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Chanukah

A Chanukah Success Story

Our Chanukah dinner was a big success.  A bunch of mostly adults acting like children, drinking wine, and having a great time. A few people learned a bit, lit menorahs, and I think with the help of my piano teacher sang a fun celebratory Hebrew song. The menu was a hit with homemade gluten free schnitzel, apple sauce noodle kugel, carrot tzimmis and potato latkes.  For desert we had homemade gluten free rugaluch, macaroons, chocolate cake and jelly donuts. We played dreidel (some guests had SERIOUS beginners luck!) and visited with our friends who learned that they were neighbors… living literally down the street from one another!

dinner menorahsWhen we all lit the menorahs the dining room looked so pretty, but man did it get hot!

Cooking all day did take a toll on my toes, but it was worth it. My tooth has basically stop hurting which I am so thankful for. During all of this I am trying to plan a wedding and our yearly crazy huge community style Passover seder.

I’ve stopped thinking about when the NY Times will publish the article. I need to live my life as though it isn’t of any consequence at all. Because ultimately I have had almost 30 years of indifference, disbelief and disgust to deal with so nothing has ultimately changed.

NormalAppImage(3)Our trip to New York is around the corner and I can’t wait.  My fiancee will get to see the Rockefeller tree for the first time and all the Christmas windows and lights.  Most importantly MACY’s who has devoted this years’ windows to Peanuts’ 50th Anniversary, and she is a Snoopy fanatic. (Check out this link for some great pics of the windows: http://www.amny.com/lifestyle/macy-s-holiday-windows-a-charlie-brown-christmas-theme-for-the-50th-anniversary-of-peanuts-1.11121486) For me, tickets to The Color Purple with Jennifer Hudson – one of my most favorite Broadway shows (we are both going of course).  And… getting to eat at SMAC – where I can have custom made gluten free macaroni and cheese!  When you can no longer enjoy real NY Pizza, this is a huge deal.

When we get home I then start preparing for our Christmas party, LOL… you know although its hectic and crazy I love the holidays, and celebrating all sorts of things with family and friends. If you are reading this I hope you have somebody to celebrate something with; regardless of who it is or what you are celebrating, we must realize how lucky we are to have this opportunity. So many on this planet do not.

I still have not gotten back to the gym and the clothing is starting to feel tighter.  I am so busy and I cant seem to find the motivation like I did in the past to get up at the crack of dawn to work on my body.  I KNOW it needs to happen, and I use the excuse of my toes, or my exhaustion, or my teeth.  I need to quit with the excuses and get back on the bandwagon with each passing day it gets more difficult.

Ny in txI know I will be moving a lot in NY so that has me hopeful. There is this huge part of me that hopes we get stuck there, LOL.  I cant afford to get stuck there, but man would it be nice. It’s still my home and I miss it everyday.

I Need to Quit Being Broken…

My toes, my teeth, my budget… Sitting at the dentist, terrified of both the procedure and the bill.  I honestly hate the dental industry and dental insurance is a joke. I think it’s covering less than a third of the total cost. This just sucks all the way around. IMG_20151207_090558

All I can say is when this is over I’d better feel better. I wish I had the money to pull each and every tooth and put in implants. Genetically speaking I was blessed with horrible teeth and gums. Oh well, can’t win em’ all.

Almost two hours later…still need another hour and a half worth of work. He couldn’t completely clean out the root, so I take antibiotics, go back in a few weeks to finish, and then another visit three weeks later for the fitting of permanent crowns.  Gonna rest this afternoon and get started with Chanukah dinner preparations. The nitrous oxide relaxes me, and kinda brings we a weird heightened awareness while I’m under. I can remember thinking all sorts of things, and felt each muscle when it tightened which was a blessing because it allowed me to relax as necessary.

I had an audition Sunday, which if I get will be absolutely hilarious as my toes were hurting, and my tooth was killing me.  But, I needed to get back out there. I’m back in sneakers and they are pretty comfortable.  The toes are still a bit swollen, but overall the recovery has not been bad. I hope I can say the same about the tooth. If you are reading, keep your thoughts positive for my audition… and my tooth – LOL.

The first night of Chanukah was nice and hoping for 7 more.  Looking forward to the dinner, enjoying a good meal and some tradition with friends. I found a gluten free recipe for sufganiot (jelly donuts), keep your thoughts positive on that one too!

Holidays are really hard on the waistline, but I am trying to take things in moderation and think I am ready to get back to exercising. Some people only have Thanksgiving and Christmas and others only Thanksgiving and Chanukah, my lucky ass gets to have all three to eat my way through. At least by being the cook for the meals I can control what is served, the harder part is the portion control. With any luck it will be back to the gym on Wednesday.

Chanukah, Music and Memories

toothacheWell I may have found an inadvertent way to lose the extra pounds I put on… its called a massive toothache. I know this is not the ideal or healthy way to lose the weight, but I honestly cant bear eating anything right now. I don’t seem to be able to put anything remotely solid in my mouth, and when anything at all goes near the lower left side I see stars. Far more painful then these post surgery toes. Its like the entire left side of my face hurts. Now, I absolutely hate the dentist – petrified to be exact. On every level the dentist is terrifying. The sounds, the smells, the pain, the bill… I know I need to go and an appointment has been made. But I am really scared. I see the dentist on Monday.

Today I mulled over a playlist for our Chanukah dinner. It brought back a lot of memories. The Hebrew music feels like it is so much a part of who I am, but at the same time like part of another lifetime. A particular song came flooding back in. I remember walking up the stairs of the YU girls dormitory, and hearing three or more beautiful voices harmonizing together. I remember that I wanted so much to be a part of that, but when I walked by the music stopped. It happened more than once so then when I heard it I would stop where I was on the stairs just to listen. I can only remember part of the song now, but it’s a song rattled with emotion. It reminds me of how separate I felt for so many years, detached and afraid of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.

Those fears all came back a few weeks ago when the New York Times journalist contacted me. Who do I trust? How can I be sure people are who they say they are? They weren’t in the past. The web of lies and betrayal grew and grew. Now as an adult having generalized anxiety disorder these memories feed my fears, and stir up that familiar paranoia.

Classic-Latkes-Applesauce-2But my playlist is complete for the most part, and I am looking forward to sharing it with all my friends who are so curious and have never attended a Chanukah celebration. I’ll be finalizing the menu over the weekend and getting the requisite groceries. I will prepare a fairly traditional meal with latkes, maybe some schnitzel and other fried treats. I am going to see if I can find a gluten free recipe for jelly doughnuts (traditional Chanukah treat – sufganiyot in Hebrew). Who knows if I will be able to eat anything given that the dinner is the day after the dentist!2012-12-06-sufganiyot-586x322

We will all light menorahs, play dreidel, eat latkes and maybe I’ll teach them a song. The song I’d like to teach is a song about miracles in general. This song is sung on many Jewish holidays as many celebrate miraculous events. Maybe a YouTube video is in our future!

Al Hanissim – עַל הַנִּסִּים

Al hanissim, v’al hapurkan, v’al hag’vurot v’al hat’tshuot v’al hamilchamot sh’asita lavoteinu bayamim hahem baz’man hazeh. עַל הַנִּסִּים, וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן, וְעַל הַגְּבוּרוֹת, וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעוֹת, וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמוֹת, שֶׁעָשִֽׂיתָ לַאֲבוֹתֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Al Hanissim – Pronunciation Guide (Transliteration):

Ahl hah-nee-seem vih-ahl hah-poor-kahn
vih-ahl hah-g,voo- rote vih-ahl hah- t’shoo- oat
vih-ahl hah-meel-chah- moht sheh-ah-see-tah lah-voh-tay-noo
bah- yah-meem hah- hAYm bah- zmahn hah- zeh

Translation:

(We thank you) For the miracles, and for the victory
For the wonders and for the deliverances,
And for the wars (Which) You did for our ancestors In those days at this time.

Here is a wonderful version that I love sung a cappella.

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