Friday, September 29, 2017

Tonight at Sundown

Yom Kippur begins tonight at sundown. This is the holiest day of the Jewish year. It is the day of atonement after the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. On this day, Jews ask God for forgiveness for their sins to secure their fate. It's also known as the Sabbath of Sabbaths.
Ralph's Market gave me a new calendar for the new year! It's so informative!
Click on Photo to see rock stars included!

Commonly, Jews attend synagogue services on this day, refrain from eating, drinking, etc. At the end of the services a shofar or ram's horn is blown to signal the end of Yom Kippur. Then, we break the fast and have dinner.
The post-Yom Kippur meal is usually a comforting, easy-on-the-stomach meal featuring dishes that can be prepared ahead and either reheated or eaten at room temperature. There really are no rules about this, but it's common to serve dairy-focused dishes rather than meat-based ones. Generally, a dairy meal is easier to digest (unless, of course you're lactose intolerant)! A typical spread includes bagels with smoked fish and cream cheese, kugel, blintzes and assorted cookies and cakes. Many people will add cold chicken or sliced turkey to this spread.
Lox, bagels, cream cheese. We need KUGEL!

My maternal grandfather was a fairly religious man. Sam Katz was active in his local synagogue, Temple Beth Am. He felt so strongly about observing Yom Kippur, that he celebrated his birthday at the end of fasting, no matter what date. The Jewish holidays are on different dates every year, according to the harvest calendar. We always had a birthday party, break the fast to honor Grandpa. We still the continue the tradition of meeting to break the fast every year at the end of Yom Kippur. 
Sam and Freda Katz, 1960
I look forward to seeing my family tomorrow night for dinner! Happy birthday, Grandpa!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Westside Evening

Last Saturday Larry and I decided to take a mini-field trip to the Sawtelle neighborhood of West Los Angeles. We've always called this area Sawtelle, between Olympic and Santa Monica Boulevards. A few years ago there was a community effort to call this area Little Osaka to differentiate it from downtown's Little Tokyo. The L.A. City Council decided that this area should be called Sawtelle Japantown.   Well, O.K. I can still call it by the shorter name of Sawtelle.
1947. Photo from L.A. Public Library Archives

This area has always been known for it's Japanese nurseries, Mom and Pop shops and restaurants. When I was a kid, we always went to certain restaurants on Sawtelle for Japanese dinners. I used to love to browse in the Japanese "department" stores. You could find everything from Tatami sandals to little dolls and beautiful dishware. Many of the old stores from the 1950s-1970s are gone, replaced by high-end boutiques, curios shops, bookstores, multi-use buildings and restaurants, but the street still retains its Asian identity. 
Crowds waiting in line to eat on Saturday night!

Sawtelle is a scene on Saturday nights, filled with college-age kids. It is just a few bus-stops away from UCLA. Parking can be a nightmare on Sawtelle and the surrounding streets, so we parked at the free, multi-level One Westside Shopping Center  on Sawtelle just south of Olympic Blvd. We walked up the street to one of our favorite ramen places in L.A., Tsujita L.A. Artisan Noodle Annex.  We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, but it was pleasant sitting in their outside area watching the parade go by. 

The Kitchen at Tsujita Annex

The original Tsujita Restaurant (they also serve ramen, among other things) is across the street. We LOVE the thicker noodles at the Annex. The ramen broth is extremely rich though, so a small bowl is plenty. We each ordered a special drink. I had the green matcha iced tea and Larry ordered a peach drink. So colorful!
Ramen with Seasoned Soft-Boiled Egg, Char-Su, Cabbage and Thick Noodles

After our delicious dinner, we walked up and down Sawtelle, visiting both of the Giant Robot stores, some curio shops and book stores. We resisted going to Beard Papa for a cream puff!

CROCHET at Giant Robot!

Giant Unicorn Head/Mask at Black Market
We LOVED walking up and down this vibrant street in West Los Angeles, even though we were the oldest people on the boulevard! There are many more places to explore. We shall return!

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Monday, September 25, 2017


"Arrows" by Annette Petavy

I've been looking at Annette Petavy's shawl pattern, "Arrows" for a very long time, at least 7 years, when my friend Carol first crocheted this pattern. Beth also made this pattern, but somehow I just never found the time. The time has come. 
Carol's "Arrow" Shawl

This shawl features three different stitch patterns, all representing arrow-like forms. It looks best in a solid or semi-solid color. Too much variegation spoils the pattern.
Beth's "Arrow" Shawl
Stitch Pattern #1 by Kokkole
Stitch Pattern #2 by Kokkole
Stitch Pattern #3 by Kokkole
Changing up the patterns makes this an interesting shawl to crochet. There are transition rows between the patterns that alters the stitch count to accommodate each change of pattern. One length of three patterns is crocheted, then another. The pieces are joined in the center so that ALL of the arrows will be pointing out from the center. CLEVER!
I've chosen a kettle-dyed pure super-wash merino yarn from Malabrigo called "Ravelry Red." I love this color. It's rich, deep and a true red on the cool side of the color wheel. I started my Red Arrows shawl last night and am pleased with my progress.
Ellen's "Arrow" Shawl
Both Carol and Beth have crocheted this shawl twice, so I know it's a crowd-pleaser!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall Crochet and Knitting

Granny Tree

It's finally getting a bit cooler in Los Angeles. Fall has arrived until the next heat wave hits us! It will be bearable to have a lap-full of toasty yarn once again. 
I like to plan ahead and have a few holiday gifts on hand so I'm not rush-knitting at the last minute. The link to each pattern is in the caption of the items below.
Washcloths and drink coasters are always great gifts. You can pair a cotton washcloth with a fancy bar of soap. Coasters go well with a delicious beverage. Even though this cloth has a heart shape, it will work any time of the year!
Heart Square
How festive would these be in holiday colors? Mosaic Design Kitchen Cloth

These drink coasters look good in a neutral color as well as colors to match the decor!
Flower Coasters
It's not too early to be thinking about holiday decorations. Look at this adorable soft tree!

Going Round in Circles
I also like giving scarfs and cowls for holiday gifts. This little keyhole neckerchief is adorable and entertaining to knit.
Bow Keyhole Scarf
My obsession with granny squares continues. This vest is straightforward in its construction. It's the yarn colors and texture that make it special. This would be a gift for ME!
Granny Square Vest

Don't get caught empty-handed this holiday season! Start stitching up a few of these gifties NOW!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashonah

click on image to enlarge

Tonight at sundown, we celebrate Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year. It is customary during Rosh Hashonah to start fresh and cast your sins into the water.  This is called the tradition of Tashlikh.
Tomorrow, Larry and I will travel to the closet body of water to our house, The Ballona Creek flood channel, and cast our sins off! I hope there's some water in the Creek!
Ballona Creek at La Cienega Blvd.

One of the many traditions during this holiday is to eat something sweet to make sure that you will have a sweet and happy new year.  We dip apples in honey and have some delicious honey cake.  
Apples, honey cake with honey on the side

The rest of our New Year's dinner will consist of roast chicken, candied carrots in the shape of coins to insure wealth in the New Year, and Aunt Luba's Noodle Kugel!
Kugel, Candied Carrots, Roast Chicken
On Rosh Hashanah it is written… On Yom Kippur it is sealed. May it be written and may it be sealed that you have a New Year that brings fulfillment and happiness, peace, sweetness and prosperity – all of life’s very best things. Have a Happy, Healthy New Year to all of my friends and family!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sew Successful

#100actsofsewing Dress No. 2

I just finished my second Sonya Philip-designed pattern. This is Dress No. 2 from the 100 Acts of Sewing Series. Yes! This is the pattern for me. I shortened the dress to tunic length and will be wearing it with leggings or slacks. 
Previously, I made Tunic No. 1, but the drop shoulder was not flattering on me. I look better with a set-in sleeve. This dress fits perfectly! I used fabric I had in my stash. It's a cotton blend with a leaf design, black print on gray. I decided to spark up the dress just a little bit with black and white striped bias tape trim at the cuffs and pocket tops. I also used this bias tape from So Biased for the neck facing. 

Time to finally make my ultimate Tiki-Tunic using THIS fabric!


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Monday, September 18, 2017


On Friday night we met Audrey and Jeff for a quiet dinner at Joom Bangkok Cafe on Beverly Boulevard near Fairfax. I say quiet, because this particular corner of the Fairfax area, across the street from CBS Television City is unusually quiet compared with all of the blocks surrounding it.
Joom Bangkok Cafe Interior

Beverly Boulevard, further east, can be quite hectic and lively any evening of the week. Also, further up the block on Fairfax it is usually packed because of the many restaurants and shops. South of CBS on Fairfax is the Original Farmers Market, always teeming with tourists and locals.
This is one of the reasons we like Joom. It's in a mini-mall with other businesses that are only open during the day, so there is always parking at night. It's not jam-packed at dinner time. The food is quite good, maybe not up to Thai Town / Hollywood standards, but very tasty.
They offer dinner specials which include an appetizer and soup or salad AND dessert. I ordered dumplings, Thai salad and curry with brown rice. Everyone else ordered various items, including the vegie spring rolls.
Vegie Spring Rolls
Red Curry with Brown Rice
For dessert we each received a perfect little scoop of creamy chocolate chip ice-cream. Yum!

We shall return to this quiet little corner of our busy City soon!

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Friday, September 15, 2017

The Home Arts

This weekend I will be participating in The Home Arts Program. Where else? At home! There really is such a thing called Home Arts! As you may have guessed, the home arts are crafts or art practices that can occur in the home, such as cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, book binding, wood working, home decoration and more. With the industrial revolution in full swing during the mid-1800s, it was thought that the traditional crafts listed above would provide workers with far more personal satisfaction than was possible with factory jobs. Thus began the Arts and Crafts Movement at the turn of the century, through  and including the 1920s. 
Home Arts start with MUSIC!

The arts I will be practicing this weekend include playing my ukulele, crocheting my Virus Shawl and laying out some new tiki tunics to sew with all the beautiful fabric I've been acquiring. I may even bake something!
Crocheted Virus Shawl, Trendsetter Yarns Transitions Smoothies
"Aloha Flowers" fabric, designed by Michael Uhlenkott, Spoonflower
It will be nice to have a weekend at home instead of our usual running around and frantic schedule. Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery