Thursday, February 02, 2023

Book Review- Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery


Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery by G.P. Gottlieb is a rather contemporary mystery. It takes place when COVID reigned, and people had to deal with lockdowns and more. Kids were being schooled by computer screens, and the Whipped and Sipped Café couldn't let customers inside to eat. Food and drinks had to be ordered online or by phone and delivered to their customers waiting outside the door.

Aline, the cafe's owner, manages a lot more socializing than most during the lockdown. Besides working with the café staff and customers, she has her children and father to take care of. In addition to that she's also in a serious relationship with Frank, a homicide detective and is also very involved in the lives of a few of her neighbors. There is one very Jewish character in Charred, Aline's best friend and Whipped and Sipped Café pastry chef Ruthie Blum Rosen, who is a Sabbath observer and vegan, too. All of the pastry she makes is vegan.

Charred is the third in a series of murder mysteries by G.P. Gottlieb featuring the same characters, and I'd love to read the others, too. An added bonus to the series is the inclusion of recipes prepared in the Whipped and Sipped Café.

As the story begins, Aline starts her day by doing her neighbors Kacey and Kofi a favor by driving them to the site of a burnt building, so Kofi could find interesting charred wood for his artwork. But instead of some wood, he brought back a mystery. He quickly returned panicked and empty-handed back to her car. It took awhile until Aline discovered what was bothering him; he saw a dead body. Then she was forced to promise that she wouldn't tell anyone, including Frank.

The police are suspicious of a possible connection between the body and Ruthie Blum Rosen, because the dead person is found wearing a jacket with the Rosen's nametag which has things from the café in its pocket. It has never occurred to Ruthie to remove the nametags of clothing before donating to charity.

G.P. Gottlieb has created a wonderful group of characters, each with a distinct personality. We quickly find ourselves involved in the community of the Whipped and Sipped Café, the staff, customers and local eccentrics who hang out by its door. We also discover that Aline's father has recently been hearing from his brother who had been jailed for many years and wants to see him. 

To be honest, when I was a good three quarters finished with the book, I began to think that there were too many threads and wondered if G.P. Gottlieb would tie them all together. And then suddenly, rather miraculously the author very neatly crocheted them all into a wonderful conclusion.

I highly recommend Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery, and as I said earlier, I'd love to read the earlier books in the series. The book does stand well on its own; I'd like to read the others, because no doubt I'd enjoy them. 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Shmoozed With Young Friends


When I discovered that Yael and Tova do a weekly podcast about "old" TV shows I revealed that Andy Kaufman of TAXI and the inspiration for the biopic Man on The Moon had been in high school with me. They invited me to join them on one of their podcasts.

It took a few months for us to actually get together on it. The first date they had hoped for found me hospitalized. Finally they filmed me in their "studio" in nearby Shvut Rachel last week.

Please watch, "like it," comment and share. If you like them, then subscribe so you'll get notifications of new podcasts of THE SHMOOZE!

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Easy and Quick Vegetable and Orange Lentil Soup

 


I've been craving my homemade vegetable soup for quite a while, and I didn't have much patience to wait. An easy shortcut requires a can of beans, but we didn't have any. then I remembered the orange lentils I had bought. They cook up very quickly.

Ingredients (I don't measure exactly, so there's no need to obsess about exact quantities)

  • large onion
  • medium squash
  • nice sized chunk of sweet potato
  • celeriac
  • coarse salt, pepper (coarse is best,) parsley-- either fresh or dehydrated
  • if you have carrots, add one or more, mushrooms also good, ditto for fresh parsley or celery
Instructions

  • cut in small chunks or slices
  • put all in a large pot
  • start sautéing in oil
  • add at least a half cup of orange lentils
  • boil a couple of liters of water
  • add the boiling water and cover
  • as soon as the soup begins to boil, turn down the flame to just simmer

Cook until it's all soft, and the lentils are mushy.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Never Say "Never," Happens to Us All


“ Emergency Room ”
Well, that's me under that blanket photographing the Emergency Room of the Jerusalem hospital Shaare Tzedek. That's the same hospital where I gave birth to all of my Israeli born kids. OK to be more accurate, the two eldest were born in the old building on Yaffa Street between Machane Yehuda and the Central Bus Station. 

For years I'd been bragging that I subsidize most everyone else in terms of health spending. As a senior citizen, the government pays for basic healthcare, and in addition for more services we pay extra each month. Rarely do we use any of them.

Besides getting a hefty subsidy on my hearing aids, just a few months ago and basic periodic tests and vaccines, I've had no need to take advantage of Israel's excellent healthcare. Think of me as a "cheap date." That is until barely a couple of months ago...

My chronic cough suddenly morphed from a bad cold, runny nose to breathing problems. I began to panic and contacted a daughter who lives just a quarter hour away. She took me to our local clinic where suddenly the entire staff joined in to get me ready, with IV port in my hand in case needed, for an ambulance ride to Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Strapped into the wheeled stretcher, breathing oxygen and Ventolin, watching a screen showing my "vitals" I hadn't a clue as to what awaited me. 

Three days of rest and tests, extra oxygen plus...

Each night I slept in a different room- first a "private room" in the Emergency Room "annex." Just a year or two earlier these rooms were for isolating COVID patients. Now lucky patients like me waiting for space in the wards are assigned rooms. Doctors and nurses visited from the various wards.

Second night I was in the "Waiting Room" of "Internal Medicine." My daughter managed to convince them to give me a window spot in the six-patient "holding area." From the looks of the other patients, I was in some advanced Geriatrics ward. This was reinforced when the following morning an aid asked if I needed a "diaper change." Really, I couldn't have made such a thing up! It didn't help that I was given a "soft meal," as if toothless. Considering that I love the crust of bakery bread and still chew bones...

Dawn from my window in 
Shaare Tzedek Hospital, Jerusalem
Thankfully, that afternoon I was transferred to a nice room for two with a roommate younger than most of my children. Soon after that, a lung specialist MD came in and told me that my oxygen levels were acceptable and I no longer needed to be "hooked up."
"Get up, and walk around" she ordered. That was really good news.
After that I couldn't be kept down, thank Gd. But I had been  labeled "asthmatic," and the staff kept asking me about my oxygen supply/equipment at home. They had taken for granted that I have a history of asthma, which I don't. 

Finally, three days after entering Shaare Tzedek I was released, though with a supply of inhalers plus some fizzy pill to attack that cough. I think that my return home is best posted as Baile Rochel. So stay tuned...

Finally leaving Shaare Tzedek thanks to their great care and 
also my local Kupat Cholim Leumit Clinic 


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #36 Cinema City- Not Just for Intermission

 See #35,  #34,  #33#32 #31#30#29#28#27#26#25#24,  #23#22,  #21#20#19#18#17,   #16, #15a#15#14#13#12#11#10#9#8#7, #6#5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2 and #1.

In the cinemas of my youth, there was nothing other than a snack bar for buying popcorn, soda and other noshes before stepping into the darkened movie theater plus some difficult to find public toilets. One needed to remember to visit either before, after or during the intermission as not to disturb the other moviegoers. Of course, there was only one large screen and movie showing at a time. Sometimes there were double-features, and you got to stay to see two movies for the price of one. 

Today movie theaters are now malls offering a variety of restaurants and even event halls, besides the fact that there are multiple movies playing simultaneously. Even more "shocking" to those of us raised in the mid-twentieth century is the fact that you can go to a place like Cinema City for something as unentertaining as a visit to the doctor, which is why I was there yesterday.

Nestled among the restaurants, stores and pubs on the main floor are the public toilets. Look up, and you'll see the signs pointing the way. When I was there yesterday, they were clean and well-equipped with soap and toilet paper.
You can tell that they were designed to suit the ambience of the location. 

Having gone to movies in the Jerusalem Cinema City, I recommend taking advantage of these on the main floor, if possible. They are much larger and nicer than the ones near the movie-viewing halls.

Actually, you can think of Cinema City as a nice indoor restaurant mall or food court. There's a small selection of restaurants and snack places, all kosher, either meat or dairy. There's even a grocery store where you can buy some healthy food, not just sugared or salty nosherei.

Public transportation is convenient. I suggest searching on Google Maps. And for those who like to walk, you'd be amazed at how centrally located the Jerusalem Cinema City actually is.

I hope that this has been helpful and was surprised that I hadn't reviewed it earlier. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments, thanks. Or email me at shilohmuse@gmail.com subject: Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem. I'm also on facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Celebrating YOM HA'ALIYAH Making One's Home in Israel, The Holy Land

 


For the past few years a "new holiday" has joined the Israeli Calendar, YOM HA'ALIYAH, a time to honor those who made aliyah-- immigrated to Israel. My husband and I made the move two months after our wedding in the summer of 1970. You can read about it here part 1 and part 2

YOM ALIYAH is celebrated around the Torah Portion Lech Lecha in which Gd commands Avram-Abram (before his name is changed to Avraham-Abraham) to get himself going to the Land Gd will show him.

לך לך

Over the millennium many Jews all exiled over the world have felt these words from Gd personally and made their way whether by plane, boat, wagon or foot to the Holy Land, the Land of Israel, even before the modern State of Israel had been established. I was one of them.

I'll never forget how I broke the news of my plans to my parents, who had barely adjusted to my religious observance. You must understand that we were an ordinary American Jewish family, which lit Chanukah candles, had an abridged Passover Seder, were even members of a synagogue, Conservative-- which was the most popular and rapidly growing in the 1950s. But the kitchen wasn't kosher, and Shabbat and many Jewish Holidays weren't on our family calendar.

When I was thirteen 13 we moved to a different community, and the only synagogue actively recruiting new members was Orthodox, the Great Neck Synagogue. There I joined their Teen Club to make friends. It was a chapter of NCSY National Conference of Synagogue Youth, where I was introduced to "Torah True Judaism" which changed my life. Soon after, one of the local Jewish activists got me involved in Betar and Zionism, icing on the cake of my Jewish Life.

I didn't want any ideological, philosophical arguments with my parents about my plan to move to Israel, so I simply said:

"You couldn't stop me from keeping Shabbat and Kashrut. Living in Israel is just another mitzvah, and you can't stop me from doing that either."

It worked. They had no answer, though sometimes I wonder if they were happy to get me far from my younger siblings as not to corrupt them with my revolutionary life style. Within a few years, my mother enjoyed being the local expert in helping other parents with similarly "eccentric" children.


Obviously, Lech Lecha has always been my favorite Torah Portion of The Week. I live in a community, Shiloh, that is a fantastic stew of longtime Israelis and and much newer ones from all over the world. Our local region Mateh Binyamin, which is like an American county, is the same sort of mix. This year Mateh Binyamin made a big festive event to which we had been invited. I really enjoyed seeing so many people; some had been customers of mine when I worked in Yafiz. The highlight was an old-fashioned Israeli singalong. The choice of songs was just perfect.


It's the truth to say that I celebrate YOM HA'ALIYAH daily. I've never once considered that decision I made as a teenager to have been a mistake.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Life's a Shiputz #3 Living With a "Half-Full" Loo 🆏 Shower and Better Hot Water Than Before

No doubt, we've all heard the advice to look at a glass of water that only at 50% as "half full" and not "half empty." So due to the Jewish Holidays of Succot-Simchat Torah, which last over a week our contractor has taken off for a holiday break. 

I understand and I'm not complaining. He made every effort to leave the house as livable as possible. A couple of days before Succot he replaced the plumbing in the laundry room and returned the washing machine to its corner. So I no longer had to launder at the very generous neighbors. 

The best thing he did was to make one of the bathrooms usable. The toilet was hooked up to the plumbing, and the shower works. There's even a small faucet next to the toilet, so we can wash our hands. We do have a second fully functioning toilet by the front door. We didn't renovate that part of the house

I'm glad that we have a usable toilet and shower. Also, did you notice
that my old accessories match to the new colors?

Considering that we're only two people in the house, and we're not doing any major entertaining, we have all we need. There are lots of families with only one toilet. Here we have two plus a nice shower. OK, I brush my teeth in the kitchen or the sink near the front door. There are worse things. Right? 

And yes, as I wrote in the title, the hot water is better than before!

Probably the worst thing about how this house was built was the plumbing. The pipes weren't well insulated, plus they were strangely routed. Three showers could have been taken with the cold water that came out before we felt something hot. And even though we supposedly had a very large hot water tank there was never enough even for just two of us, and the solar panels only seemed to work in the peak of the summer. 

One of the things that the contractor has to do is to get the electric water heater reattached. Now, even though days are getting shorter and it's getting chilly, the water isn't freezing. I usually had it on for a couple of hours in this sort of weather.

Thank Gd, we're surviving, and I really can't complain. Gd willing, the workers will be back in under a week, and then just a "few" more workdays and both bathrooms will be fully renovated. 

As I've said over and over:

"It's just a bathroom, not someone's health."

Thank Gd we're all healthy. That's all that counts. 

Life's a Shiputz #2 Keeping a Sense of Humor

Major "Surgery" in The Plumbing Department, Update #1

Monday, October 03, 2022

Life's a Shiputz #2 Keeping a Sense of Humor

I made a decision early in the planning of the bathroom renovations aka the "shiputz." It's important to remember that this is only a house, not a human being. It's a shiputz, not medical treatment, not an operation nor cancers diagnosis. I had also decided that I'd go to one store and find tiles and flooring I like in it. I wasn't going to travel all over searching for what either doesn't exist or something extraordinary. In a convenient store in the Shiloh Industrial Zone, Ceramics Depot, which I can even walk to though walking home is much harder, I found tiles and flooring I really like. OK they were the only tiles in the store that I like, but all who have seen them agree that they're gorgeous. 

To do this sort of renovations, there's lots of destruction before the construction and tons of dust, dirt and more. Even those things can be seen with a sense of humor:


I've decided that these ties coming out of the wall of a bedroom must be some
avant-garde modern art "installation." Please don't worry. On the other side of the wall is the laundry room, and totally new piping has been installed. When the cement closing the piping in the wall dries, these wires will be removed and the holes sealed up. 

Isn't it obvious that Triangular composition is a Still Life? I see it. Do you?

There's still more work to go until this project is finished. I'm doing my best to keep smiling.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Major "Surgery" in The Plumbing Department, Update #1

 Like many of our friends, we're redoing the bathrooms. It seems to be the home renovation for the 65+ crowd here. 

  • widen the doors
  • replace the tub with a shower
  • get those non-slip floor tiles
In the process, we've, or more precisely our plumber son and the professional he anointed to work for us, discovered that most of the house pipes need to be replaced. 

This is ending up being more complicated and time consuming than the hip/knee replacements many friends have signed up for. Nowadays people almost walk off the operating table, and many are home the next day. While body parts have become bionic, renovating the bathroom is for those who like to break things up and play in the dirt.

This isn't a time to wear my hearing aids. You can't do it silently, though the boys who did the "destruction" worked quickly and were very polite. Honestly, I can't complain. 

After Day #1, we still have water, though I wonder how long that will last. There's also a working toilet by the front door, and the kitchen is still business as usual

Today's plan is to take apart the laundry room, so the "final" wash is in the machine as I write this.

B"H, thank Gd, a neighbor has invited us to stay by her, so I was there last night. It was so nice to be out of a building site. But as you can see, I returned bright and early to the computer. Today's cold brew coffee is waiting in the fridge.

More updates to come, Gd willing.
bathroom laid bare, stripped of tiles, sink, etc

container parked across the street for the garbage




Tuesday, August 30, 2022

We Attended Evyatar Banai's Humongous Outdoor Concert in Jerusalem

Yes, here we are sitting with thousands and thousands of people

 See, I'm not exaggerating at all. Sultan's Pool, near Jerusalem's Old City is quite an impressive venue.


Evyatar Banai performed with three guest artists, and I have no doubt that Aviv Geffen was the highlight for most of the audience. It was quite an extravaganza. 

We were sitting in the VIP section in front. Why? Well that's a story.

Both of us, my husband and I, had totally ignored the ads about the concert which was sponsored by Mateh Binyamin, our regional council -a sort of cross between a county and American-style state. So to put it mildly, we hadn't planned on attending. 

So, how did we end up going, and davka with seats in the VIP section?

Barely 24 hours before the concert, my husband received a message from what we'll call the Public Relations Department of Mateh Binyamin offering us a pair of complementary tickets including an invitation to the preconcert reception. For decades we've been the volunteer "meeters and greeters" welcoming journalists, dignitaries and a wide variety of other visitors including groups. I'm no longer on their "speed-dial," though my husband still gets calls. Over the years we've gotten preholiday gifts, which is how I got that "beer glass" I drink cold brew coffee from. It even came with special beer, which was a real treat for me.

Rather obviously, just like the classic Jewish Joke, as soon as we heard that we'd been offered free tickets, we happily accepted them and attended the concert. To be perfectly honest, until I heard them live, Banai, Geffen and two other popular singers, I don't think I've even listened to their music, though I had heard of them. 

I must say that the Evyatar Banai & Friends concert in such a venue was great fun. Until I turned around to photograph what was behind me, I had no idea how humongous it was, even though we had walked down from the top. Beware that the steps are dangerous, because they aren't marked with reflective or white tape. I didn't want to leave the way we came; it was terrifying to think of going up those black unmarked steps. Luckily there was a lower exit, no steps. I think that we could have entered that way too, if we had come with the other VIPs.

There was an intimacy in sitting so close to the stage and not seeing the rest of the audience. It was great fun. We left a bit early so we could catch a bus home. Lovely evening. I'm so glad we had been invited.



Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Book Review: "100 Life Lessons..."

100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To by Rosally Saltsman is a wonderful serious but light book. Now, that does sound like a contradiction... But, I really enjoyed reading it and got a lot out of it, too.

It's hard to pigeonhole 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To into a standard genre. Even though the word "lessons" appears in the title, it's not your usual self-help book, though it does encourage the reader to take things more easily and not panic. It'll all work out. 

Saltsman uses examples of events and situations from her life in each "lesson." She reveals a lot about herself, her short marriage,  her son, her becoming religious and that she lives in Israel. We really get to know and admire her, even if our lives are a bit different. 

Yes, it's almost a memoir. But it's not a memoir. It's a series of 100 Life Lessons. 

In the chapter titled "Who Knows?" Saltsman reminisces about how when she was a student in Brandeis University only when she wanted to join a "Jewish Choir" she discovered that although there were other choirs for students to join, davka, the Jewish university didn't have a "Jewish Choir." She had managed to get the ball rolling to establish one, but for financial reasons, the following year she transferred out to McGill in Montreal, so she wasn't there to participate or even know what happened to her idea. She only discovered that Brandeis actually established a "Jewish Choir"  a number of years later, when she visited there and saw a poster advertising a performance. The lesson here is that you don't know what influence you've had on others. Sometimes you may never even find out. I really liked that.

Another important lesson is titled "Ricki's List." Saltsman tells about her friend Ricki who wrote a list of all the things she had to do before taking a vacation. As happens to many of us, Ricki didn't manage to do everything on her list. Unlike many of us, she happily -without any additional stress- enjoyed her vacation and then, after returning home completed all that was on her list. Apropos to the previous paragraph, I wonder if Ricki realized how this impressed Saltsman until she read  100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To.

I'll end with the lesson "Let It Rain," where Saltsman writes of dancing in the rain, rather than complaining about getting wet. Here in Israel, we're reminded that the quantity of rain each winter, yes  - it only rains in the winter, depends on how satisfied Gd is with our -the Jewish People's- behavior. Rain is a blessing. Gd willing we'll have a wonderful wet winter.

100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To can be ordered on Amazon (click) if you want a kindle version.  For a hard copy (softcover) $21.50/NIS70 (including S&H) or Digital format $4.99/NIS16 through Paypal recipient - rosally_s@yahoo.com. Or on Lulu - print to order: click: 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To.

I highly recommend 100 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So You Don’t Have To for yourself and anyone else you care about.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #35 Pleasant Surprise at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station

This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. Your input is very welcome, thanks.

See  #34,  #33#32 #31#30#29#28#27#26#25#24,  #23#22,  #21#20#19#18#17,   #16, #15a#15#14#13#12#11#10#9#8#7, #6#5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a#4#3#2 and #1.


Early this afternoon, after a roundabout walk through the Romema neighborhood to order accessories and furnishings for our major bathroom/showers plus renovations, I calculated that I had plenty of time for the "loo," aka WC or public toilets quickly entered the "side/secondary entrance" of the Central Bus Station. If you're coming from the direction of Sarei Yisrael Street or Machane Yehuda Market, it's the first door you reach, and it takes you to the floor with the "food court," lots of small restaurants and Israeli style fast food places.

It had been years since I entered through that doorway, but I needed to get out of the sun and had no idea what was new in terms of the building's loos. In recent years management has been fixing them up, but I definitely don't remember one near that door. 

Good news! After passing those shoes for sale, I looked up on the right and saw the sign with the very welcome icon, which you can see higher up on the page.

I checked for a machine that takes entrance money, since the public toilets in the bus station had always cost a bit. No sign of one. Very tentatively, I pushed the revolving door, and it moved freely, so I entered for free. Men to the left and women to the right, no foul odor. There was a cleaning crew and even toilet paper (not grade A) and soap. I didn't take any photos, since there were too many people around.

Glad to share the good news.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Red Lentil Mushroom Vegetable Soup


This Red Lentil Mushroom Vegetable Soup tastes unbelievably good, and I could say that I just threw a few things together. 

I served this soup to break the Tisha B'Av Fast on a very hot summer day. It was absolutely perfect and required relatively little cooking. I didn't measure all the ingredients, and one can be flexible and creative. It isn't some sort of chemistry formula.

You can see almost all of the ingredients here.

Ingredients:

  • about half a cup of orange lentils (more can be used)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium squash
  • fresh garlic
  • a can of mushroom pieces
  • dehydrated parsley, fresh would be great
  • a spoon or so of vegetable oil
  • a bit of coarse salt and pepper
Directions:
  • put the lentils in the pot and cover plus with boiling water. Leave covered for an hour or more
  • dice up the vegetables, including garlic, then add to lentils, 
  • put in pot with the mushrooms and liquid from can 
  • top with the oil and some more water and parsley
  • bring to boil, add salt and pepper, then simmer
  • 40 minutes cooking time, unless you decide to add carrots or any other root vegetable you want in the soup. They take longer to cook.
That's it! ENJOY

Friday, August 05, 2022

Swimming's Medicinal, Therapeutic and More, So...

... in recent years our local swimming pool has been open during the 9 Days, though restricted to adults.

The 9 Days, which falls during the heat of the summer (in the northern hemisphere) is a period of mourning in the Jewish Calendar. We mourn the destruction of both the First and Second Holy Temples. The period of annual mourning is actually Three Weeks, from the daytime Fast of the 17th of Tamuz until the 25 hour Fast of the 9th of Av.

Just a few decades ago the idea of swimming, even for health reasons, during the 9 Days would be unthinkable for Torah Observant Jews, but nowadays it's the norm for many of us who regularly swim or do water exercise. Until a few years ago, our local Shiloh swimming pool was closed during that time of the year, but then one of the neighbors explained to the rabbi that, at least for adults, it wasn't a matter of fun and games. He then agreed that the pool could open, but adults only. So now we have special hours each day, separate male/female as is our custom.

Not everyone who normally swims in the pool takes advantage of the new psak/decision, but there are many who are very grateful for the chance to exercise in the water daily. Yes, I'm one of them.



Friday, July 29, 2022

Pool Season Almost Two Thirds Over

 


The good news is that we have a fantastic swimming pool in Shiloh, which is made even better, because it's just a five minutes' walk from my house. 

The bad news is that the season is only three months long, meaning that it's almost two thirds 2/3 over.

I've been going for a swim about four mornings a week, so I can't complain.

For those in the northern hemisphere, how's your summer going? What's the best/worst about it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Hearing Aids Report #5, Just Because The Battery Works Doesn't Mean It "Works"

You may find it helpful to read my previous articles about life with hearing aids, updates #1,  #2#3#4, plus mask-tying advice for avoiding COVID and loss of expensive hearing aids.

For many reasons, I've really been enjoying my hearing aids, and not only because I hear much better. I love the fact that Bluetooth streams music, lectures, phone calls, etc. directly into my ears, and I can also control the volume and check the battery percentage via a simple Oticon app on my cellphone. At least I was able to do it until a week or more ago. 

Suddenly one day after I replaced a dead battery the phone and hearing aids stubbornly refused to "pair." I tried everything I could think of, following the advice on the Oticon app, including turning on and off the phone, Bluetooth, WIFI and putting in fresh batteries.

About batteries...
Just when I got my hearing aids I was offered some unused, though old hearing aid batteries of the same size, but an expired date. I showed them to my audiologist who said that as long as they're clean I can use them:
"They may not last as long as new ones, but they won't damage the hearing aids."
That was good news for me, since they didn't cost me anything. And not long after I got those, someone else offered me a few packets with a much later expiration date, also for free.

This morning when my left hearing aid began that "all out of juice" tune in my ear, I replaced the battery with the very last one of the "expired" ones. Before reinserting it in my ear, I noticed that the "light" hadn't gone on. So I opened and closed the battery yet again. Still dark. So I opened a card from the newer batch. You can see the card in the photos above. 

Again I replaced the battery, but this time with new one. My phone had been on the table with the Oticon app open. Imagine my surprise when suddenly I saw it announce that phone and hearing aids were pairing. Quickly, I replaced the other hearing aid's battery with a new one, too, and like magic, the Bluetooth connection had come back to life.

Such a relief. I feel grateful and also dumb. Shouldn't I have thought of that solution much sooner?

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Sometimes People are So Nice

 


No doubt I'm sometimes guilty of complaining too much, but when there's something really nice to talk/write about it's so important to let the world know.

Last Thursday on my way home from Jerusalem after seeing cousins, I had some wonderful experiences. While walking out of the Old City, I had checked the bus schedule and saw that if I hurried I could catch a bus to the Shiloh Junction. 

With still another couple of minutes' walk to the lightrail I saw a train coming. I had to hurry, since the next train might have gotten me there too late. As I huffed and puffed onto the train a young man slid out of his seat, so I could take it. I paid and then sat down. I guess he heard and saw my arrival.

I got to the bus stop with time to spare, and the bus actually came on time, which is quite rare. 

On the bus I looked up and saw those little "outlets" to plug in the phone for charging, which was needed, since my phone battery was getting dangerously low. The only problem was that no matter how much I tried, they didn't work, so I asked the driver about it. He couldn't fix it from his end, but a young soldier on the other side of the aisle offered me his portable charger. But he got off a few stops later, and I saw that my phone battery was still low. I thanked him and told him it was fine.

To my surprise the driver reached into his pocket and gave me his portable charger. Wow!

 Yes, Sometimes People are So Nice.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Save The Date- Women's Prayers Rosh Chodesh Av

 



We're already half way through the Jewish Month of Tammuz, the moon is full and it's time to save the date for Rosh Chodesh Av 5782 Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh, Shiloh Hakeduma. It falls on Friday July 29, 2022, and we begin at 8:30am.

There's lots more to do at Tel Shiloh than "just pray." After praying you can look at the archeological digs, see the movie, museum, hologram and more. For more information contact: 025789111 and visit@telshilo.org.il.





Thursday, July 07, 2022

Jerusalem Beer Festival 2022, Great Fun & One Night More

I had a wonderful time last night at the Jerusalem Beer Festival in Gan Haatzmaut. It'll be open tonight, too, so go if you can.



After I set up a display of various beers, we were instructed to take it down, as glass bottles of beer are forbidden at the festival for safety reasons. You can only buy servings of beer in plastic cups. Besides the disposable cups, heavy duty reusable plastic cups were offered for sale.

I tasted a great variety of beers, some new and some old favorites. To be perfectly honest, I liked them all and hope to write about them later on. The various beer companies sell their beer online and in some stores. But I had wanted to get this post out today as early as possible. As you can see from the lighting and empty grass, I was there early and to be honest, left early. The big performances get noisy for me. I came for the beer and wasn't disappointed.

Enjoy!




Here's Doug Greener aka the Beer Maven learning the story about Raizel Beer.




Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Two More Wonderful Children's Books From Kar-Ben Publishing

enjoying The Topsy-Turvy Bus 
I really value the education children get from Kar-Ben books. This young man definitely agrees. Here he's looking at The Topsy-Turvy Bus by Anita Fitch Pazner, Illustrated by Carolina Farías.

The Topsy-Turvy Bus teaches young children about alternative energy for powering buses, cars and more. Anita Fitch Pazner connects it to the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, Fixing the World, making the world a better place. AKA ecology for youngsters.

Carolina Farías' illustrations are gorgeous adding to the attractiveness of The Topsy-Turvy Bus, which isn't at all preachy. When I first read the book I thought the basis of the story seemed familiar. I must have read about the bus it's based on which was built by Hazon, the largest Jewish environmental organization in North America.



listening to Frank, Who Liked to Build:
The Architecture of Frank Gehry
 
Frank, Who Liked to Build: The Architecture of Frank Gehry by Deborah Blumenthal, Illustrated by Maria Brzozowska is another fascinating  children's book by Kar-Ben. 

As made clear in the title, it's about the famous architect Frank Gehry. Written for young children, Frank, Who Liked to Build: The Architecture of Frank Gehry tells about Gehry as a child and the problems his imagination and creativity caused him. It even mentions that he's Jewish and had changed his last name from Goldberg to Gehry.

Frank, Who Liked to Build: The Architecture of Frank Gehry encourages children to be creative. Many of Gehry's buildings don't look anything like conventional building, but they are gorgeous and function. Apparently Gehry showed signs of creativity and a love of building things from the time he was a young child.

If you want some really great educational books for children of all ages, which are a joy to read and don't sound at all like textbooks, then check out what Kar-Ben books has to offer.