Friday, June 30, 2006

Frigidaire Ovens With the Sabbath Mode Feature

My husband has been surfing the Net looking for an oven for the new kitchen he's building. Last night he discovered this information online:

Please be aware that there are restrictions in the use of ovens and stoves on the Sabbath and Holidays. If you are unfamiliar with the laws of keeping food warm on the Sabbath or cooking on the Holidays, please call your Rabbi. Please note that when the Holiday and Sabbath coincide, the Sabbath laws prevail. See your owner's manual for instructions on operating the Sabbath mode.


  1. On the Sabbath, a gas flame or electric heat may not be initiated, adjusted or turned off.

  2. On the Sabbath, a "blech" should be used to cover the flame in addition to covering the controls of the cooktop. For the gas burners and coiled electric burners, use a standard "blech". The manufacturer does not recommend putting a "blech" on the glass electric cooktop surface. Instead, just the controls should be covered.

  3. On the Holidays, a gas flame or electric heat may not be initiated or turned completely off. For gas cooktops, raise and lower the temperature as required for cooking. For the electric cooktops that recover after a power failure (see table above for specific models), raising the temperature is not permitted because there is no indication when power is on to the heating elements. Lowering the temperature is permitted when necessary for food preparation. For the electric cooktops that do NOT recover after a power failure (see table above for specific models), adjusting the temperature is permitted at any time following the instructions in the owner's manual (because there is a delay between the request and implementation).

  4. During a power failure, gas cooktops will remain on. Some electric cooktops will recover to the set temperature when the power returns, while others will stay off. See table above for specific models.

  5. The glass electric cooktops cannot be kashered for Passover. For the rest of the year, be sure to wipe the cooking surface clean between meat and dairy use.


  1. The oven temperature may not be initiated, adjusted or turned off on the Sabbath.

  2. On the Sabbath, in lieu of a "blech", the oven controls should be covered. (Be careful not to cover vent openings.)

  3. All food should be placed in the oven before the Sabbath begins, since none may be placed in the oven during the Sabbath.

  4. On the Sabbath, the oven door may only be opened once, all the food removed, and then closed. On the Holidays, the oven door may be opened/closed at any time as often as desired.

  5. On the Holidays, the temperature may be adjusted (but not initiated or turned off) at any time following the instructions in the owner's manual (because there is a delay between the request and implementation).

  6. These ovens have a timed bake feature in the Sabbath mode. This feature can only be initiated before the Sabbath/Holiday. Once timed bake goes off, the oven cannot be used again for that Sabbath/Holiday.

  7. These ovens have a delay start feature in the Sabbath mode. For use on the Sabbath, all food must be in the oven before the Sabbath begins.

  8. After recovery from a power failure, all these ovens will stay off. They will remain in the Sabbath mode, however, there will be no cooking capability.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Concrete Counter Tops?

Yes! Mitch is busy creating new, luxe concrete counter tops in our new kitchen (also his creation). Concrete counter tops are luxury custom jobs, many of them works of art. I have seen photos of tops with fossils and crystals embedded, and finishes that look exactly like copper. Luckily I have a husband who seems capable of building anything.

In the photos above, you see the cabinets he built by hand, as well as the wood floors he built. Now he is working on the frame for the concrete top, which is why you can see beamed support around the periphery of the counter's cabinet base. When finished, the counter will have a stove top and work area, as well as seating.

The counter will have a wavy curve pattern to accomodate traffic towards the porch door, the stove top, and will end in a rounded shape where stools can be pushed under the top for storage, or for leg space when sitting at the counter.

In the closeup photo, the white area shows where the concrete will be (curved shape). The rest of what you are seeing is the supportive form for the concrete (this photo doesn't show the depth).

What's This Bug?!

Yesterday morning, this bug was on our front porch. I wonder what it is? It's huge!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Favorite Further Fotos

Above are two of my favorite Further Festival photos (from 1997). One is me applying mendhi (henna designs) to BR and the other is with Maria.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Further Festival, 1997

Phil Lesh & Friends Concert, 2006

Last night my husband and I went to see the Phil Lesh & Friends concert in Atlanta.
Joan Osbourne was the vocalist (LOVE HER!). In the third set, Dickie Betz, formerly of the Allman Bros, was special guest. They did an amazing "Ramblin' Man".

Other predictable favorites in the show were "Scarlet Begonia" and "Fire on the Mountain".

It was weird to be at Lakewood Ampitheater again (now HiFi Buys) without the group of people I used to go there with. Best I can tell, it must have been 1997 when we went to see Further Festival. Is that right?

To me it seemed that spirits of my friends were dancing up on the grass. Has it been 9 years?

If you are receiving this post as an email, you will need to click through on the Title link to see the photos accompanying this post (two Further Fest photos and two from last night).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Gov't Levee Failure: Corps of Engineers Responsible for N.O. Flooding

(note: a month or so ago, government agencies in New Orleans had a practice evacuation drill. The drill had to be scuttled when no one knew which agency was in charge. Even now!)

(why do they live in an area where levees are needed? It's a HISTORIC CITY! Why do people live out on the plains where there are tornados, or in CA where there are earthquakes? I never heard anyone ever say that areas destroyed by quakes in CA should not be rebuilt.)

The message below came from

Congress ignores Corps Culpability
Dear Members,

On June 1, the US Army Corps of Engineers acknowledged
that they are responsible in large part for the
catastrophic flooding of metro New Orleans.
This was a first partial victory for Levees.Org.

Without the continuous and loud mantra of 4500 Levees.Org
members, such a broad admission of fault may never have
come. And the signing last week of the supplemental
spending bill for 4.2 billion in community development
block grants and 3.7 billion for levees is a second
partial victory for Levees.Org. That too, might never
have come.

After June 1, things changed in Washington. Our Members
of Congress stopped making disparaging remarks about
the work ethics of New Orleanians, and Donald Powell
who before June 1 had defiantly defended the corps,
suddenly strongly urged Congress to help Louisiana.
Of course we are very grateful.

But here is a key issue. Even though the Corps
has admitted design and construction flaws, even though
the Corps has conceded that the flood protection was
a system in name only, Congress has yet to acknowledge
those mistakes, and so essentially continues to
ignore/deny the federal government's central role in
the New Orleans flood.

What does this mean? It means we have no reason to
presume that the catastrophic flooding will not happen
again. It means that corps reform will not be a priority.
It means that Congress will continue to award water
development funding to Corps projects with the strongest
lobbying special interest groups. It means that dedicated
funding for coastal management from royalites from
off shore drilling may never materialize.

For a citizens' group to hold the Corps accountable
is important, but it's not enough. Congress must hold
the Corps accountable, too.

Besides the Louisiana delegation, only
Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has
recognized Corps culpability in the New Orleans flood.

Until Congress recognizes the mistakes of the Corps,
there is no reason for the people of metro New Orleans
to feel safe nor any citizen in the USA whose life
and property are protected by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Get a sign today that says "Hold the Corps Accountable."
Go to: for 9 pickup
locations. If yours has mysteriously disappeared,
get another one! They're free and paid for by donations.

Thank you!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hatha yoga...did you know? The term "hatha yoga" refers to the practice of the physical asanas (postures) of yoga. So, ALL the yoga teachers and yoga studios are offering "hatha" yoga. Under that broad category are the specific varieties of hatha yoga, such as Iyengar, Bikram, Anusara, Viniyoga, Vinyasa, Kundalini...

Then there are the other kinds of yoga, such as Bhatki yoga, the path of devotion; Karma yoga, the path of action; Raja yoga, Tantra yoga and more.... there's many kinds of other yogas besides the physical pose ("hatha") yoga.

Hatha yoga, the physical poses, are designed to prepare a person for meditation and pranayama (breathing practices). If you've ever tried sitting for meditation, you know how difficult and uncomfortable it can be to simply sit still. Hatha yoga prepares the body for this.

What I'm reading now: "The Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: a Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners" by H. David Coulter. It's a dense book and over 600 pages! Required reading for the yoga teacher training I'm taking.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Byodo-In temple and Christian mausoleum...

Here is a very dark photo of the HUGE Buddha inside the Byodo-In temple on Oahu. There were no lights inside the temple, and it is a *very* tall room. The reason the photo is so dark is because the Buddha is so large, the flash could not reach. The railing visible at the bottom of the photo is at waist height.

Next to the Byodo-In temple is a Christian chapel, mausoleum and cemetery. Some of the crypts had photos of the occupants (while living) taped to the marble. These two below had interesting offerings...

Notice the handknitted lei above and the offering of Sapporo beer below...

Kwan Yin in Honolulu's China Town

Posting these photos at the request of my friend Darrell. I didn't get a photo of the huge Kwan Yin statue, located in a temple next to the botanical gardens, because it was closing as we arrived. But I did get these photos of Kwan Yin altars in Honolulu's China Town, and a photo of the Zen temple next to China Town. Each Kwan Yin altar had incense available for folks to light at her feet.

My husband at a courtyard Kwan Yin shrine in Honolulu's China Town; notice the lei

The Zen temple

A courtyard Kwan Yin altar with candles, incense and flowers

Scene in Honolulu's China Town

photos by me

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Blogger Isaiah noticed that my profile photo was taken in Waikiki. I was there last Fall on vacation. I thought I would not like Honolulu, because it is a big metropolis. But I LOVED it and hope to return soon. Unlike the other trip we made that year, the the Carribbean island of St. Lucia in the West Indies where we were burglarized (but I digress). I'd show you a photo of St. Lucia, but my camera was stolen.

Back to happy Aloha times on Oahu, Isaiah asked if I'd visited the Byodo-In temple and indeed I did! Made a point of it. Below are photos of this gorgeous place. It's an interfaith Buddhist temple...inside there are plaques hanging on the walls representing various major world religions. There was a bathroom on the grounds with a full length mirror, and on the mirror was a sign to make sure the door stayed shut because the male peacock on site was coming in and fighting with his own reflection, damaging himself.

You can view a live webcam on Waikiki, where I walked with my very own feet! I wish I was there right now. One of the best times of my entire life was taking a nap on the beach with my DH, trade winds keeping us cool.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Free vegan gourmet recipes from the Blossoming Lotus restaurant on Kaua'i (they also have a cafe' in Portland). Recipes range from Glorious Gingerbread Pancakes to Pure and Simple Millet Squash Casserole, to I Love Kali Ma's Kava Brownies and more. Animal Voices radio show has an archived podcast of their interview with Lotus co-founder Gabriel Zingaro, speaking about the Lotus community, animal rights, social justice, redefining profit and the idea of taking "well days". Then Bo Rinaldi, co-author (with Mark Reinfeld) of the restaurant's cookbook, "Vegan Fusion", speaks on opening the cafe' in Portland and the path to healing through veganism and nonviolence.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Encountered a fantastic radio show online that you can download in MP3 format (I like to listen to podcasts while driving). The show is "Let's Get Baked with Mat and Dave" - it's billed as a vegan baking show but it's more like Y-Generation meets Wayne's World meets Mister Rogers meets Julia Childs. Excelllent! On the show, Mat and Dave meet in their kitchen with a different music band each week to cook something vegan. During the show I listened to today, Newfoundland band The Novaks were in the kitchen, and Mat and Dave prepared a Newfoundland dish of potato biscuits. Inserted into the show was also a telephone interview with Marian Francis White, Newfoundland poet and vegan cookbook author whose cookbook is entitled, "Eldamar". Later in the show, different music was played featuring the Novaks, another musician they colloborate with (and side interview from a record release party) and a folk song about Newfoundland mumming. Complete with recipe, tips on making it, and reactions from all in the kitchen while sampling the final product. I'll definitely be downloading other epidodes, especially the Gravy Pie episode which includes an interview with Wavy Gravy. This show rates 5 carrots!
In May, I attended my first yoga teacher training, put on by YogaFit. I like YogaFit because they are structured like fitness classes (i.e., good warmup, work, then cool down), and because YogaFit classes offer several options for each pose so the student can pick the one that suits their ability. In most yoga classes I've attended, they went immediately to Down Dogs without warmups, or included several repetitions of unmodified Sun Salutations in a beginner class. When I was very overweight I attended one "beginner" yoga class like that, and it was humiliating. That class also went straight to full Tree pose, which was impossible for me, and the teacher offered no modifications.

Part of my yoga teacher training includes giving away 8 hours of free yoga classes in my community. I have already taught two classes and it is extremely gratifying to share yoga in an accessible format that can be individualized to each student's needs and abilities. I love seeing everyone leave with smiles on their faces. One student who I met in Weight Watchers requested that I provide a take-home sheet of the poses so she can work on them during the week.

This weekend I travel to Winston Salem to attend a Level 2 YogaFit class. I'm hoping to fit in a visit to Old Salem. Old Salem is a re-enactment village of an actual Moravian settlement in the area, with restored homes and shops from Colonial times. People in costume demonstrate traditional craftsmaking and trades, and the buildings look beautiful in the photos on their website.

Below are photos from the Level 1 teacher training I attended.