In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 25, 2006 / 25 Teves, 5766

Painting looks easy if Debbie's in charge

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It doesn't happen this way on HGTV. I'm standing in the middle of the bedroom shared by my two teenage daughters. In my hand is a paint roller that may, at any second, drip onto the beige-colored carpeting.

"Quick! Get a rag," I yell.

The paint at the base of the roller grows into an elongated droplet. Slowly, threateningly, it is pulled by gravity, thinning into a delicate drizzle that lands on my cupped hand.

At last, one of my daughters appears with a towel that from this moment on will reside in the ragbag rather than the bathroom closet from which it came. Disaster has been averted, but this is just the first coat. There's still time to ruin the rug.

Painting the bedroom seemed like a great idea yesterday. Caught up in a home-improvement frenzy, my girls and I trekked confidently down the center aisle of our local Home Depot store, where rack after rack of index-card-size paint samples offered the promise of a perky new environment.

Katie and Betsy wanted a color that would scream from floor to ceiling, "Teenagers live here." They chose lime green.

I never would have agreed to this shade except that they promised if I let them paint the room lime green, they would make their beds every morning and hang their clothes instead of dropping them all over the floor. (A woman can dream, can't she?)

But that was yesterday, under the fluorescent lights of the "custom color center."

Now, with the 60-watt bulbs in the fixture above my head shedding muted illumination across what previously was an unobjectionable wallscape ("boring" according to the girls), I'm thinking there was a reason I painted this room beige. At least it was calming.

Beige is not for teens — so say my daughters. They needed something bright, cheerful, young and cool. They need a strong color, a vibrant shade to go with their equally upbeat and colorful teenage lives.

And it's not as if lime green popped up out of nowhere. There's a tiny bit of pale green in the quilts that will remain on their beds no matter how fervently my daughters beg for new ones to go with their hip new decor.

It's not a lot of green, though. You have to hold the quilt up next to the wall to find the match, and even then, it's a bit of a stretch.

Still, stretching was what this redecorating project was all about.

We got the idea to repaint while watching an episode of "Debbie Travis' Face Lift" on HGTV. Debbie is the smart, sassy interior designer who specializes in faux paint finishes.

The "Face Lift" concept has Debbie conspiring with a spouse or friend of an unsuspecting homeowner who conveniently leaves town for a few days. Upon returning, the loved one discovers a completely renovated space, courtesy of Debbie and her tireless team of carpenters, painters and various other minions.

Among the offerings on HGTV, "Face Lift" is one of our favorites. This is partly because of Debbie's creative designs, but also because Debbie is just plain likable. My girls like her because she's the cool mom every teenager wishes her mother could be.

Debbie and her crew effortlessly remodel an entire home in less time than it takes me to choose between glossy and eggshell latex finishes. Throughout the show, Debbie picks her way through piles of paint cans and lumber, sawhorses and power tools, all the while narrating the swift and steady progress of her evolving vision.

Watching the show, we decided that if Debbie and her crew could successfully transform another "dated, dreary space," so could we.

But nobody on "Face Lift" ever screams, "Get a rag!"

They don't float paintbrushes in the paint tray (handle and all).

They don't argue over who gets to use the good roller.

They never put the wall color on the ceiling.

And they never wonder aloud if they chose the ugliest color not found in nature.

Not to mention, they make it seem possible to complete a 10-by-10 foot space in less than a half-hour. Why is it Debbie's crew can spend 40 minutes and three commercial breaks on the fun part — accessorizing?

Suffice it to say it took longer than a half-hour to get three coats of lime-green paint on the walls.

At the end of the day, however, it was indeed a lime-green room — a room my daughters love because it reflects their age and tastes, not mine.

That's the part that made us stretch.

They took on a grown-up endeavor and stuck with it until the job was complete. They learned that taking care of a home is hard work. It's not as easy as it looks on TV, and it wouldn't be easy even if Debbie showed up and gave us a hand.

As for me, I stretched my capacity to give up my own vision of what my house should be in favor of some freedom of expression for two teenagers who wanted a room that felt like home.

Besides, the lime green in the bedroom isn't nearly as big a stretch as the orange in the bathroom. I wonder if I can get Debbie to redecorate when my girls go off to college?

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 18 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks