Tag Archives: Chanukah

Fun Times on Vacation back Home

24 Dec

So far, vacation has been a blast in so many ways. I’ve found that I’ve learned and re-realized so much already in this week home visiting family and friends that I thought I would list a few tidbits before Christmas day. (Can you tell that I really love lists?)

  • my parent’s dog can be super cute, and super annoying (but so can mine…)
  • I can out-eat most everyone in the family (excluding a brother and a few nephews)
  • the more pain I’m in the less I care what I’m telling people (have a question you really want an answer to? just wait until I’m in serious pain, you’ll get the most honest answer ever)
  • I really do have the most wonderful husband. He takes such good care of me
  • my piano is gorgeous and I really need to practice more
  • I can’t wait to get back to writing – I have all these stories percolating inside right now
  • all 9 nephews and 3 nieces are the cutest ever. in. the . whole . world.
  • i have a serious sweet tooth that refuses to be tamed
  • it cannot be Christmas season without decorating the house with my mom
  • dairy is a serious evil. (don’t touch it, Laura, it’s not worth it)
  • I have some of the coolest friends in the world
  • I frequently wake up just as tired as I was the night before
  • Christmas movies are the best
  • Celebrating Hanukkah is so much fun
  • I think this list is long enough, I’ll stop now……….

So far we’ve : gone to a live play that a friend starred in (go Andrea!), had a hanukkah party, a dance party, movie nights, lunch with nephews/sister in law, cribbage games galore, spent the night over at some friends’, baked up a storm and I can’t remember what all else! It has been a fantastic week overall and this one is just beginning! I really don’t know that I’ll get back on here before the new year, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year friends.

I look forward to getting back to posting regular and getting involved with my blogging buddies again. I have a growing list of things planned once the holidays are over but for now, I’m going to go find some juice full of veggies to help this upset stomach, turn the Christmas tree lights on and pretend that my body isn’t failing me.

Happy 7th night of Hanukkah and Christmas is only 3 days away  (Oh, and Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa and Mom and Dad!)

~Laura Starr

!(as you might have been able to tell, this was written earlier this week, on Sunday I believe, but due to some laptop difficulty and then busyness, this never got published! But, I decided to leave it as is, only remember that Christmas is tomorrow…. )

A quick update before Christmas!!!

9 Dec
I really enjoyed sharing what’s going on in my life with this little ‘form’ a few months ago so I decided to do it again! There are several links to go check stuff out so have fun!
Oh, and fair warning, Chanukah starts on the 16th (7 days away) and Christmas is in 15 days
photo courtesy of unsplash

photo courtesy of unsplash

  • making: my dog happy by giving her a bone – myself happy by getting the kitchen mostly cleaned… and getting a short story planned in my head
  • cooking:.contemplating some sort of soup using up the leftover turkey… perhaps crockpot chicken tortilla soup (obviously subbing out the chicken)
  • drinking: candy cane green tea
  • reading: The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott ; lots of blogs and tons of emails
  • wanting: to try out my samples of Jamberry Nails!
  • crafting: a few christmas presents
  • wishing: the pain to go away and i didn’t have to deal with figuring out what to do next ; that i had a hair dryer so i could try my nail samples!
  • enjoying: my OH being home and that my hair is finally long enough to put up in a bun with just a hairtie!
  • waiting: for some yummy food to magically appear in my fridge
  • liking:  hanging out with awesome friends, planning to-do’s when we are back in Bend
  •  wondering:  why i can’t seem to get enough of wasting time on pinterest
  • loving: sequin dresses, the fact i’m home in a week and the groups i’m involved in online
  • hoping: my new plan for getting my health back actually works
  • smelling: the bone i gave my dog so she’ll stop chewing on her hot spots *gag*
  • needing: a hug from my mom and dad, the pain to go away and a white christmas
  • wearing: rolled up jeans (because all jeans are apparently made for women 5foot 10in now) and a plaid flannel shirt
  • noticing:  i’m so blessed by my OH
  • thinking: im hungry…again…for the 3rd time today and it’s only 1:30pm
  • bookmarking:  chanukah decorations and recipes – i just created a board on pinterest, check it out here
  • thanking: my heavenly Father for sustaining me through my chronic pain – my family and friends for supporting me and my dog for taking naps ‘with’ me
  • giggling:  OH made gluten-dairy-chocolate-regular sugar-free brownies last night and they are yuummmmyyy
  • feeling: tired. hungry. excited.

Hidden Food Allergies

3 Dec

Happy December! 

I finally picked up my new book “Detecting Your Hidden Allergies” by William G. Crook, M.D. (great name for a guy, eh?? crook?)  last night and started from page 1 instead of jumping right to the chapter i’ve been wanting to read. And i’m so glad i did! Here’s what I learned from the book so far.

The word allergy is from two greek words – allos which means other and ergon which means work or action. Hence, an allergic person reacts to things that other people don’t. (Now, aren’t we special??)  I’m going to explain this in my words : what you develop an allergy to is termed an allergen – the substances in your body which react to the allergens are called antibodies. When they come together, reactions occur – histamines and other chemicals are released in your body. they make automatic muscles tighten and go into spasm; blood vessels to leak fluid; glands to put out mucus. (makes sense why i feel horrible…) 

Allergic reactions are like an iceberg – about 1/7 of them is seen above the water while the rest is submerged. And here are some of the indicators of hidden food allergies : 

  • Paleness -pale with bags or dark shadows under the eyes – that’s me!
  • Stomach pain – suspect hidden food allergies if also fatigued – that’s me!
  • Muscle and Joint Pain
  • Persistent Colds, Bronchitis, Asthma and ‘Sinus’ – that’s my OH!
  • Headaches – that’s me!
  • Urinary Problems – When one eats a food he’s allergic to “the muscular coat around the bladder contracts” – which makes the bladder smaller and keeps it from holding the normal amount of urine. – this one is a bit harder to admit to online, but this is me too. Not only did i cause myself problems in high school by not wanting to use the filthy public bathrooms and waiting until i got home, food allergies are wreaking havoc too!
  • Irritability and Nervousness – nervous system reactions are often food related
  • Fatigue – that’s me! i’ve been tired since i was an early teen. 

So i have 5 out of the 8 symptoms listed here! i couldn’t believe it! All these problems that i’ve been dealing with could very well be related to the food allergies i have. What frustrates me is that for almost 2 years now i’ve been on a diet cutting out any gluten, dairy, eggs, beef. and recently processed sugar. So why do i still have these symptoms? I am hoping to figure that out!

What else i learned : 

A lot of the foods that you are allergic to are ones you eat every day, so eat a rotated diet. It will help identify problem foods and prevent new food allergies from developing later on. I want to start implementing this as soon as life settles down for my OH and I. I have hopes that it will help with both of our digestion and keep us from cheating as we aren’t bored of the same old same old! 

Not sure what a rotated diet is? click here and read more!  http://www.20somethingallergies.com/what-is-a-rotation-diet-part-2/#more-1364

I am actually excited to read more on that blog, it looks like it has a lot of information for me as i get going on a rotated diet! Here are a few books that “Detecting Your Hidden Allergies”  talked about :

“Alternative Approach to Allergies” by Theron G. Randolph and Randy Moss

“Guess What’s Coming to Dinner” published by ASF in 1987  – both of these books are older so i’m hoping they are still in print and readily available! 

I have made it to the Chemical Problem chapter and am eager to read more! I will share more with you as i go along. 

Until next time – Happy Chanukah!



gluten free sufganiyot (jelly donuts) that my OH made! Yummy!





27 Nov

Two days til Thanksgiving!! Are you ready? Because i’m not! I am halfway through the multitude of pies that i’m making and then once they are done tomorrow I am going to get going on what we are taking for Thanksgiving. Let me explain – my family includes 2 parents, 5 siblings, 4 married-ins and 11 kiddos. All but 3 of those people are in town. So holidays are a bit overwhelming for one person to prepare for. Which is why we do a potluck! Everyone brings a few different items to share and voila! Fabulous holiday meal without one person slaving away all day. We do still meet at my parents’ house as it’s the only one big enough to -sort of – fit us all in. Thanksgiving Day will be a little different this year but it will still be crazy and fun. 

As it is also Chanukah this year, my OH and I are going to make latkes and teach the family to play Dreidel! We bought some little dreidels at the Chanukah Fair we went to a few weekends ago but still need the gold coins to be ready. I’m really hoping we don’t forget those! don’t know anything about dreidel? well, let me tell you  the history of it:

During the time of Antiochus, it was forbidden to study the Torah, Jewish people studied together in secret in caves. when they would hear a Greek soldier approach, they would hide their books and pretend they were playing with tops. We play dreidel (sevivon in Hebrew) on Chanukah as a reminder of these courageous people. The word ‘dreidel’ comes from the Yiddish word ‘drei‘ which means ‘turn’. The dreidels we now use have a letter on each of their four sides. : Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin. These stand for the words ‘ Ness Gadol Haya Sham’ which means ‘a great miracle happened there’, in reference to the Maccabees’ victorious victory.

(read more of this story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maccabean_Revolt  )


Seven hours have passed since i started this post! Yipes! And in that time nine pies have been made… 

Aside from all that fun – we are having my mom-in-law over for a brunch on Thanksgiving and now it’s time to figure out what we are making. I’ve pulled out my copy of ‘healthy cooking for the jewish home’ cookbook to hopefully find some traditional recipes that i can finagle to fit our allergies. it’ll be a busy day for sure! 

I hope all of you are all prepared and ready for the holiday and are able to fully enjoy those that you spend the day with. Be careful to not eat anything that is not allowed in your diet – or at least not too much of it! I admit, if there’s fudge there on Thursday, i’m having a piece. No way to deny that temptation. not even going to try it. 

Happy Thanksgiving all! And God bless.

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