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My Takeaways from Chanukah Music


While lighting the first candle of the Chanukah menorah this evening, my husband sang the traditional hymn “Maoz Tsur” song with my accompaniment on the piano.  After the guys left  to eat the latkes, I continued, playing almost the entire book of Chanukah music. Chanukah is a holiday that holds a great deal of meaning for me, and so it’s no coincidence that its music puts me into a good mood. Although there aren’t oodles of  songs out there for Chanukah, the Chanukah songs we sing are representative of deep and relevant themes.  Catchy melodies are set in major keys, evoking a peppy, uplifting and happy spirit. Growing up in NY I heard Christmas Holiday songs while shopping with my mom during the winter holidays season,.  These childhood memories come in handy nowadays as a music therapist, when I sing and play music in nursing homes.  After all, my gentile clients are not so interested in Hava Nagila or Chanukah songs.  Why should they be? So … Continue reading


My Grandmother Persona


My posts online about my grandchildren, my book about becoming a mom-in-law and a grandmother, and my Facebook page with  the ubiquitous images of my grandsons may give people the idea that I’m a Stay-at-Home Grandmother. FB friends may think I’m  the always available and hands-on grandmother who sits down on the floor and plays legos, chess, checkers  and Tinker-toys. Or maybe readers of my articles imagine  I’m the type of Grandma who babysits at a moment’s notice, takes care of the kids while their parents go on vacation, or gives them baths and does homework. Well, I’m none of the above – for sure not on any steady or regular basis. Or it could be they envision I’m that type who sits on the rocking chair and knits blankets, talks about the good ol’ days and then gets up and bakes a whole batch of cookies with the kids. Does she look like me? Nope. People (who haven’t read my book) may even think I’m the sort of Grandma who … Continue reading


Helicopter Musings


I’ve been blogging on this grandmother/bubby blog for a little over three years, and have noticed that the “most searched for” phrases when reaching my blog seems to be “helicopter moms,” or “helicopter grandparents,” which leads me to believe one of two things: a) I write a lot about that topic, and/or b) grandparents are interested in that topic. In any case, if I have thought I was a helicopter grandparent when I became a grandmother 8 years ago (wow, hard to believe it’s been that long), I realize I’m still grappling with my tendency toward helicopter parenting. Never mind grand-parenting. A few weeks ago, my husband and I sent off our youngest son to Israel for yeshiva. This is our little child – our baby – you know the one I gave birth to years ago who is so cute that I still want to pinch his cheeks? Yep. That one. Actually, based on my history as a devoted, sometimes nagging, … Continue reading


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Just Knead it!)


Last week our city of Los Angeles – along with many other locations – held the epic   “Great Big Challah Bake.” Many women from all over our city gathered together in a huge room to mix the ingredients of “challah” together (flour, water, salt, sugar, oil, yeast). Together as a group, we each kneaded our dough, and then separate a piece off while making the special blessing. This is considered a “mitzvah” or good deed that Jewish women do each week in preparation for the Shabbos. The purpose of the event was to kick off a weekend called The Shabbos Project. This was the first part of a weekend of togetherness where Jewish families from all walks of life celebrated Shabbat together from Friday at sundown till Saturday at sundown. Although  I don’t make challah every week for Shabbos, I make it often enough.  But something about the experience at that “Great Big Challah Bake” inspired me. The experience – the kneading – was … Continue reading


Are We Jump Start Responders?


This morning I saw an article online published about a month ago that  piqued my interest. The photo of the smiling elderly lady on my Facebook feed plus the headline and the stamp of 20 or more likes and hundreds of comments were enough to get me to read the article. I love reading pieces about anything that even remotely has to do with seniors and elderly. Born in Basement and Never Left.  The photo’s caption was “Lived her entire life since the day she was born on West 135th street…” As I often do, I skimmed through some of the comments. “What? She lived there her entire life? She never left the house? The basement? Huh?” “That’s so sad. Oh no.” A few more of the comments were about how sad or how terrible it was that this hermit of a woman would stay in her home for her entire life. And suddenly I lost my taste for reading this article. I wasn’t … Continue reading


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