I have many friends, all ages, who have trouble sleeping. They take Ambien, Tylenol PM, listen to music and books on tape and on and on to lull them back to sleep. The National Sleep Association says that 40 million Americans are not getting enough sleep. The first thing people do when they are suffering from lack of sleep is rush to their nearest pharmacy to buy over-the-counter pills or to their doctor for prescription drugs. I have a solution that may add to the equation of a proper night’s sleep.
I had been married a few years when I decided to purchase bright yellow linens with muted orange and yellow butterflies. I noticed, after using them a few times, I had trouble sleeping which was very strange because I am a great sleeper. It dawned on me that it was the brightly colored sheets. They were stimulating me. I stopped using them and my sleep returned to normal.
My theory: Your bedroom should be soothing to your eyes and create a serene environment. I suggest you observe your bedroom and make adjustments if you do not feel comfortable.
HERE ARE A FEW “GOOD” SUGGESTIONS
Our bedrooms should be uncluttered. When you enter the room your eyes should take in the whole space and not dart from one color to another.
- Use neutral colors in your bedroom. Use a matted paint on the walls and ceiling in the same color.
- Do not have tons of colorful pillows on your bed. Pillows are distracting. You want to feel peaceful.
- Buy soft sheets with a good thread count for comfort.
- Art on the wall should be quiet in colors. Photographs are perfect with organic art such as seashells, trees in a forest or pictures of the sea.
- Do not make the lighting too bright or distracting.
- Do not watch TV or browse your iPhone or iPad in bed. I know that it’s next to impossible! Use discipline.
My plan is all-natural and fun. Plus it is a great excuse to go shopping!
Do Something GOOD Today: Assess your bedroom. Is it a calming environment?
This year, Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It is an awesome occasion, in more ways than one, and creates within me a feeling that ‘this might be meant to be’. Two very important family holidays linked together for the same cause: Jews and Christians united for 24 hours to celebrate with their families and respect the different religious beliefs and customs of others might God be sending a message!
The last time this happened was in 1888. It will not happen again for another 70,000 years. So, take note, and discuss religious freedom at your holiday dinner table with family and friends. Grammas, speak as the matriarch of your family to your children and grandchildren and make your difference while you savor a delicious “Thanksgivukkah” recipe:
CHALLAH (HANUKKAH)-APPLE STUFFING (THANKSGIVING)
As a Jewish matriarch, I can vow for challah, a Jewish bread. It is most delicious. How could it not be: It was conceived almost 4,000 years ago and still exists. Combined with an apple stuffing, it makes for a great way to honor both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.
2 1/2 loaves challah
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced green onion
2 cups peeled and diced yellow delicious apples
8 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
6 sprigs marjoram, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
9×13 inch baking dish
Cut challah into 1-inch cubes and sit out on a baking tray, uncovered, for 6 hours to make them stale.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and celery. Add 3 teaspoons of salt and ground pepper to taste and simmer about 8 minutes until onions are soft. Then add apples and herbs and cook until apples are soft, about 5 minutes more.
In a large bowl, combine challah cubes with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until the bread is saturated with liquid and everything is mixed. Press stuffing into a 9×13 baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, then remove the foil, raise your oven to 450°F and cook stuffing uncovered for another 10 minutes, or until the top becomes slightly browned.
Cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Do Something GOOD Today: Teach your grandchildren the significance of your family customs and traditions. Tell them stories about when you were a child.
Grammas, with winter holidays around the corner, this is the perfect time to teach our children the value of giving and the importance of showing empathy for children less fortunate than them. In the process, they will learn how giving to others can make them feel good, too.
Our grandchildren certainly have older toys in their ‘personal warehouse’ of games, books, dolls, trucks and tanks that no longer interest them, coupled with the new gifts from parents, grandparents and siblings. So this is the perfect time to practice what you preach.
Talking is the first part of the giving process – next there must be action! Ask your grandchildren to take you to their room for the purpose of going through their older toys. Make sure you do the sorting together, as you will be there to mention the ‘spirit of giving’ again. Then empower them to personally choose the toys they want to ‘share’ with children less fortunate than themselves. And then discuss that goodness toward others is an important value to carry with them the rest of their lives. You’ll also want to share with them that making other children happy should make them happy. You will be the gramma that starts the process of teaching charity to your grandchildren.
I would take the process one step further: Box the toys together and make a date with your grandchild or grandchildren to donate the toys to a church, thrift shop or synagogue. Participating in the giving process is the most important part.
Reinforce your grandchildren’s actions by going for hot fudge sundaes and telling them how proud you are that they have just experienced the value of goodwill toward their fellow unknown friends. How happy they will make them feel. How happy they have made themselves feel.
Do something GOOD today: Practice what you preach. Sort through your closet and donate items you haven’t worn in a year.
As the holidays approach, cold weather will keep many of us indoors, and the risk of catching a cold or the flu skyrockets. I know the last thing I want to deal with during the holidays is a fever, sore throat, or constant sneezing! There are wise actions you can take to help prevent the spread of germs. Please share them with your children and grandchildren. Sometimes we forget how easily germs are spread. Here are some protective measures:
1. Stay home when you are sick. You will need your rest, and this will also prevent you from spreading your germs to others.
2. Wash your hands often. About 80% of infectious diseases are spread by touch. Scrub your hands well with soap and water for 20 seconds – about as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
3. Throw away used tissues.
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
5. Keep surfaces clean.
Frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, counters and phone handsets should be regularly sanitized. Follow label instructions when using disinfectants and cleaners.
Grammas, do you have any tips to share?
Do Something GOOD Today: Carry a pocket-sized antibacterial gel for when you cannot wash hands with soap and water.