Tuesday, May 31, 2005

re-decorating, favorite things and misc.

Well, I guess you noticed. I axed the bimbo and replaced her with the orange ribbon. If you want one, they're giving them out for free at EFSI. Just click the snazzy silver neon sign for your instructions.

I always liked the color orange. When I was 18 I had three bright orange dresses. Too bad the photo of me in the gorgeous crepe one is black and white. Now I wear the orange bracelet, and I have a bright silk scarf in the same orange. It's small, and I've had it for years. Finally it can be worn for special occassions.

When I was at the dentist this week, besides the good news of "no cavities," I got a kick out of the fact that there are T'hilim books and other sifrei kodesh, Jewish holy books, in the waiting room, and the secretary was making appointments according to the Jewish calendar.

The trekker's latest project is replacing the magnet around the fridge door. Honestly I don't think it's worth the hastle, since the fridge has survived with it's orginal for almost twenty years, and I hate to change what isn't broken. But he has been complaining about it for a few years, and now he has the confidence to do the work himself. Apparently when he was with his boss getting equipment he found out where the handymen buy their stuff. So now, I'm starving and can't get into the kitchen. But what a great husband he'll G-d willing make with all these great skills.

It's ok. Actually, I was supposed to be working on a CV to get a bit more work or a much better job. They've cut my hours.

Smile! Things can be worse.

And the really good news is that G-d willing I'll be one of the journalists on a Nefesh B'Nefesh flight this summer! I'm looking for some more publications to commission articles about it. Or some that will take my standard one.

I guess I should sneak into the kitchen to eat soon.

not perfect, yet

Not all places respect the consumer. I got rooked by the Nagid Hotel, Jerusalem. I had made reservations for my parents, and when I cancelled, because they were able to get a room at Lev Yerushalayim through an agent, I was charged a cancellation fee, even though there was no warning when I made the reservations.

1- Stay away from the Nagid.
2- Lev Yerushalayim had told us they were booked, and they would have done better without the American agent.

G-d willing, the visit will be easier than the preparations.

Monday, May 30, 2005

A sign of the Moshiach?

Yesterday I had two experiences that amazed me. The Moshiach must getting closer.

First, on the bus, traveling to Jerusalem, suddenly I noticed that my new watch was about to fall off my wrist. I bought it at the end of Pesach, just a month ago. It didn't cost much, looks nice, large metal links as a band, nice and airy for the summer heat. A week later I had to bring it in, because it just "opened." One of the links broke. The owner of the store cheerfully fixed it. I thought that would be it, but just three weeks later, again.

With some trepidation I entered the store, and found the daughter alone in the shop. I put on my best smile and kindest voice. I showed her the watch and explained what happened. I asked if it was possible to get a new watchband. She said that it would be too complicated but offered me a new watch of the same value. We found one, and I walked out amazed and cheerful.

Then I went to the original aim of my trip to town. I had bought some cotton tops last week. When I was about to wear one, I discovered a hole. Now the store has very low prices but a charming owner. Keeping the smile on, I entered and told her the story. Not only did she exchange it, but she credited me with the full price, even though she had just lowered the price for those shirts. I bought a couple more in other colors.

A very pleasant morning.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

dentist report

Look, Mom!
No cavities!

I had my teeth cleaned and checked, and they're fine.

But, I have to add another gum cleaning technique. My gums are killing trees. Thank G-d, could be a lot worse.

Brush, floss and poke and poke again.....

misc. questions

first

Do I need to use those paper filters in the coffee maker? There's that plastic filter material like in a sifter as part of the machine. I have a few paper ones left, and I don't know where to get more. And does anyone know the exact water to coffee proportion? Sometimes it comes out wimpy.

next

I'm just about rabid concerning my inability to post pictures. Totally retarded. Maybe I should delete that "Hello" program and find something else.

and...

I'm still looking for something html for replacing the weatherbimbo

Friday, May 27, 2005

Ideas?

Ideas needed.

I'm planning on replacing that weatherpixie who just stands there looking dumb. She waves the flag and watches the sun rise and set. She doesn't know anything about the weather. Apparently the Jerusalem Airport doesn't care about temperatures, because the weaterpixie people get their info from airports.

I'm sure that there are much more intelligent things for the sidebar. I don't want a news ticker. Me-ander isn't that sort of blog.

So if you can think of something, please let me know.

Thanks and Shabbat Shalom!

A plea

This is a plea from a friend looking for a kidney. She is undergoing dialysis. If anyone knows of someone to help, please contact me at
shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

My blood type is A+. The donor has to have a blood type compatible with me, undergo blood and urine tests, be under 60 and be healthy. If you have any suggestions I would really appreciate them.

I'm desperate to get off dialysis

Baile Rochel #6 Lag B'Omer

Baile Rochel’s Back! #6
Eve of The 18th of Iyyar
May 26, 2005

Israeli Campfires and My Girl Scout Badge

Tonight is Lag B’Omer, and all good Israelis are stinking up the air with campfires, which they call “medurot.” Now I used to like campfires, and when I was a Girl Scout I even earned a “Campcraft Badge.”

You must be wondering why if I’m such an expert in cooking over open fire out of doors, why am I sitting here by the computer? Getting that badge required study and hard work. And even today I can still remember much of what I had learned decades ago in Girl Scout Camp.

First things first, you had to pick the right spot. The ground should be clear of dried leaves, to make sure that the fire can’t spread. It shouldn’t have over-hanging branches nor electric lines. Once you have the perfect location you have to decide what shape or style to construct your campfire. That’s right; it was like an engineering course, not even as creative as architecture. I admit that I don’t remember all the permitted shapes, just two. They are the “log cabin” and the “teepee.” The basic principles are the same for both.

I’ll describe how to make a “log cabin;” a “teepee” is just too American. First you need lots of sticks of various sizes and thickness; sort them by size. Start with the thickest, and build a four-sided structure; you lay two sticks parallel, and then two more parallel in the other direction to make a square. Continue, using thinner and thinner sticks and having the structure get smaller and smaller. Then you put some very thin dry wood, kindling wood, in the middle, filling it well, so it touches the “walls.”

Yes, I know I sound rather obsessive-compulsive about it being perfect, but that’s the way we were taught. And then we lit the kindling wood, and as it burned, the larger pieces caught, and we had a great fire for hotdogs, hamburgers and roasted marshmallows. Perfect of course.

Israelis don’t do it like that. Maybe it’s because the country’s so small, but the don’t scout around for the perfect site. They like to be close to home, under the shade tree, within stinking distance of my clothesline. As a sign of adolescence, kids get more adventurous and stakeout sites with the ingenuity and possessiveness of legendary American gold-miners and pioneers. Empty lots and hillsides are carefully marked and guarded by rivals for the perfect medura.

No Israeli would have gotten the badge, since I’ve never seen a “medura” of a recognizable shape. There’s another problem. We don’t have too many forests here, so collecting branches and twigs requires imagination, initiative and good old Israeli “chutzpah.” “Wood collection” begins during pre-Pesach cleaning when kids begin scouting around the neighborhood looking for items to hoard for their Lag B’Omer campfires. If you need old furniture removed from your home, you can get free labor, as long as they can keep it.
They also haunt the garbage for old chairs, wooden bed frames, broom handles, shelves—even if covered with Formica, since there’s wood underneath.

Some of you may already be sniffing, Formica? It’s plastic; doesn’t it smell? Yes, smell it does. It stinks! Even if I close the double windows, that horrid Lag B’Omer smell permeates my house. And that’s not the only thing. If you get closer to the campfires you’ll smell something else, something that we didn’t use in Girl Scout Camp—kerosene, lighter fluid, the viagrara of the campfire. (I hope that no ones’ offended. Is it better if I call it the silicon of the campfire?)

OK, I admit it. I’m a purist. I like my campfires sans the artificial and my falafel without French fries. The smell ruins my enjoyment. I don’t remember campfires smelling when I was a kid. Did they? Maybe I’m just an old fogy.

Nothing in these Lag B’Omer medurot attracts me. I admit that the twenty-five years of vegetarianism may have had a permanent influence. So I’m happily staying home, alternating blogging and needlepoint while watching some old TV detective shows on the VCR.

As soon as the air clears, I’ll hang the laundry.

Baile Rochel
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.

still can't do it

I opened up a new blog for pictures and somehow can't post. I once posted to this one, so the program won't post to the new one. I guess I must uninstall and re-install.

At least I figured out why my passwords weren't working. The computer thinks in Hebrew, and I have to change the language.

Any other ideas?

I'd like a free program that gives me the option to post to any blog I choose.

I hope that the air cleared from Lag B'Omer soot, so I can hang wash.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

out of shape

haven't
walked much

haven't
been in the pool
under repairs

but
always manage
to eat

waiting
for local pool

Hebrew and Yiddish Names

The trend in recent years is to give Hebrew, rather than Yiddish names, as the "Jewish" name for children. In Israel Yiddish names aren't popular with most people, except for Chareidim and Chabad.

Therefore, sometimes it's hard to figure out which Hebrew name is the source or equivalent of the Yiddish one.

One of the problematic ones is the female name, Pessia, or Pesha, which are considered the same. There's nothing directly similar in Hebrew.

According to one of my "rabbi neighbors" Pessia is Batya.

Follow this:

Batya according to Sfaradi pronunciation
Basya according to Ashkenazi pronunciation
Pasya because P and B switch like the Arabs call potatoes, batata
Pesya (Pessia) because short vowels are vague; my grandmother wrote "grendma"
Pesha is pronounced like Pessia

I wrote about the connection to an email list and then someone wrote saying that a relative named Betty had "Pesya" on her gravestone.

Any other name questions?

amazing, can't remember it happening before

pretty sure that this never happened before

We're not the most socially active. Not every Shabbat do we have guests, and rarely are we invited out. So how is it that davka this Shabbat we're invited for all three meals? I promised to bring a big salad to one and don't have to contribute to the meal for the others.

So all I have to do is cook for the week and boil some water.

Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

sunglasses

About ten years ago I bought myself some sunglasses, good sunglasses. I lost them recently and had to replace them.

Today I marched into my favorite opticians and asked to be served. I told them that I needed: "good, but not expensive, big, and I don't give a hoot about fashion" sunglasses.

In the ten years I wore the previous ones, they probably went in and out of fashion a number of times, or never were really in fashion. But they did their job.

Even if they hadn't run away, it was time to replace them.

But how will people recognize me?

birthday

Strange, this used to be my birthday. It no longer feels like it, since we began only celebrating the Hebrew date. Since our holidays are on the Hebrew calendar, we remember and celebrate the births of our kids on the Hebrew dates. The only date I've had trouble transferring is our wedding date; somehow it's etched in English.

When the 6 Day War began, I had no idea that it was on my birthday. Strange way to celebrate. At least now I have all the reminders as people get ready for Yom Yerushalayim, which is two days after my birthday.

I have lots to do today, but no birthday parties.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

loosing steam

Only about 4 weeks until the school year is over, and I'm losing steam. The kids are biting at the bit and can't be held still. At least I still hold the grades heavily over their heads, and most do care.

Let G-d give me strength.

for all women, so true

Sorry about the "graphics," but the text keeps disappearing when I fix it. Believe me, it's worth reading--to the end!

This is hysterical! Make sure you read the whole> >>>thing. There is a serious message at the end, but> >>>you get to laugh on the way there.> >>>> >>>> >>>GO GET YOUR MAMMIES GRAMMED> >>>> >>>> >>>For years and years they told me,> >>>Be careful of your breasts.> >>>Don't ever squeeze or bruise them.> >>>And give them monthly tests.> >>>> >>>> >>>So I heeded all their warnings,> >>>And protected them by law.> >>>Guarded them very carefully,> >>>And I always wore my bra.> >>>> >>>> >>>After 30 years of astute care,> >>>My gyno, Dr Pruitt,> >>>Said I should get a Mammogram> >>>"OK," I said, "let's do it."> >>>> >>>> >>>"Stand up here real close" she said,> >>>(She got my boob in line),> >>>"And tell me when it hurts," she said,> >>>"Ah yes! Right there, that's fine."> >>>> >>>> >>>She stepped upon a pedal,> >>>I could not believe my eyes!> >>>A plastic plate came slamming down,> >>>My hooter's in a vise!> >>>> >>>> >>>My skin was stretched and mangled,> >>> >From underneath my chin.> >>>My poor boob was being squashed,> >>>To Swedish Pancake thin.> >>>> >>>> >>>Excruciating pain I felt,> >>>Within it's viselike grip.> >>>A prisoner in this vicious thing,> >>>My poor defenseless tit!> >>>> >>>> >>>"Take a deep breath" she said to me,> >>>Who does she think she's kidding?!?> >>>My chest is mashed in her machine,> >>>And woozy I am getting.> >>>> >>>> >>>"There, that's good," I heard her say,> >>>(The room was slowly swaying.)> >>>"Now, let's have a go at the other one."> >>>Have mercy, I was praying.> >>>> >>>> >>>It squeezed me from both up and down,> >>>It squeezed me from both sides.> >>>I'll bet SHE'S never had this done,> >>>To HER tender little hide.> >>>> >>>> >>>Next time that they make me do this,> >>>I will request a blindfold.> >>>I have no wish to see again,> >>>My knockers getting steam rolled.> >>>> >>>> >>>If I had no problem when I came in,> >>>I surely have one now.> >>>If there had been a cyst in there,> >>>It would have gone "ker-pow!"> >>>> >>>> >>>This machine was created by a man,> >>>Of this, I have no doubt.> >>>I'd like to stick his balls in there,> >>>And, see how THEY come out!> >>>> >>>> >>>Mail this to 13 other females. Now, don't break the> >>>chain! One female broke the chain, her plumbing> >>>became so bad, she now has an outhouse!> >>>> >>>> >>>OK gals, now that you have had your laugh, remember...> >>>> >>>> >>>Breast Cancer Awareness...> >>>Go have those boobs checked out and stay healthy!> >>>Pass the message on to> >>>your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins,> >>>friends, --- and even your enemies.> >>>Because the WORST enemy is Breast Cancer.

Monday, May 23, 2005

today

Today was a big day. English "Bagrut;" that's the big high school test. My surviving seniors were tested. Surviving, because had refused to allow some, about half, the class in class this year. They hadn't been working/studying and had no way to pass and just disturbed the others. I finally got the support of the principal. So five kids worked hard; they're not stupid, just hadn't studied over the years.

This afternoon, one of them called me, since I wasn't in the school today with them. He thanked me for my four years struggling to teach them, and he also thanked me for the goody-bags I packed for them and had the secretary deliver before the test.

That makes it all worthwhile.

And tonight I ran our local elections. I met the other two committee members as we got organized tonight. I had done all the preparations with the office, etc. They were both young. It was good, since between us all we knew everyone who came to vote.

Good Night

middle of the night

middle of the night
instead of sleeping
creeping
around the house
not to disturb
lucky sleepers

tagged

Willow Green tagged me. Honestly, I'm not happy about this. I don't blog out of boredom, so I'm going to break the rule and won't tag the minimal three. Though I'd me overwhelmingly grateful for volunteers.

I'm supposed to complete five of the following possiblities, and that I really don't mind doing. Then I'll tag someone who I hope won't be angry, and honestly, if you break the chain it's not the end of the world. But it would be nice to pick just one person.

If I could be a scientist… I'd try to find a cure for disease.
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician… I'd play music that brought joy and calm.
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writerI'd write the truth, and I am and I do try.
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be a world famous blogger…what? I thought that I was!
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world… I'd pick ours and rule against hypocrasy and anti-Semitism.
If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

And I hope that Callie forgives me for tagging her. At least you should visit her blog and meet her.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Do you mind if I "bubby brag?"

I really hope that you don't mind, but you know that I'm a bubby, savta, grandma. And I really think that I've used lots of self-control not talking about my two little granddaughters.

So I'll just tell you one little story about the older one, almost two years old.

Yesterday I took her for a walk; she had her dollcarriage and dolly with her. We went to a playground, and she did the usual swing and slide. Then she put her dolly on the swing and told her: "Hold on with both hands." And then she was disappointed that the dolly couldn't.

I hope that you don't mind. You can send me whatever cute stories you have...

empty again

House just emptied again after a rather full Shabbat. The trekker fit into the space between the two car seats. I offered, but I'd have needed major surgery to do it. Then he'll help my daughter unload and unpack and then go to his plumbing job. Ok, a little late, but he's a good uncle.

Now, on with the laundry, dishes, some shopping and then... to work!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

more on washing dishes

hidden dirty dishes
don't disappear
they grow, ferment
become great science experiments

yes, flylady, for those babystepping
suggests storing them in
a bowl of soapy water
under the sink
if I remember

but splashy dirty water
just makes more mess

and procrastination
another sin

out of sight
out of mind

I've even begun
to throw clean laundry
from line to coach
because ite bothers me
so then I'll fold and sort
more quickly

parve pots
in laundry room sink
is as hidden as they come
or go
here

Friday, May 20, 2005

strange

I'm sure that I set my phone alarm for 6, but was rudely awakened at 5:30. Can't believe I've been "e-corresponding" and writing for so long. It's going on 7.

Guess I ought to attack the dishes invading the sink. We can't let them take over. There's lots to do before Shabbat, and my anti-virus just reported that it needs to re-start the computer to finish the update.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

my week

I was searching through this week's posts, both here and my alter ego, and I must have bored you guys to death. Considering how busy I was, and that I went to a potentially violent demonstration. It wasn't such a boring week. I just didn't write much. Sorry, or are you happy?

We're getting used to having a child living with us, which is pretty new. They've been visitors for years, but the trekker has come home, thank G-d. He even has a job working for a plumber. It's a good profession.

Think about it. When a pipe springs a leak or gets clogged..... who's the most valuable professional?

Teachers are a dime a dozen, accademics, eh, nothing, lawyers--lots of them, doctors, easier to find than plumbers, right?

So I'm proud of my young man. I don't know how long he'll work at this, but I'm glad he's home and glad he's working.
and I don't even mind the extra dishes, cooking, laundry.... and he does help.

home improvements

Trekker's home for just a week, thank G-d. Already working for a plumber, bli ayin haraa, and fixing up our place. I have bags of clothes he took from his closet; must get them to a thrift shop or needy family.

But the greatest surprise by far...
he has reorganized the linen, misc. closet. We have a closet in the hall by the bedrooms and main bathroom. I haven't organized it since it was built about 19 year ago. I just keep stuffing things in. We have too many towels and worn-out sheets. And one shelf, on the smaller side, has cut toilet paper for Shabbat and new toothbrushes and toothpaste and he found three hair dryers, and I keep the rags there, and lots of other things of course.

And he has been pulling things out and fixing it up. I won't have to cut toilet paper for a few weeks.

He's a very good boy--and handsome too. And maybe when he finishes there, he'll start in the garden..... well, I can hope.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

too early

For some really strange reason, I had trouble falling asleep last night, must have had been those dishes acalling. But even worse, just before 4am I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. This time I couldn't even blame the fog horn. It was me. And I finally got out of bed, turned on the computer, filled my giant mug with water and sat down to read, write whatever.

Ever since Hevel Havelim I've neglected some of my routine computer reading. I haven't even written a new musing.

And I hadn't had the time to experiment with my new toy, the coffee maker my daughter gave me. Last night she called asking if I'm enjoying it, and I had to admit that I hadn't figured it out yet. So she explained where the water goes in, which I hadn't found, and I promised to try.

For years I've been brewing some strong Israeli Turkish coffee in my tough old Farberware (Soltam) perculator, bought over 30 years ago. I love it, and call it "drain-o," since it keeps my system nice and clean, especially because I have about 4 cups of water first. It's also one of the reasons I must be home for a few hours after getting up. That's prime computer time.

So for my coffee review. This new, filtered variety, same grounds, just different brewing, is much daintier and cleaner. I no longer have to leave over the bottom half cup, because it tastes like thick sand. This is all for drinking, and I prepared a lot, all for me. No one else is up; it's not even 5:30am. I think that I guessed right about quantities. I just hope that such beginners' luck can be duplicated.

I have a busy day planned and hope that I don't crash too early.

Yawn!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

dishes await

dishes await
my pals
dishes await
no more to eat on
get disposables, oh, hey, hey hey, hey

dishes await
my pals
dishes await
I'd rather go to sleep
tomorrow's another day, oy vey!

new visitors and teaching

I've been noticing new visitors. Welcome. I'll be adding blogs to my sidebar, as soon as I can look another html in the eye. Hevel Havalim sure got my eyes crossed from all those symbols and codes. But it was worth it, quite a challenge.

Now I really should be writing up part of a test, though what I've prepared is long enough for the end of the day. I had the 9th grade test post-poned, because we really didn't get much done, due to an experiment. No, I'm not a science teacher, though there's a science to teaching. We re-combined the two weakest groups for awhile, using both teachers. Originally there was just one group with me as the teacher, but I insisted that some of the kids were on a much lower level, and they brought in another teacher to take them. That's because the kids were impossible and didn't let the others learn.

Well, unfortunately, they're still impossible and shouldn't be in the school. There are special schools for kids like them. But the funny thing is that they're the ones who complained about the arrangement and insisted on going back to their separate group. So I'll have another two weeks for the test and teach my kids more. They're really relieved that the problem kids are out.

The tenth grade is almost finished with their book, so I have to find movies for them as a reward. Problem is that all the movies have at least one scene that could get me fired. It's not fair.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I'm back

I'm back from a junction. Yes, the orange is for a reason.
Demonstrators were well-behaved, and the police looking for excuses. It's part of their nature, culture. whatever. Everytime one of them spoke to me, he was "Italian" like in "roaming hands." A poke in the shoulder to be precise. I didn't want to react, because I was taking pictures.

No time for details.

busy, yes, busy

Yes, I've been busy.

First I spent a lot of time working on Hevel Havelim. If you haven't read it, just scroll down. I'd like your comments. Of course, I fouled up a lot, and some of the links had to be repaired. It took time and very careful proof-reading. With my aging eyes, no pleasure.

I'm one of the oldest bloggers of original material, and I do it on two different blogs, besides working and grandmothering, wifing and a bit of mothering, since the trekker finally returned home.

My mother, ad me'ah v'esrim, just turned 80, and she's as beautiful as ever. She and my father just got tickets to visit, bli eyin haraa. They want to see their two great-granddaughters.

Now for the rest of my day...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

HEVEL HAVELIM #20!!!

Sorry about all the foul-ups. I hope all the links work now. If not, please don't be shy. Let me know. Now I have to go to my alter ego and repair there.

Hevel Havelim celebrates Yom Ha’atzma’ut and remembers those who fought to give and preserve Israel’s Independence!

One of the unique things in Israeli tradition is that the day before Independence Day is Memorial Day. They are connected, and the classic national and community ceremonies commemorate those who built the country and then immediately break into joyous fireworks to celebrate independence. This parallels the Jewish day, which begins with the stars of night.

That’s why I’m starting with a site that I recently discovered; it tells us about the unsung
heroes of Israeli History. One of those heroes was Dov Gruner, who was hung by the British, as eulogized by A Simple Jew.

To understand Memorial Day, let's start with
Lazer Beams's reflections.

Mozemen’s Bluesgives her opinion about Memorial Day.

I
reminisced about a safer, more innocent time on Memorial Day.

On
Rishon Rishon we learn some important linguistics. I was glad to see that Israpundit had a link for Yehudit Tayar’s The Spirit of Our People.

Here are Yom Ha'atzma'ut
prayers from Am Echad. And something perfect from Not Quite Perfect.

Soccer Dad gives us a beautiful and necessary history lesson.

Elder of Ziyon reminds us why we should be proud to be Zionists.

Ouside the Blogway reminds us to be grateful and proud of Israel's accomplishments.

Mystical Paths writes on Yom Ha’atzma’ut and the State of Israel. And there’s also a post about something more “mystical” and another Chassidic story.

Boker Tov, Boulder posts a great Yom Ha’atzma’ut celebration.

Biur Chametz asks us a riddle . And Cosmic X has a lot to say about this year’s dilemmas. Sha! has some interesting ideas.

Fundamentally Freund gets philosophical. Dov Bear asks us if we’re wearing blue and white. From SklarO World we have a great photo montage.

And more photos at
Treppenwitz . My baby spent a lot of time in their Pina Chama. Now my boys are both out of the army, but I still looked carefully for them in every picture. And I want to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in such chessed.

If you need to get away from politics, see
Fred’s pictures. There’s a really spectacular one for Yom Ha’atzma’ut! I must admit that I asked him to make it up just for this. Thanks, Fred!

And since I mentioned flags,
here's is what I did with the free ones from Bank Leumi.

Read
Willow Green, and maybe you can be part of a family reunion.

Blognitive Dissonence reminds us of the similarities between peoples, especially women trying to get divorced .


Don't forget that men can make challah, too.


This may not be your classic blog, but it’s Jewish and gets delivered by cybermail. The Gantseh Megillah is an interesting magazine that includes articles and links on everything Jewish.

And before I finish, does anybody know why I’ve added
this link? That's what comments are for!

And don’t forget the
BLOG BURST.

Thanks to all who've helped with this, and if I've left anything out, please add in the comments.

For the next edition, check with
Soccer Dad in the upper left hand corner of his blog.

Cross-posted , since I'm Gemini; yes, there's a birthday coming up...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

busy--keep checking

I'm busy working on Havel Havelim. Keep checking. It's getting enormous with a great variety of blogs. Some are new to the series.

Friday, May 13, 2005

independent traveling bags

When my trekking son finally made it home early Wednesday morning, he announced that his bags refused to follow him and were still traveling the world. Yesterday he got a call that they were lasooed out here in the Holy Land and would reunite with him today. Well, it did give him time to empty his closets of pre-army clothes. Now I have to get the clothes to a thrift shop, or gmach, that needs a full wardrobe for a slim man, taller than average, but not very tall.

He and his friend left for Ariel to meet up with the wimpy driver. Some people may take offense at what I just wrote, but considering how I travel, at my advanced age, I can call this guy a wimp.

Shabbat Shalom

my challah recipe

I just wrote this up for a food list:

my recipe,

a kilo of flour, more or less, whole wheat and brown sugar

start with about a 1/2 cup sugar and 3T dehydrated yeast
mix in large bowl
add about 1/4 kilo flour then a pinch of coarse salt
mix
add 1 1/2 cups warm water 6oz soy oil and 3 eggs
mix well and cover
let sit until fermenting
Then gradually add/mix the rest of the flour
until the batter no longer sticks to your hands
then knead for 10 minutes
cover and let rise until double
punch down and rise again
(take "challah")
then shape, paint with raw egg, let rise, then bake
start with hotter than cake temperature, and when it starts to "brown" lower until less than cake temperature
until bottom "hardens" and if you tap the bottom it sounds "dry"

Shabbat Shalom

overslept

Can't believe that I overslept. For me that means getting out of bed after 7am.

Yesterday we were at my cousins and the new generation, same age difference as between me and my cousin, managed to communicate. Suddenly the two little girls marched out her front door to "play." Noam's big Uncle Avi stood outside the door "guarding," and the rest of us peeked through the slats of the window shade.

I spent well over an hour this morning working on Havel Havelim, which will debut, G-d willing, on Sunday, before I leave for work. http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2005/05/calling-all-jewish-and-israeli.html It seems to be growing larger than expected. I hope that nobody will be dissappointed and that there won't be too many foul-ups with the html's or whatever.

It's Friday morning and there's lots to do here.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Shiloh, the center of the country

Shiloh is in the center of the country. The media refers to the coastal plain as the "center." Now that really doesn't make sense. You don't have to be an expert in geography to know that the coast is by the water and the water is at the edge. Right?

Israel's a small country. A town that's about a half hour from most important places and two hours from each of the furthest places is in the center, adn that's Shiloh!

Calling all Jewish Israeli Bloggers

I'm hosting Havel Havelim next week. It's a magazine type round up of interesting Israeli or Jewish blogs from the previous week. Since today we're celebrating Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day, that's the theme. Read this week’s for an idea.

Please send suitable links, with a line of explanation and title indicating topic, to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com, before Shabbat.

Thanks and Chag Sameach!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Memorial Day

I'm drowning. So many little speeches to hear about the dead and murdered. After a while they just start sounding so similar. Hard to remember who's who and what where.

That's the biggest tragedy, when they're no longer remembered as individuals, unique individuals. And they all were. All those whom I knew, even those younger than my youngest.

But it gets harder to remember those I really didn't know.

I'm sure G-d knows them well. Nobody should be forgotten.

landed

son number one
landed

called from the airport
waiting for bags

the sign's on the door
mounted on a flag

no time to blog

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

T'hilim, Psalms, Kohelet, Ecclesiastes May 10

I guess I'm really tired. A couple of minutes ago I couldn't remember why, couldn't remember what I did this morning before going to work. Then I remember my Bible class, or boker limud, study morning. Then I remembered that I got so excited that the first line we learned was so important. But I can't figure out what it was, so I went to get my bag and books.

Psalms 36, 5-6
The pressures of evil make the world "crash" like a giant tsunami wave. David had to dig real deep to stop the flood, then there wasnt enough water, so the "shir hama'alot," "song of the ascents" brought the water to the right level. The height people can handle.

before the Moshiach things won't make sense, bad things will happen to good people and good things to bad.
That's because G-d wants it perfect in Olam Haba. There only evil will happen to the bad perosn, because any reward would have already come to him in this world. And only good will happen to the good person, because whatever punishment he needed, he would have gotten in this world, olam hazeh.

Chodesh Tov

Very Full Day


Came back late from the anti-Disengagement rally/meeting. Very well done, but it was past my bedtime. Nice crowd, interesting mix.

Spent the morning testing girls in the Ofra Ulpana (high school.) I always love meeting the kids and finding more about them. And then I visited my daughter and hers for a bit.

Also I have a letter in the Jerusalem Post about education. If someone can find the link, I'd appreciate it. thanks

Another very busy day planned for today.

Monday, May 9, 2005

why?

Why is the winter sunrise so much more beautiful than the summer one?

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Havel Havelim

It's that time of the week again. A new Havel Havelim has been published by Devarim. Take a gander.

And next week is by yours truly. Suggestions of suitable Jewish and Israeli blog posts should be sent to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com by Friday before Shabbat. Include a line of explanation with the link, and indicate if it's about Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration, memorial day mourning or history of the establishment of the state or anything else Jewish or Israeli happening this week. I'm sure bloggers will be busy; the question is how much time for blogging.

And of course a thank you to Soccer Dad for getting the ball rolling!

nice mention

On Shabbat I was surprised to read about myself in Voices, the magazine Sharon Katz of Efrat publishes. She didn't include the link to musing that inspired her, so here it is. Honestly, she's the inspiration who founded the Raise Your Spirits Community Theater. This women only theater group is one reason I have no problem with the morning bracha (blessing from the morning prayer) thanking G-d for making me "k'ritzono," "as He wishes."

The performances are "women only." The entire theater company is by and for females.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

counting the Omer, differently

Thanks to Devarim I discovered a new way to count the Omer . It's a "women's count" and each day is symbolized by a different Biblical woman. In principle it's nice, but why did they change the blessing one says before counting? It is nice to study the Biblical women, just as it's traditional to learn Perkei Avot during the Omer. The blessing change seems silly.

Friday, May 6, 2005

This answers some questions

As one who has been the victim of shockingly ignorant journalists, this article in the NY Times answers some of the questions of why. The rubrics for marking essays in the SAT Essay Test reward length over everything. Students aren't penalized for incorrect "facts." "Well-written" and "accurate" aren't even near to being synonyms. As a high school English teacher, it reminds me that if I don't take off for spelling, punctuation and other grammar errors, my students will consider it a waste of time writing correctly.

great little restaurant in Jerusalem

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks. Not long before Pesach I found myself in Jerusalem looking for a reasonable restaurnat for breakfast. I peeked into my usual haunts, but none of them offered just what I wanted, coffee, eggs and salad.

They all had variations on the theme, but something kept feeling wrong. Suddenly I remembered that I had seen an ad for a new dairy/coffee whatever place, and it was on Mordechai Ben Hillel Street, low numbers. So I went searching. If I'm not mistaken, the name is "Cafe au lait." Just outside there was a small table and sign about breakfast. I figured that there was nothing to lose, so I peeked in.

It was larger than I had expected and had to walk down a "hallway" of sorts until I saw a real nice place that extended into the inner courtyard, or back, of the bullding. I asked the person who seemed in charge what their breakfast deal was, and they had a few. There was one that included what I wanted plus a bagel. Just perfect.

I asked where the bagels were from ,and they answered that they baked them. I doubted that they were the genuine item, but figured I'd give the place a chance. I chose a bagel and waited for breakfast.

Breakfast was delicious and freshly prepared. I noticed a worker dumping something in a vat. Behind a glass wall was the bagel bakery. Yes, real boiled, then baked, bagels. You can watch them being prepared; great entertainment for the kids. Sort of like the old pizza places where the bakers spinned the dough in the air.

I'm not sure of their full menu, but for light meals, salads and fresh bagels, this is the place.

nursing mothers

The commercial food industry may not like to admit it, but the best baby food isn't from a factory. There are societies that accept and encourage it, but the U.S. isn't one of them. Recently there was a demonstration of nursing mothers demanding rights to facilitate nursing and pumping at work.

The Israeli 12 week maternity leave from work certainly helps, and many of the colleges and universities have babycare centers so that mothers can have their babies conveniently nearby.

And if you look in some women's "workbags" you'll find breast-pumps and and sterile bags to store milk for baby's next-day's feedings.

The Gantseh Megillah

This week's Gantseh Megillah has a musing of mine among a wide variety of other articles.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

easy kneidlach

Mine's the easiest recipe

1/2 cup matzah meal
with a bit of salt, pepper
then add 3 eggs, (if they're enormous only 2, or you may need to add more matzah meal)
1 T water
2 T oil (Pesach we use olive, and during the year, soy)
mix and let sit for at least an hour


Then just dump teaspoon fulls into boiling soup or boiling water.

Yes, we do eat them during the year!

strange dreams

I had strange dreams last night, that I ended up missing my exercise class. There were other peculiar things in the dream. I don't usually have troubled dreams. Either I can't sleep or can sleep and sleep well, until I wake up.

The chicken's still frozen; I should have put it out to thaw much earlier in the day. Still no guests; I'll have to look harder. But I'm not interested in going away for Shabbat, since the yishuv will be having a special guest, Rabbi Yigal Kamenetzy, Rabbi of Gush Katif. His sister is a neighbor of mine and good friend. HaRav Yigal will be speaking, and I'm looking forward to hearing him. His shiur will be instead of our "shiur nashim" which I've been going to for 23 1/2 years.

Seems like the "winter weather" isn't over yet. But like every year, soon we'll be missing it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

now I need bagels

No, I'm not going back to the bagel-selling business. I just bought some lox, smoked salmon. And there's only one way to eat it, and that's on a bagel with cream cheese, so I need some of that, too. In the interum, the package is in the freezer.

A friend discovered that the husband of someone we know is in the fish smoking/salting/pickling (Jewish sushi) business. She began buying from him and suggested that he peddle in the neighborhood. I asked him what could be frozen, and he suggested the lox. So we have some frigidly awaiting bagels and cream cheese.

disappointed, but...

I just called my neighbor about our weekly ride to the Neve Yaakov Pool and discovered that it's closed for repairs. I'm disappointed, but there's plenty to do, and it'll be easier to handle the rest of my day.

So I took a quick look at yahoo news for some interesting items:

First there's a memoir written by one of the "munchkins" in Wizard of Oz . He's 89 years old!

Next the story of a miraculous recovery after what seemed to be permanent brain damage. There's always reason to hope.

Lastly, is food for thought, the type to make you sick. Apparently in many states in the U.S., one can be fired for one's private, personal, political opinions . That's right! Freedom of thought, choice, etc do not really exist in America.

So I'm not missing anything living here in Israel. Though I guess it's good that the "hanhalah" (the bosses) where I work don't read my blogs.

Now for a walk around the block, better than nothing, but I was looking forward to the sauna and steamroom. Ok, soon the pool will be open here.

May 3 T'hilim, Psalms, Kohelet, Ecclesiastes

Yes, I've resumed my studies, and I'll report. But this time I'll just give you the highlights.

During the two hours we study, everything seems to be important, but I don't have the time for a full report. Maybe I'll add more later. Now for one important line from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes.

Chapter 7, line 19
"Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers who are in the city."
Nissan started by asking me "What's better, democracy or dictatorship?" (I guess he reads my musings.)
Ten rulers are "democracy" and the "wise" is the "dictator" who takes good advice, "wisdom." The ten could be fools; we all know that in democracy not always the best (person/idea) wins. People are stupid. My classic argument is that Hitler came to power in a democratic way. His party was voted into office.
But a wise man who properly analyses good/wise information is a much better ruler.

This certainly not what I was raised to believe, not what I was taught in Social Studies. But "pc" the politically correct is not always right.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

back in the saddle

First day back at work after a nice long Passover vacation.

Ok, could have been worse. I'm just exhausted and had to wait 40 minutes in the freezing cold for a ride out of Beit El. Yes, freezing, like winter cold. And even though I had taken a jacket, I'm not a total idiot, it didn't have a hood. Arctic, at least for my neck of the woods.

At least there was a good ride once I got to Ofra.

There are days I wonder why I do this. It's not that bad; the kids cooperated.

I need a rest.

Good night!

Back to Work

I'm a part-time high school teacher, and today my Passover vacation ends. I have to go back to work. It's not as though I haven't worked over vacation. A teacher's work is never done, but returning to the classroom and walking out with blue and yellow chalk all over my hands, clothes and face. Filling out attendence forms, trying to get more English into teenage male minds....

I'm always working. For instance, on the way to the Dead Sea, who should be traveling on the same buses, but one of my students, so of course I reminded him of the assignment he still needed to do. I'm sure he appreciated it. And last night, I had to watch "Serpico" to see if it was suitable to show my students. Unfortunately there's a naked woman being raped in one of the first scenes and later on a bathtub scene that's even worse. I do work hard.

Ok, back to the grind.

Monday, May 2, 2005

Baile Rochel #5 Thank G-d I'm Not a Washing Machine!

Baile Rochel’s Back! #5
The 22nd of Nissan
May 1, 2005

Thank G-d, I’m Not A Washing Machine!

I usually have a very good concept of space, time and numbers. I’m one of those people who takes out just the right container to hold all the leftovers, no wasted space and nothing spilling over.

So when I say, “I’ve lost track of how many washes I’ve done today,” then that washing machine has been abused. And even worse, there’s more waiting in the wings, or should I say “on the floor.” I didn’t even come close to finishing. I still have all the dark washes, black socks and pantyhose clamoring to be laundered, stinking up a storm and competing with more sheets, towels and blanket covers.

Today is the day after Passover, a weeklong holiday. This year was even longer, since Shabbat immediately preceded it. Chol Hamo’ed, or the “intermediate days” of the holiday have some of the restrictions of Jewish Holidays but not all of them. One of the things we aren’t supposed to do is the laundry. I must admit that when I had a full house, I did plenty of laundry.

Please don’t call me a sinner! Would you want to have dirty diapers fermenting in your house? And even if the stink turns you on, do you really think we used to have enough cloth diapers to last over a week? When I first became a mother we still didn’t have a washing machine.

That’s right, I was a young bride washerwoman. Everyday I filled our bathtub with the dirty laundry, let it soak, then I scrubbed and rinsed. We lived in the Old City of Jerusalem, in a historic building that had an open roof, with a terrace just perfect for hanging clothes. I always liked to hang clothes in the sun. In Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY, where I spent my childhood, there were special laundry drying areas near all the buildings, set up with rows and rows of lines. All the mothers hung up wash, and I loved to help. When it was too cold and wet, we used the coin-dryers in the building’s laundry room, and I loved to clean the lint out of the filters. As long as nobody expected me to sort, fold and put away I loved laundry. (Nothing’s changed in that department.)

It was a major trauma when a roof was put over my clotheslines. No longer could I hang my dripping wet wash in the warm, dry sun. How were we ever going to get it dry? My husband discovered that there was a place on our picturesque domed roof, near where the neighboring Arab women hung their wash. So I soaked and scrubbed and he schlepped the wash out to the roof to dry.

Everything was fine until spring. Spring in Jerusalem isn’t quite spring in Europe or New York. Yes, it does warm up, but it comes with a price—sandstorms. As a native New Yorker, I had read about sandstorms and seen depictions in movies, but nothing prepared me for the reality. Sand storms meant that the laundry came off the line even dirtier than it started. Image hanging wash on the beach where some kids are having a sand fight. Just ask my husband about it, and he’ll start scratching as the sensation of sandy undershirts returns.

Shhh… don’t let anyone know, but I did something not quite legal. All of our clothes and linens were imbedded with sand, so I really had no choice. A couple of times a week, I’d fill two large bags with our laundry and visit a friend in a “merkaz klita,” “immigrant absorption center.” There was a Laundromat there for the residents, and I rationalized that I was also a new immigrant and deserved the same right to launder. As I became more comfortable with the facilities, I’d even hang out my wash on the lines that reminded me of my childhood. I’d have a wonderful time visiting my friend and her baby, and later in the day, when my wash had dried, I’d take it off the line and go home.

When our first child was born, in the middle of the summer, we moved into our Jerusalem apartment that had the most irresistible clotheslines. Still no washing machine, and the diapers arrived, twice a week from a “service.” In exchange I’d give them the wet and dirty ones. And I was still washing the rest of the laundry by hand. Let nobody call me a “spoiled American!”

Oy, that was a long time ago. We’re on our fourth washing machine, and I treat it like a member of the family. I could never imagine having to launder by hand again; I don’t even do my hand-washing by hand. If it can’t go safely in the machine, then it should be dry cleaned, and if that’s no good, then I’d rather toss it, trash it.

I paid my dues. I scrubbed and rubbed and rinsed and squeezed.

Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d, I’m no longer a washing machine!

Baile Rochel
Copyright©2005BatyaMedad, Contact me for publication permission; private distribution encouraged.

New Opportunities

Even though my salary doesn't come from the Ministry of Education, my job may be in danger. In recent years it has shrunk from full-time plus to just half. English teaching hours were reduced for my classes (5 to 4 per week) and I don't get all the grades I used to. I also have to "tremp" (hitch hike) to and from work, no more "taxi" service, not even part of the way. And there's no public transportation between Shiloh and Beit El. The Beit El buses are only southward to Jerusalem, and Shiloh is north, and the T-Junction (Givat Asaf) is not a regular bus stop. And yes, I love my job, teaching those boys. They usually appreciate my sense of humor. My experiences teaching girls have been less successful; they look at me with dread: "I hope I don't grow old like her!"

My bosses keep reassuring me that my job isn't in danger, but I'm paranoid, just the same.

So it's wonderful timing to get so many comments that I must get "Baile Rochel" into the bigtime of syndication in the Jewish papers. For that reason, I'm asking for specific ideas (including name, editor, email, link) of various papers. And if anyone has any connections, don't be shy, I'm asking you to suggest "Baile Rochel" to your favorite Jewish papers. Or if someone knows an agent who can do the hustling, please make a shidduch.

Thanks,

Baile Rochel