Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My New Watch for "FREE!"

I haven't had a watch to wear in a very long time. I generally check the time on my cellphone, but I can't do it on Shabbat. My last watch, an inexpensive one, functioned well, but the band broke, and replacing it cost as much as the watch. So I didn't bother. For the past few years i've been managing, but recently, I decided that I really needed a watch. One of the reasons is that without a watch on my wrist I need to wear two bracelets. I don't have enough bracelets, so I figured that it would be a good idea to get a watch.

I didn't actually have an idea of what sort of watch, nor where to buy it, but a miracle happened. The other day in Jerusalem I saw some in a store window, went in and bought one. The price was NS-nothing.

Here's my new watch:

It has a plastic burgundy colored band and face. The numbers are easy to see in the dark, and it's comfortable to wear. Believe me, it's from a real store and has a price of NS59, which is low for watches, even cheap ones.

And this is why it cost me nothing. It is on sale in FOX, and I have a "membership" in that chain. Every time I buy something there points are added to my personal account. I've been saving the points for something for me, and the watch is it. And there are still some points left. So, I'm happy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ELISHA DAVIDSON and the Ispaklaria--In Suspense!!

I just finished the middle (2nd) of the  series, ELISHA  DAVIDSON  and the  Ispaklaria, and as expected, I'm in suspense and anxiously awaiting the third and final book of the trilogy. M. R. (Rhonda) Attar (nee Antelman) has me mesmerized and hoping that I won't have to wait too long to read the final instalment. It took a few pages to get me back into the narrative, and I wished I hadn't sent the first one away to a young reader abroad. So, my advice is not to give any of the trilogy away, because you will want to reread them all!!
The strangest summer of Elisha Davidson’s life turns into a reality-shattering adventure when Elisha figures out how to access an Ispaklaria’s powerful ancient secrets without ever leaving his own bedroom. Now Elisha is the only person in the world with the know-how to face the most cataclysmic day on earth and that’s only because he’s being mentored by the wisest man who ever lived. And while Elisha’s training sessions are more amazing than his wildest dreams, why has Elisha been hand-picked to ‘receive’ so many mysterious gifts of wisdom while the greatest masterminds of his generation are clueless, going insane or fighting for their lives? 
Elisha Davidson and the Letters of Fire isn’t based on fantasy. It draws only on non-fiction manuscripts, dating as far back as 5,775 years ago, and exposes the most extraordinary and cryptic teachings of the human race.
Yes, although I'm not a fantasy fan and have never ever read a Harry Potter nor seen the movies, and I'm well above the targeted age for the Elisha Davidson series, I've been enjoying myself reading the books. I recommend the series wholeheartedly. Either give it as a gift, or if you are looking for a book to read to your children, this is it. Enjoy!


Product Details- Amazon

  • File Size: 1345 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Menorah Books Limited (August 17, 2015)
  • Publication Date: August 17, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01438TE3I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled 
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,104 Paid in Kindle Store

Monday, November 23, 2015

"What a Face!!"

Here's the animal picture I used for 52Frames "animal" theme.

This dog is owned by a neighbor of mine. It was a gift of sorts from a friend whose health made it impossible to care for her dogs.

And here are the ones I almost used.

Did I choose the best?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week's Favorite Blog Posts or Why I Have Two Blogs

You and readers of Shiloh Musings, my "other blog," may wonder at times --as I do-- why I blog daily on two blogs and why I maintain two very separate blogs. Most people, legitimately so, have enough trouble managing to keep one blog alive. You'd think that one would be enough for anybody normal, but I've had two from almost the very beginning.

Shiloh Musings was my first blog. I started it to publicize the "musings," as a called them, the letters I'd been emailing to a growing list of people about the "situation," my feelings about the terror attacks and what was going on in Israel and the world. People had been telling me to get an internet site, and that's how I discovered the free sites called blogs, which were pretty new then.

Soon after, I started this one, which I then called me-ander, from meandering thoughts about all sorts of things. The basic topics are more personal than political, even though the politics in Shiloh Musings is always from a personal perspective. Food, kosher food and dieting also are popular topics. I first thought that I'd have this as an anonymous blog, but that's not my style at all. Rather recently I switched the name to "A Jewish Grandmother," since me-ander made no sense to anyone.  Both banners were done by Sarah, who no longer blogs as far as I know. The present banner is just a simple photo and information which I did on blogger.

I'm convinced that I'd lose readers if I tried to combine the blogs. I just checked the hits/visits to the blog posts on both blogs for the past week, and you can see from  which blogs were most popular that few of the same people would be interested.
Shiloh Musings: Where have All The Arabs Gone?
A Jewish Grandmother: Could Be An Entire Meal
If you haven't yet, please check them both out.

And also, my horoscope is Gemini, twins, meaning that I am rather multidimensional. I'm just curious. Do you read, follow both of my blogs?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Israeli Beer in Jerusalem

Not long ago, I heard from Doug Greener, the Beer Mavin, that there's a new store in Jerusalem that specializes in Israeli beers. He recently blogged about the store, Beeratenu בירתנו.
"With the opening of Beerateinu at 3 Yanai Street, the city finally has an Israeli craft beer specialty shop where you can purchase close to 100 different kinds of Israeli craft beers from over 20 micro-breweries. 
The name is a play on words which means "our capital" and "our beer."  
The Israeli beers on display include: HaDubim, Sparrow, HeChatzer, Mosco, Dancing Camel, Buster's (cider), Negev, Alexander, Vilde Chaye, Fass, Lela, Herzl, Arava, Emek Ha'ela, HeChalutz, Jem's, Cabara, Malka, Bazelet, Shapiro, Ronen, Meadan and Beertzinut." (Doug Greener)
Last Tuesday when I was in Jerusalem I found the store and stepped in, introducing myself as a friend of Doug's. I apologized for not being able to buy beer, some of which I remembered from the beer tastings at Doug's, since I wouldn't be home for another day.  When they heard that I'd be in Jerusalem that night I was invited to the meeting of brewers that they had scheduled. It included tastings and information for those who are making beer at home. Beerateinu not only sells beer, but it sells the equipment to make it and provides guidance and support for those who want to make their own beer.

Some of the participants brought samples of their beer for us to taste and told how they made it and what sort of beer/taste they were trying to achieve. From what I understood beer is as varied, if not more so, as wine can be. The store was packed with beermakers. I was the only outsider, so I had the least expertise, other than my own drinking and tastings experience. The discussion began in Hebrew but kept ending up in English. The participants were both religious and not from what can be guessed from how they dressed.

I definitely plan on being back. You can join their facebook page.  And by the way, Israeli beer is very good!! Don't be afraid to try it. And if you've ever thought of brewing your own, this is the place to learn how.

All photos are by me, Batya Medad

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Adventures in JewishBookLand"

Maybe you've guessed that Tzivia is the host of this month's Jewish Book Carnival. She is! This is a Jewish blog carnival that features book reviews on Jewish books of course.

And you must have also guessed that I have a review in that collection, Book Review: Lessons in Leadership by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  I also have a collection of books to read and review. I'm in the middle of one right now. It's the second of the Elisha Davidson series. My review of the first is here-click. I generally get books to review from agents and publishers who somehow heard that I review books.

I also contact people when a book seems interesting offering to review it. That happened very recently when I saw reference to a new book on facebook. I commented that I review books on my blogs. I was told to write to the author's email, which I then did. She asked me about my blogs, so I sent the links. Then she replied that we know each other. She's a customer of mine in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, and I had just recently tried to find an item for her. So instead of mailing the book, she dropped it off at the store for me. You could say that we all have our secret lives...

So, check out the Jewish Book Carnival to get some ideas of books to read and buy. Chanukah is almost here, and books do make great gifts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Savta/Grannie Time, Seeing A Play!

Even though most of my grandchildren live pretty close by in Ofra, I don't see them all that often. Remember that I'm still working part-time. When they were little and I was teaching, I managed to spend a lot more time with them. That's how they know, at least understand, English so well. It's not that they are fluent or answer me in English, but when I visit and speak English to them, they generally understand exactly what I'm saying. At times, the older ones translate amazingly accurately, for the younger ones.

The other day I went to spend the afternoon with them, especially the youngest, who, on that day of the week, finished Kindergarten before the big ones finished school. So I got her a treat and made her lunch. Then we went off to see a play that was being put on. The kids loved it.

I could see that she was totally mesmerized by the actor and his one-man show.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Could Be An Entire Meal

In this nice, and well used, bake and serve dish, I placed not only the pumpkin you see on top. There's squash, onion, eggplant and bite-sized pieces of chicken breast. Other vegetables can be used or added. There are no rules.

Add some oil on top, catsup is optional, bake in a hot oven. Cover half-way through. If you cover early, it will just take longer to cook. It's ready when the vegetables are soft.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

52 Frames, Football Helmet and Gloves at Extreme Angle

I took lots of photos for this week's 52Frames, Extreme Angle, from high and low,

but in the end it was a simple shot from the Lions vs Rebel football game. A player had taken off his helmet and gloves and left them on the side for me to photograph.

OK, he didn't know I'd be taking the picture, but for whatever reason, they were off of him and on the artificial turf. I wonder if I chose the right one to submit. There are others in the album like the dozens of rejects I took, but no other like this one in all its simplicity.

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Return to an Old Haunt

Last week, I went back to the yeshiva high school (Bnei Binyamin) in Beit El, where I had taught English for eleven 11 years. There were good years and bad years, enjoyment and sorrow, success and failure and lots of good friends. Actually, that's how I had gotten the job. I hadn't been trained to be an English Teacher. I hadn't a clue to teach reading, writing, spelling etc.

The only pedagogy I had ever learned was in the Fred Burk "Leadership and Choreography" course I had taken as a representative of NCSY at the Jewish Agency during my first year of college. And one thing for sure is that teaching Israeli Folk Dance and English aren't quite the same, except that you have to make it fun no matter what the talents of the students.

About eighteen 18 years ago, just after the beginning of the school year, I got a call from Toba Frankel, a friend, who was the English coordinator in the yeshiva high school in Beit El. She told me that she and her husband David, who was then principal, had decided that I was the perfect person to teach a couple of remedial classes. It didn't put them off that I had absolutely no experience; we had spent much time waiting around schools on parent-teacher nights discussing education, learning problems and our children's educational needs etc. She promised to train me, and she did.

It ended up being a perfect match. I had a wonderful and successful time teaching the boys who had thought they could never learn English. I even took the David Yellin Teachers College's certification course and became a licensed English Teacher. My only problem was teaching regular classes, so that when there were no longer any remedial classes plus transportation difficulties and reduced enrolment, I found myself out of a job. That's why I now work as a salesperson in Yafiz.

So, nu, why was I back there last week? Again I had gotten a call from Toba. This time she told me that after all these years (decades) David was officially retired (after years of being principal he had become "just" an English Teacher) and there would be a party in his honor.

It was truly wonderful seeing so many old friends together. Some of them I see in Sha'ar Binyamin and are now customers of mine at Yafiz.

The Frankels and I are among the very old generation in Mateh Binyamin, our regional council. Our children were in the first (early) graduating classes when the schools were small and in temporary structures. The Frankels, as teachers and administrators, were truly pioneers in their contributions to local education. With all of the deserving praise they received that night, I don't know if the younger generation truly comprehends their contributions. But maybe that is the sign of success.

I look at the history of education here, and I see the thirty plus years as rapid growth, but for young people, thirty years is a very long time. That younger generation, which has no memory of the pre-June, 1967 Israel sees a normalcy and permanence of the Jewish Life in Judea and Samaria that Israel's Left can't comprehend or accept.

May David and Toba Frankel be truly blessed with long, enjoyable and healthy retirements. And may the younger generation of educators come to them for training, because they will not find anyone more qualified to teach and advise.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

... and Suddenly Traffic Stood Still

As you can imagine, life's an adventure. It's hard at times to make plans, to predict how things will go and when and how I'll arrive at places and events. Besides my very Jewish use of the verb "schlepped" to describe how I got to the pre-season IFL tackle football game between the Lions and the Rebels in Mishor Adumim, I did not give details.

Schlepped is the best word to describe the trip. If I had gone directly and simply by car, which we don't have, the trip from Shiloh to Mishor Adumim could have been quicker than going to Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem. That's in theory. Actually, if I had gone by car I would probably have been very late, or maybe not.

Before leaving I checked the bus schedule and realized that there was one bus too early and another that would get me to my pickup point in Maale Adumim (which required catching a Maale Adumim bus to the mall there from Ammunition Hill) just on time or a drop late. So I compromised on trying for a tremp between the two buses. I've done this successfully many times before, but Thursday it just didn't happen. There were no rides to Jerusalem, so I took the bus. The bus made great time, and by the time we reached Sha'ar Binyamin I was very cheerful and optimistic that my ride wouldn't have to wait long for me.

Then a couple of kilometers later, just after Adam, traffic stood still.

Every few minutes we moved a few meters. Eventually we saw security vehicles which were apparently checking for terrorists. And there were a couple of Arab licensed cars stopped and deserted on the road. After that we began to travel at the usual speed, but we had lost 45 minutes!! That meant that the earliest I could get to Maale Adumim would be when the game was scheduled to begin, instead of the half hour before game time, when my friend had hoped to pick me up.

I hopped on the first bus to Maale Adumim I saw. It ended up with the worst possible route, the mall last rather than almost first. How would we manage without our cellphones? My friend told me to get off at the first stop there where she picked me up and we hurried to the game. At least neither of our sons were actually playing. Hers is injured and mine is the Coach. We got there and cheered the team. That's what mothers like us do...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Food Great, Service Eh

Many of us miss the "Cup of (Café) Joe" that was on the corner of Jabotinsky and Keren Hayesod in Jerusalem, but apparently not enough of us ate there, so it closed. Now there's a new dairy restaurant called "Mulino" at the same location, 38 Keren Hayesod, Jerusalem Tel: 02-5610555, Kashrut: Rabbanut Yerushalayim, Mehadrin Chatam Sofer. Some friends and I met there just over a week ago. The restaurant was pretty empty, but it may have been the weather and the season and the fact that not everyone is comfortable wandering around nowadays.

The menu is the usual dairy, Italian style which is very popular in Israel. They had a nice variety of salads. I ordered the "Market Salad." Friends ordered the "Mulino Salad" (I think that was the name-it had fruit and nuts) to share, and the waiter mixed up our orders. Even after I asked him if what was in front of me was the "Market Salad," he said yes, but luckily someone came and told him they got it wrong, because my friends were concerned, since they hadn't ordered a salad with cheese.

The "Market Salad" was delicious!
It also took them ages to remember to bring us water. Maybe it was just a bad day and new staff. But everyone was polite and friendly. My friends didn't really care about the mix-up. The prices were reasonable for central Jerusalem, and as I said before everyone in my group loved the food. If you're an eLuna member you get a discount if you bring the coupon. Give it a try if you're in the area.

Friday, November 13, 2015

First Game, Preseason IFL Football

Last night I schlepped all the way to Mishor Adumim to watch the pre-season IFL that's American Tackle Football in Israel.

Perennial rivals, Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions "hosted" the Judean Rebels in the new and larger field in Mishor Adumim, the "Industrial/commercial area" of Maale Adumim. Due to changes in regulations (field size) Kraft Stadium is too small.

Experiencing a game in Mishor is very different from the homey Kraft, and getting to the new stadium is a real challenge for those without a car. I went with another player's mother, though neither of our sons actually played. They are now coaching. Coaches also have mothers and need/deserve our cheers.

Without an amplified "play by play" commentary, it was more like a practice in a way. There were very few fans in the stands, too. This was a preseason game, and I don't know if official games will have the more carnival atmosphere with food, music and commentary that we enjoyed  in Kraft. I also hope there will be some sort of transportation worked out for fans and "home team." Also, since the field is so much larger, not only the actual playing part, but the sidelines are probably wider, if you add up both sides,  than all of Kraft. It was hard to see the score numbers. Oh, Rebels won if you're interested. I don't know the actual score. Opera glasses recommended, thought the lighting is great, and my photos came out bright and clear even with a simple Canon IXUS 145 camera and Galaxy II Plus phone.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Whoever Invented Backseat Speaker Deserves Eternal Hell

I'll never forget the first time I experienced the noise from a backseat speaker. I had just buckled into my in-laws' car and the blast almost blasted me through the roof. I let out a scream from the pain, and they innocently asked what was wrong. From the time they had gotten their new car, nobody had ever sat in back, and I was the first one to have experienced/suffered the noise from that speaker.

Those in the front seat didn't find it loud, but it blasted into my ears most painfully. In Israel I traveled by bus mostly, and cars there hadn't yet been equipped with them. Afterwards, they too had them, and the torture became international.

In recent years I hadn't had the bad experiences, that is until very recently, when twice in the space of a week I found myself traveling with fingers in my ears.

It's clear that whoever came up with that invention never had to travel with it on while sitting in the backseat.