Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two weeks a year, or

Empty nests are hard to heat!

Yesterday as my friend and I were shivering by her heater,
we agreed that

we don't function in the cold and
we don't function in the heat
and that leaves us
about a week in between summer and winter and
another week in between winter and summer

So about two weeks a year we function. It seems like along with our "reading vision," our internal thermostat went kapoot!

My house never seemed so cold when the kids were living at home, and it doesn't seem this cold when they're visiting. And strangely it never got as hot in the summer as it does now, even empty, without lots of people.

My toes and fingers are all frozen, and yes it is worse when I'm fasting.

Well, I decided to make some of my famous soup. No recipe right now.

Let's see what some other bloggers are doing. I bet their dens/computer rooms are heated. Ours isn't.

Dry Bones has a "Golden Oldie" about hiding in a warm bed until the old year is over.

Wonderful news from Baleboosteh and family. They are home after Amber's surgery. Refuah Shleimah!

Robin has what to say about the Neturei Carta.

Kibud Av-Part 2 at Heichel Hanegina.

and lastly, since I can't take the cold in here:
Westbankmama writes about character and Saddam Hussein comparing him to other villains.

The bases are...

Baile Rochel Plays Ball!

This little announcement about baseball starting in Israel brings back old memories...

I used to be the girls' Gym Teacher here in Shiloh. Actually that "temporary, just until we get a real gym teacher" job lasted thirteen years!

It's not like I was ever a great athlete or anything, but I had taught Creative Dance in Jerusalem before we moved here, and I also taught a women's exercise class during our first year in Shiloh, so... When they needed a gym teacher for the school, I was the "obvious" choice.

Since we had neither equipment nor a sports facility, even classrooms were hard to come by, and it didn't help that I was totally untrained, I did my "creative thing."

In those days Israeli sports were confined to soccer, meaning ball kicking. The concept of "passing balls," accurately throwing from one to another was an unknown concept. And when I tried teaching them "punchball," a favorite from my school days, I realized that the entire culture of Baseball was as unknown as bacon to my Orthodox Jewish Israeli students.

When I was a kid, we played it in the school yard, PS 46, Bayside, NY. Punchball was a "poor man's baseball." The only equipment was a spaldeen ball and some kids. it was set up like baseball, but instead of a bat, we used our fist, unlike stickball.

I thought that it would be the perfect game for the girls to learn, especially since I had no sports equipment, besides the rare ball. Being so "American" it never occurred to me that my students hadn't grown up with the same sports culture.

Let it suffice to say, that my punchball lesson was a total disaster. And honestly, I can understand why. It's a boring game, too much time waiting around. I had lots more success with dodgeball, but that's another story...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

More visiting and some cake

Last night we went visiting. A neighbor's mother has made aliyah, no, not on the Nefesh B'Nefesh flight I greeted. So they invited some of us to wish her a mazal tov. I ended up baking, since I was hosting the "Shiur Nashim," "Shabbat Torah Lesson for Women." I was in the mood for my "Diet Killer--Apple Crisp"; the low-sugar version I make is tasty enough. So I made three. One for us (ok, me and a guest) to eat Friday night, another to take to the neighbors and the third for the "shiur."

I'm still freezing. Waiting an hour in Beit El for a ride Thursday was not good for my health. I get this pain in my upper back. Luckily I remembered that we have this purple thing that you heat up in the microwave and can wear like a shawl. I wish I had socks like that. My feet are still frozen, and it's Saturday night already.

Now for some visits, cyber-visits...
Marallyn is enjoying her brother's visit and thinking of the old country's weather.
Cos' suggests we check out the Walking For Israel Blog. OK!
Smooth writes about Saddam Hussein's hanging. Remember that "G-d is the True Judge."
Soccer Dad writes about the late US President Ford.
Ezzie writes about sexual abuse in the Orthodox community.

This is getting depressing, so let me find something more fun...
Jameel has some "snow pictures," and I see that he also signed up for the ads, and he's designing a new banner for the Muqata.

I think that's it for now. the shawl cooled, must reheat it.
Shavua Tov and Tzom Kal for those who plan of fasting tomorrow.

Simply, delicious vegetables!

Tri-colored Potatoes!

purple, white and orange

pumpkin and round zucchini

These are all examples of super simple and very delicious vegetable dishes. All I did was to dribble with some oil and then bake.

It's easier than broiling a steak! Don't let people tell you that it's too much work to make veggies!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Facing the Future Here in Israel!

Here are faces from the December 27 Nefesh B'Nefesh flight of olim chadashim, new immigrants, to Israel! Good luck to one and all!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

minor renovations

I've made some changes on my sidebar. I took off the "cluster map," which shows how many visitors from all over the world. If I want to see, there are other ways, and I'm sure nobody else is interested. I also deleted the new blog carnival widget. It was just too big and was really just an advertisement for the "bc" people to make money off of. so I figured, if there are going to be ads on this blog... meaning if anyone will make money off of my blog, it had better be me!

So I'm trying They recommend also putting up their banner, but Sarah and Akiva worked so hard making my blog a blog of beauty, I'd had to ruin it.

The milder climate

For my cousin in Neve Ne'eman, for instance, Shiloh's climate is cold, but compared to neighboring Ofra and Beit El, it's much milder. The pictures click to see were taken early in the morning in Shiloh. By the time I went to work at 1pm, there was no sign at all of snow.

But then just south of Shiloh near Ofra the fields near the road still had snow. OK, not quite the blizzards I remember from New York, or even the years when Jerusalem and Shiloh were really snowed in, but there was snow.

The pictures here were taken as I walked to the yeshiva where I teach. Even when I finished work a few hours later, there was still snow on the ground.

During our first winter here, 25 years ago, our eldest was going to school in Ofra. All the big kids from Shiloh would wait at the corner for the van to pick them up. Yes, a van was all that was needed; there weren't all that many big kids. One rainy winter's day nothing arrived, and they waited and waited. We didn't have phones then, but finally a walkie-talkie was used to contact Ofra.

"Why haven't the kids been picked up?"

"What do you mean snow? It's not snowing here in Shiloh!"

Yes, that's when I learned that Shiloh has a milder climate. Great in theory, but I'm still cold! Waiting an hour in Beit El for a ride certainly didn't help!

a bissel visiting and snow

Yes, it's pretty obvious that the snow's rather pathetic here in Shiloh. Last night my friends in Beit El and Efrat were reporting real snow, and I'm sure that my daughter and granddaughters in Ofra have real snow, too. But honestly, I'm now complaining. I can live without the snow. I just wonder if there will be school today, since I teach in Beit El, and walking on the ice to the yeshiva isn't pleasant. Also, my classroom, the English Room doesn't have a real heater. After I complained that the other rooms were getting those fancy air-conditioner-heater combos, they gave me a little electric thing, which pre-dates the fan heaters. It has two wires which get hot and have a range of about 2 feet, and I mean my two feet.

Don't forget that it's Thursday, so I have lots of cooking to do.


And as promised, I'm taking you along now while visiting some favorite blogs.

Moze has invited us to Shvil Yisrael--Herzliya, heading north.

Wendy is settling into her new home.

Sarah tells us something weird about herself. Thanks for not tagging me!

Judy is creative, not...

Emah S shows snow in Jerusalem!

More on snow from ifyouwillit.

Hooked on Crochet makes gorgeous hats.

Wonderful news from Bagel Blogger!

Akiva gives us some important info.

The Prag' is weird, too.

That's it for now. I also want to post more Nefesh B'Nefesh pictures.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

This is where I was today!

I was among the very privileged to greet the latest olim chadashim, new immigrants to Israel, including the 10,000th to make aliyah with the help of Nefesh B'Nefesh!

Yes, it was thrilling!! I'll write more about it later and post more pictures. My "feature article" will probably be on Shiloh Musings, and the picture essay here.

Here's the 10,000th immigrant showing off her teudat oleh, New Immigrant Certificate! Good luck!!!

My mother doesn't use speed-dial

One of the reasons I teach remedial groups is that there are less students, and it would take me till well past the first report card to match names to faces to classes. I've long lost the ability to memorize. I have no idea when it happened, but if I'm given a list of anything my mind just goes blank.

Of course my cellphone is full of numbers, and I scroll through to make calls. If I need the land line, then I check the number on the cell phone. Other numbers are safe (I hope so) in our cordless phone. I taught myself how to enter numbers and retrieve them. It's easy to do by following the instructions on the phone. That's how I got the ring to sound like chimes. It's better than the siren-like sound my son programmed in.

My mother doesn't use speed-dial; she says that by forcing herself to memorize numbers, she's keeping her brain sharp. At 81, she's responsible for a more complicated life than mine, since she's responsible for both herself and my father. Every day and week have different appointments for them, not like my boring routine. That fits this editorial in the NY Times. It's nice to find something in that newspaper with which I can agree.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

There must be something better

First the IBA Channel 1 started disappearing and leaving us with an empty screen. Gevalt! No Law and Order! That's not fair. I only watch 3 shows a week! And that's one of them.

Then last night when my husband was working on the computer, it suddenly went "offline." Nothing worked. He called netvision which had him do all sorts of stuff and blamed bezek. No internet. We were offline for almost an entire day.

In the morning it still didn't work. I called our computer expert who said that he also had trouble. He lives in nearby Eli.

I watched a new movie I bought, Regarding Henry. I figured it would be better than playing spider solitaire and freecell. It was and I also finished the 6th Henry Bosch story. Now I'm stuck, since I don't have the next six. And I also folded laundry.

By the time I left for work after 12, still no connection.

Now I'm back and B"H, thank G-d. It really makes me nervous. You just can't trust anyone or anything in this modern world.

Monday, December 25, 2006

3 very different things

First thing... Let's say, it's not the type of Yiddish my grandparents sang, and I'm not even mentioning the "sequencing" that 3 were dead when the original came out. You haven't a clue, right? OK, a bissel help. My neighbor used to work with Paul McCartney, but I highly doubt that they sang this! hat tip, my husband

And now for something completely different. Take a gander at these great pictures of Australia which ~Sarah~ posted.

Lastly, the picture. When I was walking to my exercise class this morning at 8:15, two hours after the sun was bright in the sky, I noticed a sort of "white powder" in my backyard along the path. I couldn't figure out what it was. Then I walked a bit more and realized that it was... frost!? It didn't feel that cold, certainly far from freezing. But for whatever reason, some of the ground was covered with a fine frost. Yes, I do have my camera on me a lot.

One of those days

It was one of "those" days, yes, yesterday was.

I must admit that it started well, with a quick and easy posting of , and then I rushed down to catch "whatever" to Jerusalem. For some peculiar reason I rushed, even though I keep saying that it doesn't pay to rush, and I didn't know when the next bus to Jerusalem was expected. I was counting on "Siyata D'Shmaya (G-d's help)" certainly more reliable than the Egged bus company. As I got closer, I saw a bus, but I had no idea of which direction it was heading, and then suddenly another one. Now, there are only two directions-- to Ariel and to Jerusalem. So, if there are two buses, one should be to Jerusalem, and the second one was!

It looked like my lucky day!

In Jerusalem I decided to be "smart" and take the express shuttle, the #5, to the Malcha Mall. We had won a ns30 free for "Toys R Us," and the only branch I could get to is there. "Smart" was pretty dumb, since no bus came, even though the number was on the sign. I passed up the long, windy #6 and waited and waited and waited and took a few pictures.

It seems like the street by the Jerusalem Central Bus Station is beginning to resemble in sight, sound and smells, the old Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. There's one big difference. In Jerusalem the food places are all kosher.

I finally took the next #6, a good 40 minutes later, which was peculiar since every other line came at least 5 times! So the day was looking "less good."

On to the mall! In a worker told me that I should show the "money magnet" when paying, and I'll get ns30 off, so I went searching for something worth buying. I finally did and there I was told that the offer had expired, so I told them that I wasn't buying anything and that they were a bunch of cheats, since there was no expiration date on the magnet.

I found things to buy in other stores and then decided, though I was starving, to rush back to catch the 2:15 to Shiloh. Note that I didn't say "home," since the bus goes to Shiloh and not to my neighborhood.

Time was short and I kept debating on whether or not to run for it or continue to town, buy some food and then "hitch" home. Against my better judgment I found myself getting off the bus and running for the 2:15. Great luck, it hadn't left yet. Not so great, it hadn't even arrived and dozens were waiting for it. And we waited and waited and waited. I was starving but sure that if I went for a sandwich I'd miss it. So I waited. My friend and I spoke to the "sadranim," the guys in charge of scheduling. They promised it would come soon, delayed because of roadwork, and I'd be risking it if I went for food.

So I waited, and I was the first in the bus, which was so crowded that people were sitting on the floor!

Finally we were in Shiloh and starving and tired I began trudging up the hill. A little car stopped, and there was one seat. My neighbor told me to get in. "Age before beauty!" I didn't argue. I sat down, without even looking at the driver; I was that desperate. Suddenly I heard a familiar voice! It was one of my former students! What a treat, and he took me straight to my house!

I ate and then a friend came over to see "The Sting," and later we went down to pay a shiva call.

Modern Uberdox asks a "rude" question

Modern Uberdox is asking Jewish bloggers how old they are! Of all the nerve! Of course you can visit and answer if you want to. So far it looks like I'm the oldest female of the lot. There are male bloggers older--though not by much.

This certainly isn't my most flattering picture, but you can guess if you'd like. It shouldn't be that hard.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

bloggin' good

It was one of "those" days--good, bad, good, bad-- I guess G-d wants to keep me guessing. (I'll have to post my "adventures" another time.)

First of course for some good things. I published Havel Havelim, which you can find on both my blogs. I called it: The End of an Era!

Next there are now two Recipe Carnivals, besides my own Kosher Cooking Carnival. They are Carnival of the Recipes and Carnival of the Cooks. Both feature my recipes among many, many others.

Actually, my day started off very well, and HH#99 was posted very soon after the submission deadline. If you're curious, there is a secret technique. It's called "Give yourself a week to do it." Sort of like Brit Milah, the Jewish Circumcision ceremony, which takes place on the eighth day of a male baby's life.

HH is generally published on Sunday's, so as soon as the previous one is out, it's time to start on the next one. First plan the general "structure," and then fill in the blanks. Since it's supposed to be a round-up of the best of the week's Jewish and Israeli posts, obviously there aren't too many on Sunday. I do the actual writing in "word," since blogger isn't reliable, and it would mean saving in "draft." Besides saving the growing hh on the computer, I also use one of those "extra memory keys" or whatever they're called.

Generally by Tuesday I'm miserably depressed that "there's no way I'll ever have anything worth posting," so I start checking out the listings, like JBlogSphere.Net, JBlog Central and jrants. I also visit the various blogs who inhabit my sidebar to cull worthy posts. That's fun! And Soccer Dad sends me lists of links he thinks I'd like to include.

By Wednesday the posts are flooding my mailbox, and I hit my stride. Then I panic that "gevalt! There's no way I'll be able to find the time to read and write about all these posts." Then, miraculously by Thursday night I think, "wow, too bad I have to wait another two days, this looks like enough." Of course after that more posts arrive, and I find some more on my own.

By Shabbat, I'm more relaxed--no blogging and no computers. Saturday night the "word" document is itching to make its debut, but no, not yet, and I go to sleep. Sunday morning--the 8th day there are always a few more posts. And then comes the hard part, the cutting and copying and pasting and fine tuning as I carefully transfer it all to the blogs. Uploading pictures is frightening, since sometimes it works and sometimes not.

And is all of this worth it? If you like it, then it is. Volunteer by contacting soccer dad for HH and for KCC, I'm the address!

Now to get ready for the rest of the week!

The End of an Era!

The End of an Era
The Very Last
Double Digit

Number 99!!!

This is a historic moment in Jewish literature, so take a deep breath, and imagine that I've done a good job. Please… I feel the burden of responsibility on me. Enough kvetching…
On with the show!

To start with, if you haven't yet seen it, visit the
latest and greatest Kosher Cooking Carnival!


Read Akiva's
favorite Chanukah story.

And from
Reb Chaim HaQoton: The Hasmonean Mistake, the Chanukah story continued.

Here's Parshat Miketz by Moshe Burt.

See the
Chabad Chanukah pictures from around the world. I looked for one of the chanukiya they put at our junction, but it wasn't in the collection. (thanks lakevent)

YID With LID: Fighting for Justice A Shoah Survivor's Story

J O S H U A P U N D I T's The story of Hanukkah; there's plenty there including illustrations.

Life of Rubin found a
Pez Menorah.

Happy Channuka from psychotoddler.

Rubicon3 sings The Dreidel Song - Texas Swing Style.

Here's a
great Dry Bones classic!

Check out all of the gorgeous
Chanukiyot ~Sarah~ has posted.

Judy Gruen is
In a Sweat Over Holiday Gifts!

Rachel, again, posts
The Menorah of Courage. Some stories need to be told every year.

Now that Nathan is in Israel, Hanukah has a
different meaning.

Look at Dave Bender's
fantastic photos. I had trouble going into his blog and I'm glad that he sent me the photo link. Thanks Dave.

Here's a
Chanukah meme from Soccer Dad. I was getting nervous, but B"H, he didn't tag me. Besides that post, there's another great post with pictures of the Channuka house.

Ezzie shows
Elianna enjoying Chanukah.

Jameel gives his opinion on
sufganiyot. Mine are different.

And Jack complains of
too many presents.

nuch epes a chosid: Freilichen Chanuka; I love the picture!

See this new
Chanukah film by Gil Ronen; thank to Brenda.

Mottel writes about
The Sad Case of the Hanukkah Bush.

Take a
look at the candles in the windows!

I just couldn't resist
Modern Uberdox: The Menorah in the Window...

Here's what A Simple Jew's
wife has to say about Chanukah.

By the time you read this it will be
Esser Agaroth: The Day After Hanukkah.... (though at this moment—as I write this—we still have a day and a half left.)

Now for the
NY's Funniest Rabbi: Chanukah Quiz. Let's see how much you know.

And here's
Reb Chaim HaQoton's Rock of Ages.
Elie writes about
the fifth day of Chanukah.


The big Chanukah extravaganza here was
the Olive Festival! See the pictures.

Read about the
Mt. Zion Redevelopment Project; it's a project funded by the good Jews of Atlanta.

Shiloh Musings: Stoicism is not Heroism! What do you think?

From Moshe Burt:
Which Leader Will Bring Israel to Take Responsibility Instead of Depending upon the Nations for Her Security?? That's a good question.

No nonsense about Migron from Mark!

Slightly Mad tells us about
a cultural boycott of Israel.

Read Moze's
confession, and at the same time you'll see her suggestions to the Histadrut.

There are
many types of heroes, and not all are soldiers.

Cozy corner tells us about
Moderate Muslim politics on Israel.

The Elder of Ziyon says:
Time for the PalArabs to step up. But they won't.

What's the connection between
Begin, Yamit, El Al and Shabbat?

Meryl takes
A closer look at these “crude, homemade” rockets.

And Treppenwitz gives some
details about the Israeli Labor Party.

"Carl's Corner"
I'm giving Carl a special spot, because he sent me a slew of posts all at once, and at this point in my HH preparation, I don't feel like scattering them. Also, some of you may know that last month I challenged you to a
"Who are these bloggers and what do they have in common contest?" And now you know for sure; they are Carl and I. The event was the NCSY Reunion during the OU Convention in Jerusalem. Here are some things we have in common:
We were both NCSY Chapter President
We were both NCSY Regional Vice President
We were both NCSY National Financial Secretary
We made Aliya
We're members of the Ben Zakkai Honor Society.
We both thought it "clever" to wear old sweatshirts to the reunion, and we can both fit into our old sweatshirts—take a look at my post to see the picture.
And no, we didn't know each other then (he's younger) and we didn't plan wearing the sweatshirts together.
And now, here are his posts:
Persona non grata in Manchester
US Neocons expected Israel to attack Syria
Main entrance to Temple Mount on the verge of collapse
Why they deny the Holocaust
Olmert's stupidities
What went on at the Holocaust denial conference
Misreading Abu Mazen
'Palestinian' Civil War Update - Five more 'Palestinians' killed; IDF denies it's a civil war
Will France become pro-Israel? Dhimmi Carter's petrodollars Anti-Semitism


My husband celebrated Chanukah by
visiting Har HaBayit accompanied by the man who introduced him to it, Menachem Ben Yashar.

For those of us who haven't been in Australia,
Sarah's pictures are very tempting.

Simply Jews shows us that shidduchim are a lot better than
this. And is Allah better than yoga?

Check out
Fred's latest creations.

Have you read
The Jewish Voice? It looks interesting.

Here's the
Yisrael Medad-Ralph Lord Roy Correspondence.

Take a look at Shoshana's new blog,
Kindness Happens; the contributors are some of the most popular Jewish bloggers around.

Daf notes: Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 13 - Omer and Chanukah and Rosh Hashana 15 - THE TORAH DICTATES THE LAWS OF NATURE.

According to
Emes Ve-Emunah: Hundreds of Children are sexually abused.

Now you can see it,
the shechita; that's right, from Life in Israel.

Cross-Currents » Just for the Record is by Jonathan Rosenblum.

Read about
Women of Valour on Jewish Current Issues.

Meryl says:
There's hope for us yet.

According to – read, not quote, the Koran.

There is nothing worse than having a seriously ill child. Amber's parents
Bagel Blogger and Baleboosteh share with us their feelings. Refuah Shleimah, and may G-d give our two friends the strength to deal with it all and give all their children lots of love and support.

Elder of Ziyon reminds us not to forget Islamic Jihad.

A Simple Jew's baby says
her first word! It's "dada," of course.

On esser agaroth you can learn the
most important cooking advice.

Here's the
Jewish Blogmeister: J Blogger Interview: Featuring LakeVent!

Olah Chadash writes about her very tough
Bubby Becky.

An interesting post from Mystical Paths mentions the "catch 24" of
eiruv building.

Read what
The Pragmatician says about Kindness.

According to NYC Educator, there's
hell in NJ for those public school students who don't believe in "j."
AbbaGav reassures us that
he's not dead.

Smooth writes
that Barcelona is restoring its Jewish quarter, but that's not as good as it sounds.

Cosmic X posted a
picture I've thought about taking. OK, Cos' you won!

Westbankmama has
good news.

The Israeli Tikkun Blog tells about his First Official Judaism Lesson; what an adventure! Good luck!

Read the
Weekly Megillah! You can sign up and get it straight to your inbox.

There are some interesting points in
Letters of Thought: The Kapote Conundrum.

Walking for Israel is
calling all Jews. Just that you know, the walking isn't in Israel, but check out this new blog.

Check out:
Jewish Blogmeister: Get your Jewish Hero Trading Cards... he's not talking about Sandy Koufax!

Read what
got to my husband.

If you want to practice your Spanish, check out
Herut חרות.

Penny Stock reminds us that
things aren't as they first seem.

Here are:
Media Backspin, the editor's picks.

And according to
Media Blog on National Review Online, ABC News Analyst: Plight of Palestians Similar to the Holocaust.

Yid with Lid writes about the
60 Minutes show about the Shoah.

Marallyn reminisces about
NYE in the "old country."

And Ya'aqov wonders when he should
take down the succah.

Now, I'm sure that you never expected to see an interview with Santa in Havel Havelim, and I must admit that I certainly never expected to include one, but this isn't your everyday Santa; this is a Santa like you've never met before, but then again, what do you expect from
The Bagel Blogger?

The term “Havel Havelim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and finally realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “havel” or in English “vanities.” I think that King Solomon and his father King David were the original "bloggers." The books they wrote, when you take them chapter by chapter, can easily be described as blog posts. The stones they used to write on made them last, so that we can read them now. I doubt if today's technology will give our words any lasting effect.

Here's a special message from
Soccer Dad:
Next week's host is Bagel Blogger. Please note that to make #100 special we're asking everyone to submit a post from this year and, if they have it, a post from last year.
Send your links for the next edition of Havel Havelim via blog carnival, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter. You can also use those forms to send kosher recipes and other kosher food posts to the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Blog carnival also has a great listing of recent carnivals for your sidebar. You can either get one for a specific carnival, like HH or KCC, or a general one.

Thanks to
Soccer Dad for his hard work keeping this going, and if you want to host, please let him know at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.

This appears in the

Please put up a blurb on your site alerting readers to Havel Havelim. Thank you!

I can't figure it out!

This picture was supposed to illustrate my Havel Havelim, but for some very peculiar reason, it just didn't "go up." Just now, without doing anything differently, it went up so simply. It's the "poster" I made for our "Pin the candle on the Chanukiya" game we played with the kids on Chanukah. It was great fun, and I guess we'll have to make a tradition of it.

If it had been posted on #99 I would have added a few other pictures.

I just got word from work that I am striking--just for today, so I had better finish cleaning up, and then I'll go to Jerusalem. One of my chores is to spend the last of the "gift certificates" from the teachers union, how fitting for a strike day, sort of Marie Antoinette, I'd say.

Even teachers, grandmothers, mothers and wives are allowed to have fun, no? It'll sure be more productive than checking up on how many people are "visiting" my blogs. I like to get out of the house after posting a biggie.

So, first to the kitchen, dishes and floor--since a whole bunch of things broke yesterday--I guess that means lots of "mazal," good luck! And then, to pretend I'm rich!

Shavua Tov
Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Chanukah is over!

At least for this year it's over!
Now I have the post Chanukah cleaning. Sometimes it takes me almost until Purim to get the chanukiyot off of the window sill, but I think I may be better this year, since otherwise it will confuse the grandchildren.

and I'm almost finished with the post-Chanukah Havel Havelim I've been working on. G-d willing, next morning I'll add whatever else comes in over night, and then I'll set it up on the blogs.

So far it seems like I'll really be striking tomorrow. That's good, since I have things to do in Jerusalem, especially since I want to use my free Wednesday to greet the 10,000th oleh via Nefesh B'Nefesh.

Rather mundane this all sounds, did you say "mundane?"

Well, I guess I forgot to tell you about the latest Carnival of the Mundane.

and here are a few other things:
Amber, Baleboosteh's daughter has, B"H, gotten through surgery ok.

Marallyn has posted a great poem which I'll post, too:


A little house with three bedrooms
And one car on the street,
A mower that you had to push
To make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall
We only had one phone,
And no need for recording things,
Someone was always home.

We only had a living room
Where we would congregate,
Unless it was at mealtime
Then in the kitchen we ate.

We had no need for family rooms
Or extra rooms to dine,
When meeting as a family
Those two rooms worked out fine.

We only had one TV set,
And channels maybe two,
But always there was something
On that was surely worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips
That tasted like a chip,
And if you wanted flavor
There was Lipton's onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare
Because my mother liked to cook,
And nothing can compare to
Snacks from mama's cookbook.

Weekends were for family trips
Or staying home to play,
We all did things together --
Even go to church/synagogue to pray.

When we did our weekend trips
Depending on the weather,
No one stayed at home
Because we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate
To do things on our own,
But we knew where the others were
Without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies
With your favorite movie star,
And nothing can compare to
Watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics at
The peak of summer season,
Pack a lunch and find some trees
And never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together
With all the friends you know,
Have real action playing ball --
And no game video.

Remember when the doctor
Used to be the family friend,
And we never needed
anAccident Lawyer to defend!

The way that he took care of you
No matter what he had to do,
Because he took an oath and
Strived to do the best for you.(and sometimes that meant coming to your home)

Remember going to the store
And shopping casually,
And when you went to pay for it
You used REAL money?

Nothing that you had to swipe
Or punch in the amount,
Remember when the cashier person
Had to really count?

The milkman used to go
From door to door,
And it was just a few cents more
Than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed
Letters came right to your door,
Without a lot of junk mail ads
Sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name
And knew to whom it was sent;
There were not loads of mail
Addressed to "present occupant."

There was a time when just one glance
Was all that it would take,
And you would know the kind of car,
The model and the make.

They didn't look like turtles
Trying to squeeze out everymile;
They were streamlined, white-walled,
With fins and had some style.T

he music that you played loud
Made you want to jive,
It was on a vinyl,
large-holed recordCalled a forty-five.

The record player had a middle
Post to keep them all in line,
The records would drop down
And play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,
Just like we do today,
And always we were striving,
Trying for a better way.

But, the simple life we lived
Still seems like so much fun,
How can you explain a game,
Called 'kick the can and run'?

And boys put baseball cards for
The noise between bicycle spokes,
What about those nickel red machines
That dispensed little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier
And slower in some ways,
I love the new technology
But I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we,
And nothing stays the same,
But I sure love to reminisce
And walk down memory lane.

Friday, December 22, 2006

While the candles were burning...

While my own, not quite candles--actually, olive oil was burning, I took a walk around the neighborhood. The seventh night of Chanukah; just one more left, but that will be Shabbat, so I had to make due with the almost full chanukiyot.

From the sidewalk I couldn't see too much detail, just enough. Too bad I don't do the audial thing, since some neighbors were lighting as I went by. It was lovely hearing the blessings. Almost like Succot, when we're living in "little huts" out of doors. Acoustics are always bad, so one must remember that the neighbors can hear it all.

I must admit that I felt a bit like a spy, but except for people who may live in the actual homes, I don't think anyone can guess whose windows were photographed. I don't even know, certainly can't remember from these.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vacation from vacation?

Well, a vacation from vacation would normally be going to work, which would provide a routine, rather than a time to fill. Right?

But instead of work, I may be switching from vacation mode into strike mode. Yes, me striking?! Who would have thought it possible?

Today I got a call from the school secretary. Unless I hear otherwise, I'll be striking on Sunday instead of teaching! Serious budget cuts from the Education Ministry are making it financially impossible to run the schools.

The school I teach in, Yeshivat Tichonit Mateh Binyamin, in Beit El, is part of the Bnai Akiva High School Network. Our head office called the strike. I don't know if it's a one-day protest strike or longer. I googled the strike in English and didn't find anything new or more detailed.

So, G-d willing, if that's the case, I'll first finish Havel Havelim and then go some place. Today I've been home all day eating and cooking and doing Havel Havelim. It's just not healthy to stay home so much. I can feel the air growing stale, since I feel too cold to open up the window and door.

Maybe I'll take my camera out for a walk after lighting Chanukah candles. It's the 7th night. The eighth will be on Shabbat, and I won't be able to take pictures then.

Time to light the Chanukiya!

ps the picture was taken of me playing a great game I invented:
"Pin the candle on the Chanukiya"
It's modeled on "Pin the Tail on the Donkey"

The Olive Festival

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Yesterday's big event in this part of the world was the "Olive Festival," right here in Shiloh!

Olives are an ancient food and native to this part of the world (Israel-the Holy Land.) Olive trees grow massive. We have one in the front of our yard. Olives are ripe for the picking late summer, early fall, and there is a big crop is every two years. Olive oil is considered very healthy, and some people drink it every morning as a tonic. It is also fuel to be burned for light. Its wood is good for heating and carving.

I don't know the official count, but thousands of people were at the festival for sure.

The festival was initiated by Meshek Achiya (Achiya Farm,) which moved its operations from Achiya, a hilltop community northeast of Shiloh, to the Shiloh Industrial Zone. There was plenty of room for parking, and there were also buses from all over the country.

Weather was "perfect," meaning that the cursed drought continued. Besides being able to see the process to make oil out of olives, there were numerous activity centers for making things as diverse as soap, decorative candles, ceramics and more. There were also animals and animal rides. The nearby Ancient Biblical Tel of Shiloh was also open for tours and activities. Shiloh was the place to be!

Lots of families, including the grandparents and newborns, wandered around happily.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nu? What's new? and beta not

Where's my present?
Ok, do you have anything for Havel Havelim?
If so, please send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via blog carnival.

I'm waiting for the "grandgirls" to arrive so we'll go to the Olive Festival here in Shiloh. After that I'll be babysitting.

Of course, they were supposed to come a while ago, but I certainly have plenty to do here.

On another matter...
I refuse to beta, and the blogger people are getting real nudgy. I don't see the point of beta-ing. Now it's more complicated to sign in. I'm annoyed.

And another "improvement" I don't like so much is the new bc thing I put on my sidebars. It has an ad, and if I do want ads, I'll put some up myself so I get the profits.

Is it "just me," or do others feel the same way about it all?

That's something to blog about.

If the girls don't come soon, I'll get back to my HH work. Or I'll see the end of the Polanski Oliver Twist, which I began when I had breakfast and folded the laundry.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bus update

Or should I call it downdate. That's because the "public servants" here decided to let Egged cancel all service to our neighborhood. Less than two months ago the hell began. Until the beginning of November we have always had public transportation up to this neighborhood, Ramat Shmuel, and I'm talking about 25 years! Since then, they've reduced it to zero!

The actual distance, by car, from where the bus stops until my house, isn't all that far, less than a mile. But it's all uphill. Most bus travelers to Shiloh live in my neighborhood. Just about, if not all, the families without cars live up here. Most of the elderly are up here. Those who are forbidden--by doctors' orders--to walk such distances are my neighbors in this neighborhood.

According to Jewish Law, when one injures another person, tshuva, repentance is difficult. Public servants are supposed to serve the public.

I'm clueless!

My new suitcase is no where to be found. I offered to lend it to a friend who had to travel, but when I went up into the attic, not an easy feat, since the only access is a frightening ladder, I looked all over, and I couldn't find it. Luckily I found another in usable condition and lent it instead.

I had bought the new one, when I was in New York last January for the Ben Zakkai Dinner. I used it again last summer and it was borrowed and returned in October. I remember seeing it in the house.

It's one of those non-descript black rectangles, the shape being made now. My kids even went through the attic when they came for our little Chanukah party. Either it's hiding or it flew unaccompanied. I just hope that it returns before I need it again.

Thirteen's Kosher! Kosher Cooking Carnival #13

Don't Burn the Latkes!

Thirteen's Kosher!

Kosher Cooking Carnival #13


1. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is the Creator and Ruler of all things. He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
2. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His. He alone is our G-d He was, He is, and He will be.
3. I believe with perfect faith that G-d does not have a body. physical concepts do not apply to Him. There is nothing whatsoever that resembles Him at all.
4. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is first and last.
5. I believe with perfect faith that it is only proper to pray to G-d. One may not pray to anyone or anything else.
6. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true.
7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses is absolutely true. He was the chief of all prophets, both before and after Him.
8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses.
9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be another given by G-d.
10. I believe with perfect faith that G-d knows all of man's deeds and thoughts. It is thus written (Psalm 33:15), "He has molded every heart together, He understands what each one does."
11. I believe with perfect faith tha G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.
12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. How long it takes, I will await His coming every day.
13. I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when G-d wills it to happen.
What timing! Such siyata d'shmaya! This is the perfect Chanukah message, and the numbers match exactly.

The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and guest-hosts are welcome. Next month Elisheva will host it. Here's the list of the previous KCC's: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12! You can check out what's new and old on Blog Carnival, and you can also add the automatically updated KCC "widget" and/or listing to your own blog.

Let's start with some
chicken soup from Chavi Willig Levy. OK, to be more precise it's Chavi's mother, Ella's recipe. And for some "Jewish geography," we lived in the same Jerusalem building as Chavi's grandmother, which is how we became friends with Chavi. And when Chavi's sister got married my mother was visiting and met Ella, and Ella recognized her immediately from high school…

Since it's Chanukah, here's
a sufganiya demonstration on Jerusalem online.

And if you're having a grown-up Chanukah party, you may like
this menu someone sent me.

Here's a recipe
...from Jerusalem.

shavuah tov muse...your chicken looks is my version of kentucky
fried a plastic bag put one cup of flour and one cup of corn meal
(yellow not the white baby cornflour) add a dash of garlic, chicken soup powder,
paprika, black pepper...drop the chicken pieces in and shake and bake...on the
rack...medium oven...for about an hour...doesn't need turning...yummy too...a
sweet shavuah tov
The Renegade Kosher GUY sent Enough Side Dishes to Fill ANY Table!

I must try the
sugar art from elf; I'm a grandmother and we bubbies don't have to always be sticklers for super healthy. Right?

Judith, from Kesher Talk, put together a
cookbook. And she even put one of my recipes in it!

Thanks to Dave Bender for sending me
Baking and Books » Blog Archive » Chocolate & Apricot Challah.

Kosher Soul Food suggests a
Kosher Cookie Swap! Sounds great!

Try my
Simply Superb Chicken! Take a look; it's illustrated with real photos of the real yummy thing!

Mother in Israel gives the best
chulent instructions I've ever seen!

Now, Soccer Dad found something very interesting to send,
DaboysOf905: Crab Cakes for Shabbat. Imagine that! It's kosher!!

In Israel, avocados are a side dish or a protein for vegetarians. Thanks to Boris, I've discovered that they can
also be dessert.

Here are some
Quick, Easy & Delicious Salad Recipes from Elisheva, next month's guest host.

Exclusive! Only found here!
~Sarah~ sent me this recipe, which she hasn't even posted!!
Creamy Mushroom and Smoked Salmon Pasta

White Sauce:
2 tbsp margarine or butter
2 tbsp flour or corn flour
1/4 cup grated cheese
2 cups milk
salt, pepper and garlic to taste

400 gm pasta
2 large mushrooms
300 gm (??) smoked salmon
several spring onions

Cook pasta, drain and rinse under cold water to cool. To make white sauce, combine margarine/butter and flour over low heat. Add milk slowly while stirring. Keep stirring and add in cheese, making sure mixture does not burn. Add chopped mushrooms and salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Stir over low heat until sauce is smooth and creamy. Allow sauce to cool off while stirring. Slice smoked salmon into 1cm thick strips. Chop spring onions. Stir sauce, spring onions, smoked salmon into pasta until mixed through evenly. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped chives.
Serves 4

Try Westbankmama's
Easy Winter Dessert; anything easy sounds great to me!

Soccer Dad shows us an absolutely delicious
chocalte babka. I must hire his daughter to bake for me, if she ever makes it to Israel. And while he was thinking of desserts, he sent me Verbiage Sinful Indulgence; oh, yes, lots of calories, but it does sound yummy.

Marallyn sent me this irresistible recipe, and she has more here.
shabbat shalom is my favourite best white chocolate cheese cake in the world...takes all of ten minutes to make and has never failed me...enjoy...shabbat shalom...stay safe...marallyn
2 packages softened cream cheese 30%...8 oz each
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 oz bakers white chocolate melted
marie biscuits 50 melted butter for crust
3 Tablespoons red raspberry preserves...melted and strained
9" pan
mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla
add eggs
stir in melted white chocolate
pour into pie pan
take strained jam and dollop and swirl with a knife
bake 180 degrees 20-30 still slightly wiggly
cool and then refrigerate

How could she know that I absolutely adore white chocolate, second only to

Hagen Daz mint ice cream.?

Sweet Rose sent me this great cookie recipe.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:

I stick Margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown suger
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
10 oz. chocolate chips

*Please note - all measurements are approximate - I don't really measure things, so I'm not positive exactly what the measurements are supposed to be, especially stuff in the teaspoon/tablespoon range - Good luck!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine and peanut butter together until soft. Add in sugars and vanilla, then eggs. Then add in baking powder, baking soda and flour, mix well. Add in chocolate chips, spread into 13x9 inch pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

I guess we'll have to diet later.

This is
my breakfast, and it keeps me going.

Baleboosteh's Corn & Capsicum Fritters!

And how about these
steaming vegetables; they're straight from the oven, simpler than simple?

Emah S's Great Throw together dinner.... Perfect for a busy day!

Yes, it's true. There is an easy way to make lasagna!

Believe me!

Simple and tasty, I'm sure. Try Social Worker/Mom's

Cranberry Relish

1 bag frozen strawberries

1 can crushed pineapple

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

mix together that's it

Yes, that's it for this month. If I left anyone out, please write to me and I'll pass the link on to Elisheva. If you'd like to host the KCC, please let me know. And of course, send your kosher food links of all sorts to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via blog carnival.

And please don't forget to remind your readers to visit and try out the recipes. Pass the link!

And now I can concentrate my energies on the 99th Havel Havelim!