Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Photo Recap

And there was one series of photos I especially loved.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Finals Stress by Proxy

Every year. Every single year. My college students and all the other college students I know and love make the first couple of weeks in December hard. I know they are going to think it's hard for them, but it's because they can't hear themselves:

My daughter just posted this photo with this as her status:  You know it's gonna be a rough week when you have to write "shower" (followed by a question mark) on your calendar. #gradschoolprobs #finalsweek #almostthere

Another recent one: 

Staring at a computer screen for 10+ hours at a time. Eating once a day. Crying in public. Clearly, the end of the semester is here. — at University of Memphis.

Here are a couple from the daughters of friends: 

Sometimes during the stress of finals I think to myself, "I'd be totally ok if Jesus came back right now." #finalsweek 

The toll of finals week has finally caught up to me... I just tried using my liquid face soap as shampoo. #finals #needsleep #almostover #onemoreday #delusional #needprayer

The worst year was the one where she had a wreck the week of finals. I had to drive her to and from all her classes. She whined. She complained. She criticized my driving. There was a mobile wailing and gnashing of teeth. The parents I know whose kids are away at school cringe when the phone rings. No one wants to answer it only to hear "I'm going to (pick one) die, fail, quit, give up, or become a migrant farm worker."

Hang in there, mom it's almost over.

You'll pass with flying colors.

Oh, and maybe it's a strictly female phenomenon. My son tweeted this last night:

 Brian Eno & Coffee. studying aint that bad.

Good. Can you call your sister and talk her off the ledge? 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cold Remedy in a Cup

Turmeric, ginger, peppercorns
We are about to enter full blast into cold and flu season. In my area we are bracing for an ice storm. Here's what to stock up on to be prepared.

Western medicine sends us off to the cold/flu aisle at the drugstore for something full of ingredients we can't pronounce when we don't feel well. Eastern tradition tells us we might be better off in the spice aisle at the grocery. 

 Right before my daughter's wedding she came down with a dreadful cold. My friend, and fellow blogger The Food Maven sent me a recipe for a cure. It seems her mother was traveling in Ireland and was in a pub with a cold (her, not the pub). The owner, a man from India, suggested a spoonful of turmeric and honey. Mommy Maven followed the advice and was all better the next day! My daughter got better so I never did make it. Earlier this week I was feeling a bit under the weather myself and decided to try it out, but you know I had to do some research first.

I came across many variations on several websites, they all seem to differ slightly. I liked one posted by blogger Arun Shanbhag, who remembers his grandmother making this for him.

I prefer to cook it on the stove
Here is the link to his blog post: Turmeric Milk: Soothing Elixir, in which he explains the history and science behind this potion. I changed a couple of things. I'm a firm believer in the power of green tea (Read about the health benefits here) so I made power packed infusion (1 family size tea bag to 1/4 C. water) to mix the turmeric in instead of water. I didn't have fresh ginger on hand but I did have some of the dried/candied sort, and I used coconut milk because dairy products are known to increase mucus production, something we are trying to lessen, and have other negative side effects for many. In an update on his site Arun added this comment: "Scientists have demonstrated that when curcumin is ingested along with a peppercorn extract, the ability of our body to absorb and utilize curcumin increases dramatically, up to 2000%. "

I made a cup complete with peppercorns and took it at bedtime. I woke up feeling much better, and yes--energized! So I'm a convert. The dried ingredients premixed would make a great gift for a friend who's suffering from a cold. The fact that it's home made and wasn't concocted by a pharmaceutical company is comforting in its own way. Here's my version but the internet is full of ways to tweak it; find one that you like.

The Housewife's Recipe:

1/4 C of very strong green tea
1/2 ts turmeric
Power it up with peppercorns! Delicious!

1 ts candied ginger
1 ts honey
a few peppercorns, whole
a mug of coconut milk

Dissolve turmeric in hot green tea, add to milk with ginger, honey, and peppercorns and stir over medium heat until hot. Let sit for 5 minutes before drinking.

Cheers to your health!

*Of course if you have a fever or cough that doesn't go away you should see a doctor.