JJ had a CT Scan scheduled for this morning. He has to have scans every few months to make sure the cancer is truly gone and has not reappeared. None of us slept very well in anticipation of this appointment. JJ didn’t sleep well because he’s been dreading yet another medical procedure, I didn’t sleep well because I was concerned that I would oversleep–I am responsible for getting us all up and ready. I think that EJ didn’t get enough sleep because it was just too early for him to get up, since he works second shift.
We enjoyed the drive to the center where JJ has his CT Scans. The day was beautiful with blue skies, warmish (with underlying coolness) autumn temperatures, and trees touched here and there with color. We have not yet seen the peak colors of autumn, but the trees grow more beautiful every day.
After JJ signed in at the reception area in the general waiting room of the imaging center, we were taken back to the inner waiting room where he had to drink two bottles of delicious barium shakes :p JJ and I tend to lapse into comedy whenever we are in a medical waiting room. I believe that laughing helps distract from unpleasant procedures and relieves stress. I took pictures of JJ drinking the awful shakes. I think his expressions of distaste and his lighthearted threats of breaking my camera are humorous. They make us both laugh. While waiting for JJ to be called back for his scan, we heard a bird thud against the window. JJ said, “I wonder why birds fly into windows?” I replied, “Maybe you could become a bird psychologist and figure out why.” He rolled his eyes, “Yeah, like that would be a career in high demand.” I responded with, “Well, owls could certainly use a psychologist.” “Why owls?” JJ asked. “Because they are always asking “Who? Who? They are obviously confused.” JJ said, “Yeah, because they have Owls-heimer’s Disease.” We cracked up. (We were laughing at the pun, not at Alzheimer’s, which is a terrible disease.)
EJ seemed to be dozing in his chair, but he suddenly was holding up a strand with a small worm dangling from it. The worm was roughly the size of a piece of rice. EJ said, “I was just sitting here and this little worm slid down in front of my eyes. I think it was on my hat.” He went over and carefully lowered it in the corner of the room near a small stool. I asked him why he didn’t just throw it away in the wastebasket. He declared that he was NOT going to throw the worm away. “Now the worm is going to start a riot,” I warned. EJ said, “That little worm is not going to start a riot.” “Yes it is, ” I insisted. “It’s going to gradually make its way over to the chairs and crawl up on some lady or girl. She is going to be like me and start screaming. The people in the other waiting room are going to hear the terrified shrieking and they will think something terrible is happening, so they will run out of the building in fear. See? A riot.” Laugh.
Every time we go to this place for a CT Scan,. I think of the first time we came here with JJ. It was last year on Halloween. We could hear a constant awful moaning and groaning every time someone passed a motion detection Halloween decoration somewhere in the inner rooms where the patients disappeared for their procedures. It was creepy but also kind of funny. We kept laughing that that was absolutely not the type of decoration for a medical place.
Anyway, JJ survived today’s CT Scan although the barium shake has made him feel less than well. As we drove home, I called ahead to our favorite Chinese restaurant for takeout. I have it on speed dial. The Chinese restaurant is on our route home and the food was ready by the time we arrived. Whenever JJ has a medical procedure, we always try to stop somewhere–usually the Chinese restaurant–as a way to give him something good to look forward to and enjoy.
After we ate, JJ went to bed and I prepared dough for Challah bread. I set it aside to rise and then I took Danny for his walk. His hair was still slightly damp from the bath I gave him yesterday afternoon. I don’t bathe him very often because he doesn’t like baths–although he patiently endures them. He is a very patient dog. But, also, his hair is so thick and so strange that it takes forever to dry.
When we got back from our walk, I punched down the Challah dough and then I dozed on the couch while the dough rose a second time. I made the Challah bread today because Rosh Hashanah began last night at sunset, which is celebrated for one day within Israel and two days outside Israel. The name means “Head of the Year.” It is the first day of the Jewish year. It is also considered to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in G‑d’s world. Rosh Hashanah emphasizes the special relationship between G‑d and humanity: our dependence upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, and G‑d’s dependence upon us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. Jewish traditions state that at that time the world is judged for the coming year. Jews read the Torah and say prayers asking for a good year and declaring God’s kingship over the world. The shofar (ram’s horn) is blown (Leviticus 23:24; Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 33b-34a), symbolically heralding God’s kingship, and calling to mind the covenant of Isaac (see Genesis ch.22). Festive meals are held in the home, and traditional foods (such as the well-known apple dipped in honey) are eaten to symbolize a sweet year. (To read more about this holiday, and its prophetic signifiance for those who believe Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah, click here.)
On Rosh Hashana, a round Challah bread is made to symbolize the beginning of a new year. It is sometimes braided to resemble a crown to symbolize G-d’s kingship. I have never made a round Challah bread before, but I decided I’d try it this year. I had originally thought to make small, individual-sized Challah breads–about the size of cinnamon rolls. However, I also wanted to fill the dough with apples, raisins, honey, and cinnamon, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get the strands small enough for individual Challah, so I decided to make two large loaves instead. I made a fancier design to resemble crowns. They turned out beautifully. I always feel like such a skilled artist when I make Challah bread. Besides Challah, we will have apples slices to dip into honey. We will also say blessings and wish each other a sweet year ahead. We plan to keep our celebration quite simple this year. I really love the Biblical holidays because they are so filled with deep meaning for the Jew, and also for the Christian.
I also have been blowing my shofar. (Click to read about the importance of the shofar). I cannot make the shofar sound good. However, I am the only one in my family that can make any sound come from the shofar at all, so it’s a talent I am quite proud of.
Since we were so busy today, we plan to eat the Challah and apples and honey tomorrow morning. However, the Challah looks so good that I am not sure we will be able to wait.