellow six-petal flower lying on the ground. I picked it up and gave it to Rena to play with. The way it was arranged, it looked kind of like a Jewish star, or "Star of David."
4. While I was getting the flower, Rena's stroller began to roll away because there was a bit of an incline where we were. Thank G-d, I was able to catch it quickly so she didn't get hurt.
5. I remembered to get April's rent check from the bank (across from University Village) and leave it in the designated mailbox in the apartment building. Today was really the last day I could do it because it's due on the first of each month.
6. I love that I don't have to send rent checks in the mail anymore, because the building manager lives and works right here in the building!
7. I just gave myself a brief shoulder blade massage that felt really good! :) I could hear it cracking as I relieved the tension in it.