hatam_soferet: (waan)
( Sep. 12th, 2011 10:54 pm)
Waan sniffed the water in the pond.

"Okay," you could see her thinking, "this is water. Not good to stand on."

She walked around the edge a bit and sniffed the lilypads. She's never seen lilypads before, little NYC dog that she is.

"Hmm," she was saying. "These look a good deal more substantial. Let's give them a go."

I contemplated saying "No!" but reasoned: if I stop her now, she'll only try it some time when I'm not there. The pond is deepish and weedy; better she should learn this lesson while I'm here to lifesave if necessary. Also, it's going to be funny.

So she put a tentative paw onto the lilypad, and followed it up with another paw and her weight behind it...

...and took a header into the pond, splosh.

And swam across the pond and heaved herself out indignant and dripping, and raced around the place drying off while I sat and giggled incoherently.

She's not shown any interest in the lilypads since. Instead, she's been flirting with the fountain and chasing frogs, when she can find them. Frogs are even better than tennis balls; they throw themselves!
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hatam_soferet: (waan)
( Jun. 19th, 2011 08:23 pm)


Delightful afternoon with the dog down by the river. We paddled in the deliciously cool sparkly water and shared a bag of cherries sitting on the rocks; I tried to read a book (surprise: reading a modern Hebrew book about lingustics is beyond my present abilities), and Waan played with a stick and bounded about in a most engaging fashion. Her ability to leap up vertical faces of rock far exceeds my own.
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Best breakfast in the world ever: rice krispies with chocolate cake crumbs scraped out of the tin (waste not, want not) and raspberries and tea. Cool scented breeze from the park, tweety birds, puppy curled at feet, etc.

Raspberries from the late-night fruit stand near Lincoln Center, purchased after seeing Giselle yesterday. Manhattan life does have its good sides, and being able to buy cheap, delicious summer fruit in the middle of the night after going to the ballet and before an easy subway ride home is definitely one of them.

I find ballet (and gymnastics, and one or two similar things) awfully compelling - something about having tremendous control over your body such that you can do beautiful things and make it look easy. I can do that a bit with calligraphy, but that's scarcely a whole-body enterprise. It's also just nice watching people who are really good at what they do; Xiomara Reyes wasn't, I think, the best Giselle ever (but terribly impressive nonetheless, obviously), and Angel Corella was rather splendid.

Also yesterday, the groundsmen were in, so the gates to the flowerbeds and lawns were unlocked (they keep them locked away behind iron fences lest anybody do something as inconsiderate as, you know, lie on the grass, or sit under the trees). So I went in and dead-headed the roses and pulled some of the bindweed off the honeysuckle (discovered a patch of mint in the process).

Living half in the fantasy world wherein I have a garden, I let the dog off the lead while I was pottering about; she sprawled in the sunshine and rolled happily in my weed pile. I was very proud of her: when she wanted to have a poo, she went out and did it on the path where it's easy to pick up, instead of doing it on the grass. And then she came back to the weed pile like a good dog.

Now she's curled up on the towel I carelessly dropped on the floor, I'm about to work on a ketubah (up to my ears in ketubot this season, thankfully), and all is well.

(Edited to add: later, she took her chewy into her crate, and dropped off to sleep whilst chewing it, so when I look into the crate I see one flippy-flappy ear flopped over a chewed chewy, and a curled-up sleeping dog. It's impossible to get any work done around here, I tell you.)
Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

Likewise seven days shall ye eat the curd of the lemon, being mingled with sugar and the yolk of the egg; upon unleavened bread shalt thou eat it. The curd of the lime and of the orange shalt thou not eat; the curd of the lemon only shalt thou eat.


My least favourite part of Pesach is the bit where you try and pack all the things back into their boxes. Ten days ago they all fitted into the boxes, and you've not bought anything new, but they jolly well don't fit any more. Then you try and tape the boxes closed (because if you don't, you have to start Pesach next year by washing off the dust bunnies and cockroach corpses) and the tape breaks.

But it's done now. Done, scrubbed, vacuumed; other Domestic Things such as planting basil also Done; all good. We would have 100% domesticity WIN except that we haven't done the ironing yet; the dog has decided that the ironing basket is her new favourite place to sleep, and it would be mean to disturb her from her nap.

Oh, charoset awesomeness: grinding up roughly-equal quantities of dates, prunes, apricots, figs, walnuts, fresh apple, and raisins. Some cinnamon. Slosh in enough wine to make it a dough, and shape into balls. Except that this year I couldn't find dried figs, only a jar of fig preserves. This made the whole thing gooey enough that shaping into balls wasn't happening; it had roughly the consistency of jam, and it was yummy.

Finally, a First: yesterday was the first time in my life ever that I've chosen one brand in the supermarket over another because it had my shul's hashgacha. Flour, for the record, and the KAJ hashgacha. What have I become?
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Searching for chametz is about a billion gazillion times more fun when you have a dog.

She tries to eat the feather.

She tries to eat the flashlight.

She follows the flashlight beam, trying to figure out what is this moving thing with no smell.

You don't need to hide chametz to "find," because there are dog biskits and pieces of bread hiding all over the house.

Including real proper kezayit-sized lumps of bread, because when she's shut in my bedroom on shabbat (better a miffed dog in the bedroom than a freaked-out screaming toddler at lunch) she overturns her bowl in pique and throws the contents, including the challah-roll bribes, all over the place.

Anyway, you find the dog biskits and bits of bread; you poke them out from under the furniture with your feather along with quantities of crud and dust bunnies (because you are a soferet, you have plenty of large sturdy feathers); dog sniffs the mixed crud, identifies the bits which are chametz, and eats them, nom nom nom.

Famously, anything a dog won't eat isn't chametz, so the leftovers you can push back under the furniture and pretend they don't exist. Or sweep them up and throw them out, yeah, but halakha geekery wins and you know it.

When you aren't finding bits of chametz, she goes back to trying to eat the feather.

Except if you're lying full-length on the floor on your tummy trying to squint under the furniture, in which case she climbs on top of you and sits there proudly being all "this is a good place to sit! stay there! ooh, a dog biskit! don't mind if I do!"
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hatam_soferet: (Default)
( Mar. 5th, 2011 10:54 pm)
Waan attempts to shape a quill.



("Nom de plume" was an i can haz cheeseburger caption some time ago. Not original, therefore, but irresistible!)
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hatam_soferet: (Default)
( Feb. 14th, 2011 01:22 pm)
Waan: really not helping!

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hatam_soferet: (waan)
( Feb. 12th, 2011 08:47 pm)


... helps with cooking.

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hatam_soferet: Fractal zayins (zayin)
( Feb. 6th, 2011 09:47 pm)
In honour of its being Adar, I give you Dog Torah.
I have a puppy.

Parts of her are tan-coloured like parchment, and parts of her are black and shiny like Torah ink.

She likes to squirm around on the couch.

I am a sofer stam.

Now read on...


Pictures... )
hatam_soferet: (waan)
( Feb. 5th, 2011 06:15 pm)
Dog is chewing on her horn, and I can see blood coming from the back upper left-hand teeth.

She has a wobbly tooth on the front lower right, and I vaguely recall that wobblies, when they come out, bleed. She won't let me see if there's a wobbly in the back upper left, but it's a plausible answer, right? I don't need to panic?

She's chewing on the horn like there's no tomorrow, and she's been mouthy and bitey for a day or so, and rubbing her jaws on stuff, all of which I put down to teething and felt sorry for the poor darling, but the blood is unsettling me cos it's new.

In other news, we had a perfectly lovely walk today. More of a hike really. Once we'd made up our minds that we were going to get wet, we had a super walk, and she was off-leash for most of it (that is to say, she was on the leash, but I wasn't holding the other end; this is how shabbat off-leash walkies work), because there are no joggers when the paths have six inches of snow and another half-inch of ice on them. It's good to watch her galloping through the snow and prancing with twigs.
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hatam_soferet: (Default)
( Jan. 2nd, 2011 02:10 pm)
Dog pees on my bedroom carpet far more often than I would like, and I know one reason she's doing it there is because she's done it before.

Other aspects of training aside, a necessary step is to clean the carpet.

I don't own a carpet shampooer, and haven't a car, such that renting a shampooer is likely to be impractical, even supposing I knew where to rent one.

Is it worth buying one of those very small cheap ones, or can one achieve the same effect with a scrubbing brush and a bucket of water? I really have no idea about this, and I know that some of you are both Pet and Household Experts. Your advice would be appreciated.
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hatam_soferet: (tea)
( Dec. 28th, 2010 06:10 pm)
It's a bit odd that they're ploughing the paths in the park up here in northern Manhattan when there are still unploughed bus routes in Brooklyn. I suppose a Parks Dept snowplough is smaller than a City Streets one, but still, you'd think the boroughs could find some use for them. It's certainly very nice to be able to walk in the park, but when Brooklyn-dwelling friends can't get home because the transport network's still clogged up with snow, it loses some of its savour.

My dog seems to manage fine in the snow without a jacket; when she's too cold she comes and asks to be picked up. She's okay. But I get a lot of grief from Manhattanesque dog-owners, whose dogs have several layers of clothing, not to mention boots, about letting my dog go out without a jacket. Of particular note today was the lady carrying a white fluffy dog and wearing a white fluffy fur coat. Only afterwards did I realise that "She's got a lovely fur coat on, just like you have" would have been the right response to "Doggy should be wearing a jacket."

Inspired to do a bit of ketubah work, for one of those "do the text, and we'll talk about the decoration after the wedding" affairs. I don't do those often; it's a bit of a downer at the wedding to have no pretty, and there's never really a good time per se after the wedding to do it, so they sit around for months. Still, I have inspiration for this one, which is something. Now to see if the couple like it...
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