Halloween Celebrations that Will Spook Your Socks Off… or maybe squee

This will mostly be an image blog post. On Friday, my full-time job held the annual pumpkin contest. My department’s theme was Unicorn Land; I made gluten-free cupcakes and wrote the story. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but people loved our theme. HR also loved my story.

On Saturday, I bought a really cute Halloween style shirt at Urban Outfitters. I wore it yesterday–don’t worry, I’ll wear this neat shirt long after Halloween.

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Yesterday, I went to the Academy of Natural Sciences for their Halloween themed enrichment. Luna the Great Horned Owl and the creepy crawlers crept their way into my heart, they added a much-needed touch.

 

I love Halloween.

Jessica Attends Her First Shabbat 26 October 2018

Last night I attended my first Shabbat, which was hosted by the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia’s Next Gen program. What a beautiful experience! First, they blessed the bread, then the wine, and said a prayer. Afterwards, we broke bread and comingled with one another. I had the chance to meet Will, Joel, Jackie, Stacey, Yoni, Heather, Carol, and a few others. I ate dinner with Will, Jackie and her friend; they were a blast to chat with, especially since Will is starting a business. Before we all parted ways, we exchanged contact numbers and I will be keeping in touch with Will and Yoni. I had a blast and it was a great opportunity to expand my interfaith communities.

I’m sad to report about the massacre at the Synagogue in Pittsburgh today. It breaks my heart that there is still so much hatred out there. I am angry and on Twitter I’ve said some colourful things. I believe in justice and I believe in “do unto others as you would want to be treated.” I can be unkind about criminality and I just wish that every child had the opportunity to comingle with people that are different from them. I believe if every child had that opportunity, it would kill racism and bigotry since they would learn that at the end of the day we are all human beings. We all bleed, we all have the same basic needs, we are not radically different from others. However, I don’t think it’s ever too late to learn and I still believe teens and adults should comingle with people from different backgrounds.

Thankful Thursday 25 October 2018

Very quick entry since I spent the evening working on stuff for my full-time job’s Halloween party tomorrow and I want to get to bed. It was thrown together quickly and who knows what tomorrow will bring, but grateful about being included.

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I’ve been cooking a lot lately and sharing Halloween goodies with people lately. A work friend has a friend that was diagnosed with cancer, I brought her in a goodie bag last week and my friend brought it to her friend. On Monday morning, her friend called my friend, my friend walked over to me, I spoke to the friend and she thanked me up and down for the treat bag – it really cheered her up. I’m grateful that it did and the feeling made me so verklempt.

I also cooked dad some Halloween monster peas, which he loved. It’s been a peaceful few nights and I am grateful for it all. I’m especially grateful for the Harvest Moon.

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What are you thankful for?

Walking the Schuylkill River Trail 19 October 2018

For the past two times, I’ve walked to Manayunk on the Schuylkill River Trail, but today I decided to walk in the opposite direction and I walked to Conshohocken. Money is a little tight this week; I didn’t venture into Philadelphia and decided to spend the night in (it’s a welcomed change). I thought I would walk to Conshohocken to catch the train back to Norristown (to get to King of Prussia). I didn’t take many photos, but the view was just as gorgeous!

As I mentioned yesterday, the weather has cooled, and it was a joy walking. The leaves are starting to change, but I am hoping by Halloween that we will have full colour.

When I hopped off of the train in Norristown, I ran into an old library co-worker. She’s a sophomore at Temple University and it was so nice to catch up briefly!

Thankful Thursday 18 October 2018

Tonight when I arrived home from the library, I had a lovely Halloween card waiting from one of my pen-pals. It was a cute little Halloween card! I am grateful for her friendship. The Halloween card put me in a good mood. 🙂

I’m also thankful for my co-workers from both jobs. Terry is lending me her cupcake tins and decorating pipes so I can make GF cupcakes for my full-time job’s Halloween party next Friday. Our theme is unicorns, I have to make unicorn cupcakes. My co-worker also bought me a unicorn shirt for this contest. I’m grateful.

The weather has also finally cooled down! The days have been sunny and the evenings have been crystal clear. For the past few mornings, I’ve stood outside and looked up at the stars before going to work. Last night I stood outside, watched the stars and moon. I’m thankful for nature’s beauty.

 

What are you thankful for?

Adventures at Mill Grove 14 October 2018

Yesterday I went to the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove to take photos of the autumn leaves and owls they house. We have had a rainy year with odd weather—last weekend it was hot and humid; we had on our air conditioner and this weekend we dropped 30 degrees Fahrenheit, in the 50s and have the heater on. Leaves are somewhat changing colour, but we think they’ll be full autumn colour in the next ten days.

When I arrived at Mill Grove, I saw a group forming in front of the welcome sign and the leader asked if I was here for the tour. I wasn’t, expressed my regret, then walked over to the trellis and took photos of the lone bee flying among the asters. I heard the guide speaking and he sounded interesting; I walked over and asked if I could join last minute. I was welcomed with opened arms and took a nature walk for two hours. We learned about native and non-native plants and I learned a lot. We also saw deer, the river, and ate the edible berries. I picked some summer grapes and I thought I was going to make a jelly, but I don’t have pectin. I’ll eat the rest tomorrow at lunch.

After the walk, I saw the owls. I spoke with Odin and speaking to my beloved owls bring me so much peace. I didn’t get a chance to see Conrad, the Blue Jay, but I did walk through the museum.

I want to get back there once the leaves turn some more.

Thankful Thursday 11 October 2018

Although this week has been a merry-go-sorry type of week, I still have a lot to be grateful for. My parents went away for a few days, from Sunday until Wednesday, for dad’s birthday and their anniversary. Terry, a co-worker from the library, helped me give Mimi her medicine. She also tried some of the gluten-free food I made and gave me some pointers since her sister is also gluten-free. She loved what I made and I was thankful for the pointers.

Again, I’m thankful for people from both jobs and my friends. In another four weeks, a tough anniversary is approaching and to say that I’ve been anxious is an understatement. Sometimes I feel cowardly for my feelings, but Christina said, “don’t fee that way. It’s normal and it will take you as long as you need.” I have read that the experience will always stay with me and anniversaries are generally hard, which makes sense. I have a project planned for my Happiness Box on that day (7 November). I’m thankful for the love that has been shown.

Last night I decided to make a vision scrapbook page to put into my Happiness Box, but I wasn’t feeling too great. It’s rushed and I don’t like the colour theme… I believe in colours as symbols for different things. Today after my full-time job and before I went to the library, I had Lyft drop me off at Michaels and I bought purple paper. Later, I am going to fix it and I will post the finished image a little later. I am thankful for the encouragement and for the friendly Lyft ride.

I have also been scrapbooking Happiness Box 2017. I am in November 2017 now and the goal is to finish it this weekend. I’ve been working on this since January and I can’t wait to get it done.

What are you thankful for today?

Frightening Treats (But Not So Frightening to Make)

Yesterday, I turned on WRTI and grooved to classical music while I made Halloween inspired treats. On Friday evening I bought a women’s magazine for Halloween meals and although they weren’t gluten-free, I couldn’t pass up the magazine. I could make them GF myself.

I first made the ghost desserts. Joy now sells gluten-free ice cream cones and I made the pound cake to go inside the cones from scratch. I used this recipe: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/golden-vanilla-pound-cake-recipe. I baked the cones for about fifty minutes, decorated with icing and they are delicious.

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For dinner, I made a mummy meatloaf. This one was naturally GF and it was easy to make. It did call for breadstick dough and I found a mix for GF breadsticks. The recipe:

1 onion

2 lbs ground beef

1 large egg

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 tube breadstick dough

1 cup marinara sauce

I used onion and black beans for the eyes.

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I also made mashed potato ghosts as a side dish. It was the normal mashed potato recipe, but I used almond milk instead of dairy milk. I also used black beans for the eyes.

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I had so much fun cooking yesterday and they were easy to make! These treats would be perfect for Halloween parties.

Verklempt Friday

Yesterday my full-time job had their picnic and I feel verklempt. I mentioned to Ms. Ernestine that I packed my own lunch since there weren’t any gluten-free options. Wouldn’t you know, she ran to the store before the picnic and picked up a GF rotisserie chicken and chips for me? She picked up enough for me to have for lunch on Monday! I am beyond verklempt and grateful.

Last night was also a quiet night in the city. After spending an hour in Barnes and Noble, I walked through Rittenhouse Square Park and met Bosley, an adorable pug. He let me get a selfie with him! I am printing this out for my Happiness Box.

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I went to South Street and I was in the mood for pho; I decided on Banh Mi and Bottles. Most of their street snacks could be made gluten-free, I had brisket on rice rolls – my favourite! The pho was amazing too! I chatted non-stop with my waitress, Lin, and before I left she agreed to a selfie. She was fun and a great waitress. I made a friend. 🙂