Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Saturday, May 07, 2022
Thursday, April 28, 2022
As soon as Passover is over, here in Israel we get started on Holocaust Memorial Day and Memorial/Independence Day planning and programs. I don't forget to squeeze in Rosh Chodesh Iyyar. This year it's two days, technically, and the women who usually join me for Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh have chosen Sunday, May 1, the 30th of Nissan, 8:30am.
תפילת נשיםראש חודש איירשילה הקדומהיום ראשון 1\05\2022ל' ניסן תשפ"בכולן מוזמנות
If you haven't been to Tel Shiloh for awhile, it's worth planning on spending a few hours there. There's always a lot to see and do. For more information 025789111 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, April 25, 2022
|I trust you can see the giant tree towering over the orange tree.|
Suddenly, this year, as winter turned to spring, laundry didn't dry all that well, and that strange tree, which grew uninvited, began to take over the yard and barge into the orange tree. Before Passover, even though I was sick with COVID, I could see that it had to go before it strangled the orange tree.
Monday, April 18, 2022
I received a box of goodies recently from KAR-BEN Publishing. It included children's books on all levels, from toddlers to young readers.
This first review will be of two books written for young readers. Both books begin with the main characters being bullied at school. Apparently, it's a big issue in the United States and including the problem and how to deal with it makes the books more popular and marketable. Another thing they have in common is that a parent of a main character in both books has passed away, which is a reason why their grandparents are helping to raise them.
The books are well-written chapter books, printed clearly with the added bonus of Jewish history, which don't feel like school work. Actually, the topic, Sephardic Jewish History, isn't very well-known.The Button Box by Bridget Hodder and Fawzia Gilani-Williams. Ava and Nadeem are first cousins who share a Ladino speaking grandmother, who's their after school caregiver. Ava is Jewish, and Nadeem is Moslem, as the children's religions follow their mothers'.
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
|Antigen test still positive|
This was my failed attempt to
"get out of jail early." It confirms
that I'd been infected.
Thank Gd, since I'm fully vaccinated to the maximum, it has been a relatively mild case. I've already graduated from quarantined to recovering, thank Gd.
I really am grateful that there are only two of us here in the house, and we have space, rooms, bathrooms etc. I can't imagine how those who live under crowded conditions manage to safely keep their distance.
I'm also grateful that the weather has been warm enough to comfortably keep windows open after an intense cold winter. My priority has been to keep my husband healthy. It has been strange staying masked at home, just the two of us.
Besides the awful fatigue and more congestion than I'm used to, I've had a pretty easy case. Fatigue is a problem, since even at my healthiest I don't manage to sleep enough.
I understand that I should be taking it easy for the next few weeks and not to push myself. At my age, that's a lesson for all the time. Recovery is always harder the older you get.
Again, I thank Gd for my blessings, and this year, like the year my father passed away just a few days before Passover, I'll be doing minimum cleaning. I have to concentrate on the most important thing, the fridge/freezer. Stove top and counters need a cleaning and covering. I'm really glad that I chose the spare room as my first big project, so it was waiting for me when I realized that I was positive with Corona/COVID.
Stay healthy, and always look at the bright side.
Tuesday, April 05, 2022
The Hidden Saint by Mark Levenson is not my usual genre, and nobody is more surprised than yours truly that I truly enjoyed reading it. That's one of the greatest advantages/gifts to being a book reviewer, the books "choose" me, rather than my choosing them. Of course, I don't accept all offers, but I certainly try to be welcoming and daring aka open-minded.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
The picture illustrating this story doesn't show any faces or easily identifying whatevers, but I need a photo for each blog post.
This afternoon I was on the #34 bus from Hadar Mall to Jaffa Street to catch the lightrail to make my bus home, which never showed, but that's irrelevant to the story*...
The bus was full but not super crowded. I was sitting near the front with my back to the driver. We were around the Keren Hayesod Street stop when I heard someone saying that "two seats were needed near the front." I saw people escorting a couple of blind men into the bus. Across from me was a man about ten years or more my junior and a girl who looked about 14. I told the girl that she must give up her seat. She looked a bit confused but got up, as did the man sitting next to her.
Other passengers helped guide the two blindmen to the seats. Then a message was passed from the driver, asking which stop they'd be getting off.
Across the aisle, a woman who was probably a bit older than me began a "silent conversation" with me just using our eyes. It was obvious that she thought the young teen should have realized that she needed to get up without my having to say something. It's very probable that the girl had never been taught proper "travel manners." Nowadays when so many families have cars, kids don't know that the front seats are for elderly and handicapped and that they are sometimes supposed to give up seats for those in need.
A couple of months ago on a different bus a woman got up for me, and then she squeezed in with her children. A stop or two later, an elderly couple came in, so the woman and her children gave them their seats. These children are learning proper public transportation manners.
I got off the bus before the blindmen, but I have no doubt that they were carefully and politely helped off the bus. Some days there's a bonus to traveling on public transportation in Jerusalem.
Is this an "Only in Israel" story?
*Although I was overjoyed that I got to the bus stop on time for my bus, the bus never showed, and I had to get home a more complicated way.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
|I'm sure you can guess|
which is me.
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Monday, February 07, 2022
|Hearing Aids case & batteries|
This post will have three topics, which I hope you'll find helpful. The first topic concerns us hearing aid-wearers all.
As per Murphey's Law, one of the first times I left the house wearing my hearing aids, figuring I wouldn't be gone long, and since I wasn't far from home, I didn't take the kit with spare batteries. Yes, I got the battery model and not the rechargeable. That's what was recommended for Sabbath observers, since a new battery is supposed to last longer than a newly charged hearing aid.
Obviously you guessed it. Almost half the time I was out, I was forced to listen to low-battery-warning rings in stereo. Since I didn't have my case with me, I couldn't take them out, either. But the good news is that even as they kept nudging that it's time to change the batteries, they still magnified the sounds. I should have at least checked the battery percentage which can be done pretty simply on my phone. Yes, they're connected via Bluetooth. Volume can also be adjusted very easily on my phone.
Hearing Aid Expenses
After purchase of course, which I'll talk about later, I have to buy batteries. They can certainly add up in terms of expense, and as I noted above, they rarely last as long as you were counting on. I asked around and was told that it's cheapest to buy them in large quantities online. Just as I was about to bite the bullet and put in my first order, one of my sons told me that he found a whole bunch of packs in a home he was renovating. The former owner has no need any more... Once we ascertained that they're the same size I need, he passed them on to me. I checked them out with the audiologist, who said that even though their date had passed, they seemed OK. He also told me what to look out for as a sign to throw them out. So now I'm set for the next few months.
Facebook Hearing Aids Support Groups
When I had my third meeting with the professional who tested and fitted my hearing aids he mentioned that I'd probably enjoy being part of hearing aids support groups on Facebook. Some are even specific to the brand Oticon, which I have. I quickly whipped out my phone and opened Facebook. Then I searched "Oticon hearing aids support," and suddenly there were a slew of groups to join. There aren't too many notices per day. Usually I ignore them after a quick read, and sometimes I even chime in with some advice. Hah! Me the expert! But to be totally honest I'm shocked at what American have to pay for hearing aids, thousands of dollars in many cases. People even get second hand hearing aids, which I find pretty sad, frightening and pathetic.
Here in Israel we're all members of a "sick fund," and once we're recognized as needing hearing aids, they highly subsidize one pair every three and a half years. I paid just a few hundred dollars for the pair. And I have friends who got theirs for nothing from special "funds." They were new, not second hand.
I hope this has been helpful and am looking forward to your responses in the comments. Hoping to hear from you....
Thursday, February 03, 2022
- "close acquaintances" which is a contradiction in terms. An acquaintance by definition isn't someone you're close with. If you were close with the person, it would mean that the person is a friend. acquaintance: a person whom you know but do not know well and who is therefore not exactly a friend. Synonyms: contact, associate, connection, ally, colleague. Actually using these synonyms would be a more correct way of describing someone you know, or work/ed with, but don't consider to be a friend. There's more distance in an "acquaintance."
- "knitted" sic kippot (yarmulkes)" Kippot are those small round head-coverings worn by some Jewish men and the Roman Catholic hierarchy, though they call them "skullcaps." Actually they can be of any material/fabric at all. In certain Jewish circles, especially here in Israel, a crocheted kippah is also a "political badge" signifying "national religious," those believing in Jewish Rights to the Land of Israel. In Hebrew the little "cap" is called kippah srugah. The problem comes from translating srugah into English. The Hebrew word can mean either knitted or crocheted, which are two similar though different crafts using string or yarn. Knitting uses two sticks and is best for square or rectangular shapes. Crocheting uses one hooked "stick" and is best for circles and ovals. A kippah is circular, so it's easily crocheted. It's pretty obvious that some man needed to translate "srugah" and looked up the word in a dictionary. Not having the vaguest idea of the difference between knitting and crocheting, he figured that they were the same, one more Anglo and the other French. This oxymoron has taken off. I've even seen it in books and articles where the author should have known better, but the world of Jewish publishing is dominated by men....
Monday, January 31, 2022
Fishman wasn't trying to escape a life of disappointments, failure and/or poverty when became interested in Judaism. He was a Hollywood success, scriptwriter of movies that had made it to the screen, a published novelist, friends with celebrities and could get any woman he wanted besides "invitations" from those he didn't. And if he had wanted a "quieter life," his father would have set him up in business in The Virgin Islands. Most people would call that "the American Dream."
But suddenly Fishman's body began to rebel and he developed severe ulcerative colitis. The treatment is steroids, which made him swell up, and as soon as he finished the prescribed period of treatment, the bleeding returned. This pattern went on for months and months, wreaking havoc with his life.
Fishman tried all sorts of cures, diets, Indian master swami, yoga, holistic medicine and more, but none helped his body heal.
Then his buddy Daniel asked a simple innocent question:
"Why don't you know anything about Judaism?"
Fishman realized that it was true. Over the years he had studied all sorts of academic subjects, philosophies and trendy ideologies, but his knowledge of actual Judaism was virtually non-existant. Slowly he began to search and learn. Later on bit by bit he took on various mitzvot, and his ulcerative colitis became history.
I can't do justice to Fishman's amusing way of describing his journey to Torah Judaism and life in Israel. You really must read it all in his own words. In person Fishman is as entertaining as his book. For a few years he lived across the street from us in Shiloh, and I know the family well. But Fishman never talks about his past, only the present and plans for the future. So it was a real eye-opener to read From Hollywood To The Holy Land.
In addition to the great story, there are lots of photos helping the book truly come to life. We get to see what Tzvi looked like way back when, scenes from his former life and people and places mentioned in From Hollywood To The Holy Land.
From Hollywood To The Holy Land is highly recommended. It's very well written and the story comes to life, yes, like a movie...
*Yes, this is the same Tzvi Fishman who wrote "Arise and Shine," More Adventures with Tevye and many other more serious books.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
The deal here in Israel is that we "try out" the hearing aids for just over a month. If they are disastrous we can return them and won't be charged. During that time we are scheduled for a couple of appointments to help us with the hearing aids.
A couple of weeks ago, when I really wasn't feeling comfortable with them, I was given an extra appointment. I kept the one for today which I had scheduled earlier on, and I'm glad I did.
At my first Medton-Hedim appointment I made sure that I could ask for extra appointments whenever I felt the need. That was one of my conditions for choosing them over the competition. And BTW there's lots of competition. I'm sure that some of the other places also give good service, but not all work with my kupat cholim, sick fund. I chose them, because a neighbor recommended them, and I trust his judgement.
Today my main question concerned what I felt was the short life of the batteries. I had been expecting them to last much longer. As we discussed my use of the hearing aids, it ends up that my favorite thing, listening to music, Torah classes etc. is what uses lots of battery power. It may be worth using my old headphones sans hearing aids at various times. The Bluetooth headphones are easy to charge.
I was wracking my brain to think of something else to report when I felt the hearing aids sort of "moving around." They don't always stay in my ears properly. So I mentioned that to the technician. He quickly took a look and said:
So he took out a different size and replaced the ones I had been using. He was right. They are better. They stay in place, so I hear even better than before.
Honestly I was surprised, but I'm glad that the staff knows their stuff.
There was no need to make another appointment, though I was told that I'm always welcome to call and they'll fit me in.
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Sunday, January 09, 2022
I've had my hearing aids for almost a week, but I must admit that I skipped wearing them Friday and Shabbat.
In all honesty, the first few days I wore my hearing aids, it was a relief to take them out at night. My ears had begun to hurt. Besides that, I had to keep checking where they were. I had discovered that they had "exited" where they should have been. Of course, bli eyin haraa the part with the battery was still behind my ears and under my scarf.
Friday morning I had gone to swim in the Ariel Pool and forgotten to insert earplugs. That's another new routine I must adopt, earplugs for swimming to keep my ears dry. So I just decided to take a break from the hearing aids. On Shabbat there was no real need to wear hearing aids. My study group was "cancelled for corona," and I haven't been to shul for almost two years. We also didn't have guests. My husband speaks loud enough. Besides that on Shabbat I can't turn off and on hearing aids, so they'd use up a lot of battery power. My ears definitely needed the two day break.
Sunday mid-morning I reinserted my hearing aids, and my ears felt better, though they still seem to pop out, though less. I made an extra appointment for tomorrow to check them out. One of the reasons I chose Medton Hedim is that they had promised I could nudge as much as I felt I needed.
Besides all that, you want to know:
Do I really hear better with my hearing aids?
- I keep lowering volume when I have them in, the tv, my phone...
- Suddenly I hear strange sounds. For some peculiar reason when my husband takes something from plastic bags from the kitchen, and I'm in the den, I hear what sounds like someone's grinding glass. And even worse are the sounds that come out of his phone. I can't make out what's being said, but it sounds louder than the television. And this is when I'm in a different room.
Inexplicably, one battery finished before the other. Due to the "magic" of Bluetooth communication before the hearing aids and my phone, I was notified that the left one was about to go "empty." So I changed that battery for a new one. So now the left is full, and the right at half.
- Pre-hearing aids I always had to make the TV louder or I couldn't understand what was being said. I'd ask my husband: "Can you really hear that?" And he'd answer "Yes." Suddenly this evening I saw him grabbing the remote and pressing volume. "Are you really making it louder?" I asked in shocked surprise. He was, so I guess my hearing has improved.
Thursday, January 06, 2022
Even those whose noses are covered, sometimes wear their masks very loosely. One weak sneeze and it's gone. There's another problem with loose masks, fog. Yes, since there's no real barrier between one's nose and glasses, for those who wear them, especially in cool weather we find our glasses fogging up.
And using the elastic behind the ears can be be quite problematic. Earrings and even hearing aids can get dislodged and disappear.hearing aids set, I have to be very careful in how I wear my mask. I now tie the mask with a long shoelace or jersey yarn from my crocheting projects.I find this the best way to keep my mask on. It's not all that difficult to do.
Tuesday, January 04, 2022
Thursday, December 30, 2021
We somehow found ourselves with a can of sauerkraut, and I'd been trying to figure out what to do with it. For some strange reason, I began to imagine it with beef. Just to make sure I wasn't totally crazy, I did some google searches to see if such recipes exist, not that I actually follow recipes...
The recipes I found, and there are many, weren't at all kosher. They also required "slow-cookers" which I don't have. But at last I got some reassurance that people do cook beef with canned sauerkraut. Then I asked in a facebook group that prides itself on "real world" recipes, not those awfully complicated ones. Some nice people answered. They gave recipes/cooking ideas that also use "slow-cookers" or "cover well and bake in the oven," which I didn't feel like doing. I generally simmer beef on the stove for a few hours.
Now, to be honest, we haven't eaten it yet, but it looks and smells delicious.
kilo plus of the least expensive frozen beef in the store, onion, celeriac, a few carrots, a couple of tomatoes, a can of sauerkraut, a bit of oil, coarse ground black pepper and a couple cups of water.
- thaw beef
- soak beef or awhile in water, and then throw out the water
- put beef in pot with some oil, high heat
- add the onions, and then turn the beef over so it browns a bit all around
- add vegetables, sauerkraut, water and pepper, then cover
- as soon as it starts to boil, turn down heat to slow simmer
- simmer for at least two hours
Thursday, December 16, 2021
The past few weeks there have been problems at the pool I belong to. Not only hasn't the pool been hot enough, the jacuzzi barely reaches body temperature. Even before checking the posted temperatures on the wall it's easy to see the lack of thick cloud of steam hovering over it.
One of my friends who drives there is a lot more tolerant of chilly, icy water. I guess she still misses the icy lake water of the "old country."
The other day when we arrived, I joined the parade of wishful, though cautious, swimmers and checked the temperature readings before even taking off my jacket. It was clear to me that not only was the jacuzzi too cold, but the post-swim shower would be freezing.
Well, since I was already there in the health/fitness center, I looked for an alternative to sitting in the lobby playing with my cellphone.
Even though decades have passed since I had stepped onto a treadmill, the high-tech gym called to me. It's also included in the price of my "pool membership" and has been on my "to do" list.
I opened the door and peeked in. Everyone seemed so busy and confidently "at home." I courageously walked around asking:
"Who's in charge?"
At my age, not only can a foolish move be dangerous, but some gyms demand proof of "fitness" before letting us "seniors" try out even the most gentle of machinery. When I finally found the instructor, a female who looked around the age of my oldest children, I mentioned that it "had been a long time" since I last worked out in a gym, but since the pool is cold...
I mentioned that I'd like to try the treadmill, so she showed me how to turn it on and off. For some peculiar reason, my body kept contorting, and I couldn't stand straight, but I soldiered on. I played around with the speed and incline, but I must admit that it felt a lot longer than ten minutes.
After reporting to the instructor, I let her choose various machines for me. She instructed me in reps* & sets,* making sure to take out or reduce the weights/resistance according to her judgement as to how much my body could safely handle.
I gave her a big hug and thank you, revealing that I have a daughter of that age. That's the best encouragement any one could give me. I'm seventy-two and not embarrassed to admit it.
Gd willing I'll be back there, instead of one of my swims each week. And in case you're wondering, that night and the next day I did feel my muscles kvetching, but not as much as I had expected.