Semi-Off Topic: Shared Joy – Happy Mother’s Day, Lag B’Omer & The Egg

Shared Joy: Happy Mother’s Day, Lag B’Omer & The Egg

Recently, in addition to being time challenged, I have been life challenged.

I am always dispensing advice and providing comfort to people in distress who are suffering.

Unlike many of my patients, who have mood disorders, I am not an emotionally volatile person. If I am in a bad mood, then chances are, there is a specific reason. But, I also practice rigorous self-care. All of the tools and techniques that I provide to my patients, I practice myself. Coping and maintaining a positive attitude is a daily mental discipline.

I am grateful for the disciplines that I practice. This past year has been particularly stressful, and these past few months have been even more so.

One unfortunate side effect is that I have been unable to blog recently. I find blogging creative and fun. It is so nice to finally have this opportunity to connect and share with everyone again. I have missed it!

 

There are too many wonderful celebrations today for me not to post. Today is Mother’s Day, as well as the holiday, Lag B’Omer.

Lag B’Omer is a festive day, which celebrates the passing of the great sage and mystic, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar. It also commemorates the end of a semi-mourning period. During the weeks between Passover (which just passed) and Shavuot (which will be occurring in about 2 weeks) there was a plague that occurred in which many of the students of Rabbi Akiva (teacher of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai) passed away. The reason for the plague was because “the students did not act respectfully towards each other.”

On Lag B’Omer, the deaths ceased, and the period of mourning ended.

 

LOL! On Lag BaOmer, we also light bonfires.

The theme of this holiday is about loving and respecting people — even if you do not agree with them. It highlights the destructiveness of having one’s ego invested in being right, at the expense of the relationship or preserving the dignity and honor of another person.

Since the mourning practices are suspended, Lag B’Omer also happens to be a very popular day to get married.  Unbelievably, today would have been my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.

Today is Mother’s Day too. As I have shared in the past, my mother has always been very ambivalent about Mother’s Day.

This year, my mother called to thank us for the flowers we sent her. My mother yet again confirmed her ambivalence for what she calls a “Hallmark Holiday.” My mother said, “Everyday should be Mother’s Day. We should treat our loved ones nicely all of the time.”

I thought her comments dovetailed nicely with the theme of Lag B’Omer.

 

Yaffa is a happy camper. The words mean “like 1 person with 1 heart.” Meaning, we are all united and share each other’s joys and sorrows.

 

In keeping with her iconoclastic ideas, my mother has also informed me that she no longer wants to receive flowers for Mother’s Day. Instead, she is requesting that the money spent on flowers should be donated to a charity of our choice. What a nice idea!  I just had to share it with everyone!

Yaffa ate a hard-boiled egg for the first time!

However, the coup de grace for today is that Yaffa ate a hard-boiled egg for the first time. It took a lot of cajoling and effort, but she did it!  We are so proud!

So, happy Mother’s Day to everyone, Happy Lag B’Omer, and congratulations Yaffa!

It is good to be back.

Rosh Hashanah – Pressing the Reset Button on Life

Rosh Hashanah – Pressing the Reset Button on Life

roshhashanahshofar

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year begins tonight. It is a 2 day holiday, rich with symbolism and meaning.

On this blog, I like to highlight the Jewish holidays in order to provide a larger context for the role of food within the Jewish culture and religion.  Naturally, I am only speaking from a personal perspective, based on my own understanding. I am not an expert!

On Rosh Hashanah, we do “teshuva” for any of the mistakes that we made during the year.

The word “teshuva” which is commonly translated as “repentance” literally means “return.”

On this holiday, we have an opportunity to reset our spiritual connection to God. We identify and attempt to correct our mistakes, and reconnect and return our souls back to their original and pure connection of our Source — God.

The analogy that I like to use is the “factory reset button” on a cell phone. The function of the “factory reset button” is to return your cell phone to its original pristine condition when you first bought it. This function enables us to remove any software errors that one may have acquired over the lifetime and use of the phone. We have an opportunity to start with a clean slate.

So too with us.

On this holiday, we have an opportunity to repent and seek to repair any of our errors, misjudgments or miscalculations. Through the process of teshuva, on Rosh Hashana we return and reconnect to our inner essence which is created in God’s image. We have the opportunity to transform ourselves into better people.

Just for fun, I thought I would post this video in honor of this auspicious time of year. I had another one, but unfortunately, I do not seem to be able to upload it.😕


If anyone would like to read more of my thoughts on this holiday, I wrote something on my other blog, coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com.  Here is the link:

https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/elulfeeling-believing-knowing/

May we all be inscribed in the book of life and be granted a year filled with health, happiness and positive growth.

With blessings,

Carol & family.

rosh-hashanah

 

DIY Hair Conditioner Recipe 

This week I experimented with making homemade hair conditioner.

My husband jokes that I am really “Miss Moosewood” — a reference to the popular cookbooks originally written by Mollie Katzen.

So, in my travels through Pinterest, I found this recipe for homemade hair conditioner.

It is surprisingly easy, fast and it works!

Essentially, this recipe is coconut oil, emulsified in water with xanthum gum.

There is a difference between using this and regular conditioners. 

The first time I used it, my hair, which is thick and curly, came out great. Raizel fell in love with it right away. But, she is a curly girl like me. 

Yaffa, on the other hand, woke up with greasy looking hair.

The next time I used it, I used much less. Yaffa’s hair came out looking shiny and beautiful. My hair also came out soft and manageable. 

So, more is not better and use sparingly!

Ingredients 

2/3 cup water. Distilled water is recommended as it has fewer impurities. I am sure it’s true, but since this was a first time experiment, I used boiled bottled water instead.

1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted. Since I used boiled water, it melted in the water. The amount can vary depending on how dry your hair is.

1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum. The original recipe called for guar gum. But, xanthum gum was available in a little small packet at my local supermarket, so I used that instead.

Optional: essential oils of your choice. 

Instructions 

Place ingredients in container. Using an immersion blender, mix until well blended.

Store in a container of your choice. I am using an old shampoo bottle.

According to Brittany, this should only be made in small batches. It usually only lasts for up to a month. 

Since I didn’t use distilled water and there are no preservatives, it remains to be seen how long this batch will last. 

In general, I do not like the smell of coconut. Nevertheless, I didn’t add essential oils, which could give it a more pleasant smell. Maybe next time, if this experiment is successful?

Here are the pictures:

blending in immersion blender

final outcome in bottle with some of the ingredients and utensils

Overall, this has been a successful experiment. 

It is fast and easy, all natural, no chemicals, dyes or preservatives and uses easily available ingredients  

Raizel declared it “awesome!” However, she would like essential oils added to make it smell nicer.

Thank you Brittany for this great recipe!

Enjoy!

Reference 

http://pistachioproject.com/2012/03/homemade-conditioner.html

If anyone is interested in the cookbook by Mollie Katzen, here is a link:

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention: Fast & Easy DIY Facial Scrub & Deodorant

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention: Fast & Easy DIY Facial Scrub & Deodorant

 

Necessity is truly the mother of invention. I am visiting my mother in Toronto now. I traveled by myself and left the girls home with my husband. Risqué, without a doubt.

But, no matter how old I get, going home to Mom, is going HOME. I packed my bag, and traveled very lightly. I figured any toiletry items that I might need would surely be available at Mom’s.

Well, times change.

I think that I am growing up, but I forget that my mother is growing old.


When I got here, I saw that she did not have any facial scrub. Why would she? She doesn’t use it.

And, Mom lives alone now. She has only one stick of deodorant. At this stage of the game, Mom is not too comfortable sharing.

So, I decided to make fast and easy DIY Facial Scrub & Deodorant.

Fast & Easy DIY Facial Scrub

Ingredients:

1-part sugar

1-part baking soda

1-part borax

Optional: by mistake, I added 1-part coarse salt (Kosher salt). It still worked.

Instructions:

Blend together and store in a covered jar. I used an empty pill bottle.

To use: pour into palm of your hand. Add enough water to desired consistency, and gently apply to face using small circular motions.

Rinse well.

When I came out of the shower, my skin felt very smooth. My mother has agreed to try it during her shower, and she will give me her personal opinion.

For fun I made this picture:


Fast & Easy DIY Deodorant

Ingredients:

1-part corn starch (any starch is good, but this is what was available.)

1-part baking soda

Instructions:

Blend together and store in a covered jar. I used an empty pill bottle.

To use: pour into palm of your hand, and apply as needed. It would have been nice to use a make up sponge, but, since I didn’t have one, I made do.

Just for fun, I made this picture as well:


Voila, fast and easy DIY beauty supplies. They are practically edible and no additives, preservatives or chemicals. Both look the same too: white. So, be sure to label the container so that you can tell them apart.

I was pleased with the outcome. Simple and easy, and I only used easily available ingredients.

Mom and I are cooking in the kitchen together now. It is so nice.

I am so happy that I could get away and spend some alone time with just her. I treasure these moments.

Enjoy!