Friday, June 30, 2006

How much do I really have to serve?

In two hours, G-d willing, I'll be lighting Shabbat candles. This week, the house is pretty empty. Just the two of us old-fogies home, and I found us a last minute guest for a meal, of the same generation.

We all weigh lots more than we once did, lots more than we should.

It's summer; it's hot. How much do I really have to serve?

So I've streamlined my cooking a bit.

Isn't it enough that there's a big chicken soup, that my husband makes every week, rain or shine, hot or cold? (If you want the recipe on Kosher Cooking Carnival, nudge him to post it!!) And this week he also ordered Yaakov's famous chopped liver. And I just made a sort-of meatloaf. If it's good, I'll post the recipe. There are also three side-dishes,
  • roasted: eggplant, sweet potato, squash, onion and fresh garlic, all sliced and layered in that order
  • vegetables sort-of sauteed in covered pan, onions, garlic, green and yellow zucchini, giant mushrooms, and at the last minute broccoli with some Tamari sauce.
  • corn on the cob (cooked by my husband)

Shabbat morning, we'll have the side-dishes with chicken.

Don't forget the challah with each meal!

Now, isn't that enough?!

Shabbat Shalom

Just don't forget...

...that the next Kosher Cooking Carnival is approaching. You don't want to be left out of the fun!

So please, let me know what's cooking!

Either send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com
or via Conservative Cat's
handy form or the blog carnival one, and
at the same time you may discover other carnivals to visit and enter...

Just a suggestion, with the "9 Days" coming up, when many of us don't eat beef and poultry, do you have some good ideas?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"Tizkeh b'Mitzvot," You should be rewarded with more Mitzvot

That's what I said to the bus driver as I got off his bus the other night: "Todah! (Thank you.) Chodesh Tov! (Have a good month, as it was the first of the Jewish month of Tammuz.) "Tizkeh l'Mitzvot," You should be rewarded with more Mitzvot!" (Correct phrase, l'mitzvot--thanks-Yehoshua)

Yes, it was one of those wonderful "only in Israel" experiences. They happen here more than any other place in the world.

I had been out with my daughter for dinner, something we do periodically, since she's all grown up and doesn't live at home. After we had eaten, she went one way to walk to her apartment, and I went the other way to catch a bus to my bus. It seemed like I had plenty of time, but just before I got to the bus stop I saw the bus I needed go by, and I realized that the next one may be too late.

One thing I've learned after lots of hard work on my naturally hysterical personality, is that it doesn't pay to get upset when I have no control over things. Also, I still had plenty of time. As my time got less and less, I searched my brain for all of the various travel options open to me.
  • Just wait until the bus to the bus station came, and hope that my bus would be late--"waiting for me," which has happened before.
  • Worse comes to worse, I could just take the very last bus. (I'd get home much later than I wanted)
  • Once it became too late, I could always take a cab to the French Hill "trempiada" bus stop and catch the bus or a ride there. (expensive, but ok)

I stopped myself from getting angry for going to that stop, which only had two bus options, the one I needed and a route I wasn't familiar with. I was focused on getting the bus.

It had already gotten late enough so that even if the bus I wanted arrived immediately, I would probably miss the one home. Suddenly the "unknown" bus arrived. I climbed in and asked the driver where he was going. Pleasantly surprised, I realized that I could catch a bus to French Hill in the middle of his route, so I got a "transfer" ticket.

He suggested I catch it at Zion Square, but as we traveled, I realized that a better solution was "Kvish Echad," the road from the Old City Wall that goes to French Hill. He then confirmed that there was a stop which gave me two possibilities, and I told him that if I needed a cab from there, it wouldn't cost much.

I wasn't 100% sure which stop to get off so I asked, and he told me to wait:

"Al t'dagui, Giveret. Od chamesh dakot,
v'orid otach b'Givat Tzarftit."

Don't worry, lady, in another five minutes,
I'll let you off at French Hill.

Suddenly, I realized that we were going up the road to Mt. Scopus, past the Hyatt, the hospital, the university, and he kept repeating:

"Al t'dagui, Giveret. Od chamesh dakot, v'orid otach b'Givat Tzarftit."
Don't worry, lady, in another five minutes, I'll let you off at French Hill.

Suddenly I realized that I was the only passenger still on the bus. The lights were out, and the driver had apparently finished his official route. I felt perfectly calm, with the driver's words echoing in my ears.

Yes, everything was fine, and it took more than five minutes, but he dropped me off a two minute stroll to the French Hill bus stop, where after a good few minutes my bus arrived and took me home, straight to my door, even though it's not an "official stop."

Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone, since we don't want the drivers to get in trouble!

bit the dust

My last "original" baking pan bit the dust,
or should I say: shows some rust?
Experts say: DANGEROUS!

It served us well
for almost 35 years
no need to shed tears

The enamel process is simply layered fused glass. The key is buy quality pieces that won't chip. A good pot will last a lifetime. A cheap pot will chip and expose you to fragments of glass and toxic metal.

2nd hand smoke

It's no secret that I'm one of those who stops people from smoking. When I was younger and periodically pregnant, I'd tell smokers at the movies--yes, in those days in Israel people smoked in all public places, irrespective of any signs--that their smoking would make me puke! Of course, the truth is/was that I didn't have "those sort of pregnancies," thank G-d.

There's an important article in the NY Times about second-hand smoke, A Warning on Hazards of Secondhand Smoke, which I copied onto Blog Free! in case the Times takes it off its site.

One of the unexpected bonuses of living in Shiloh is the low percentage of smokers. I definitely adds to our quality of life here.

I suggest people do what I do when seeing any staff smoking in food establishments, whether proper restaurants or simple snack places. If I haven't yet started eating--even if already ordered--just tell the person in charge that you can't eat there because of the smoking and walk out. And if you're already eating, or just finished, tell the person in charge that because of the smoking, you won't be back!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Eating in Jerusalem, restaurant reviews

Before I get started on the "saga" part, I must follow up on some promises I made.

About a month ago I met a friend for dinner in Jerusalem. Since I had to go to Rivka's book store in Binyan Clal afterwards, I looked through the Machene Yehuda Shuk (open market) for a restaurant. If you haven't been there the past couple of years, you probably think I'm nuts, since it wasn't not known for anything more exotic than felafel, but there have been changes. It has gotten rather trendy with fancy cheese stores, boutiques--ladies' fashions, pastry shops and more.

Near my favorite boutique, where I bought a great red linen jacket last summer, I discovered a dairy coffee shop restaurant, with kosher certification. It's close to Agripas and Egoz streets. It seemed ok, so we met there. The waiter and owner apologized that since it was the end of the day, specializing in brunch and lunch, there wasn't much left:
"My wife cooks everything fresh every
morning, and she went home already."

No problem. They had just what we wanted, quiche and salad. It was delicious. I'm sorry that I can't give you the exact name, but if you enter Egoz from Agrippas, it's on the corner of the first street parallel to Agrippas.

Now for something I "promised to do" a few months ago.
There's a French pastry-coffee-sandwich place on King George Street, near the plaza where the Carvel once was, by the Lev Yerushalayim apartment-hotel. My parents loved eating there when they were in the hotel, and a few months ago I started getting sandwiches and salads there when I needed a quick, inexpensive meal in Jerusalem. I was glad to find a spot so convenient and tasty. Then one time when I was sitting in one of the tables in the back, I noticed a worker smoking. He had his lit cigarette, and he walked right past me, from the bakery, passing the breads and cakes, stacked in trays to the storage side. Then he passed by again.

I suddenly remembered that a couple of visits ago, I had to ask a worker to stop a customer from smoking while eating. She was very polite and did it, but this was more serious. I spoke to a woman who seemed to be in charge. First she denied it. But I insisted that she had also seen him wandering around with the cigarette in his mouth.
"He's not a customer; he's the cleaning
help, so what's the problem?"

I didn't find that very comforting and told her that I won't be back, and I'd be writing about it. I'm more disappointed that I'm now boycotting her shop than she is. Over the years I've walked out of restaurants, explaining to whomever is in charge:
"I would have gotten food here, but I'm not,
because of the staff's smoking."

If more of us do it, we can make a change.

Now for something much more recent:
Last night my daughter took me out for my birthday. (OK, it was over a month ago, but we're very busy.) We went to a new restaurant, Italian (meat, not dairy), 41 Derech Beit Lechem. It's a bit far from the center of Jerusalem and the bus station, but I really wanted to see the area, since it was the location of Machon Greenberg where I studied in my "aborted" year in Israel. When I was there in 1969, it was a sleepy Jerusalem neighborhood with large, old buildings and a couple of tiny stores. Now it's part of the trendy "German Colony" with lots of fancy stores and restaurants. I tried to get the feel of my student days, but honestly, it was gone, unrecognizable.

Oh, and how was the restaurant, RAGU? Fantastic!
(no internet site on the discount card, but here are the phone numbers 02-673-0760, 054-204-5610, since it may be a good idea to reserve, especially if you're a large group)

Frugal Vanities

The old man, or is it old lady, of blog carnivals is brought to you this week by a duck!

And now to make something very clear, being frugal is not the same as being cheap. It's being wise, not wasteful.

As the toddling Porat says: "Quack! Quack!" There's a great variety of posts to interest you, so visit the carnivals.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I fooled with the sidebar a drop and added some links of blogs which comment. So, if you want to join the club, comment to show you're part of the "family."

And so far, this morning, I didn't look at the "ratings." Yesterday, I found myself trying to blog for them, which took away the whole point of it. Certainly this blog is too personal for somebody to judge by unknown criteria, or any criteria.

Now to doven--remember it's Rosh Chodesh!

And then for an "abbreviated" swim in the pool, not underwater, since my ears aren't 100%. I'll also try out the ear plugs my husband bought in the store in Hebrew U, Mt. Scopus.

clipart, free illustrations

Sometimes I like to dress up my posts with various illustrations, and then I frequently find myself wasting lots of time looking for free clipart and the like. This morning, via gmail, I found

which I will put in my sidebar if it behaves.
There must be something wrong with my "search words," since google keeps coming up with all sorts of other things. I'd really like a source for humorous, clean "cartoons."
In the meantime...

Monday, June 26, 2006


I've never liked competition, and I was happy when pedagogic philosophers invented the term: "learning for learning's sake." It was a good "cop out."

I really enjoy blogging; it keeps me sane by giving me an outlet for my thoughts. Not that many years ago, I'd have to try to hustle as a free lance writer, but now, I teach for money and blog for fun. It's just that JBlog Central is adding a new element, competition.

Yes although, B"H, bli eyin haraa, I am doing well with two blogs in the top 50, I'm finding myself wasting time checking up and wondering why I "only" got such a score. Others have so many votes it seems like there must be reminders on their blogs to vote for them. I can't do that.

Actually, the time I'm wasting could be going into reading other people's blogs, laundry, dishes and general cleaning. Maybe even a social life and phone calls. I hope to learn to control my curiosity and nascent competitive instincts.

There are other things in this world besides blogging, no?



What are these?

Who knows the answers?

There's lots going on in the big world of blogging.

Blogging's not just a public kvetch or rant.

Anyone can join the carnival circuit.

There's a carnival or more for every blogger, so join the party!

Ye olde Russian remedy

That flu I had been kvetching about turned into one painful ear ache. Last night at a neighbor's Bat Mitzvah celebration, it was only since I couldn't hear from one ear that I was able to stand the volume.

I like quiet music and miss the pre-amplified days.

But back to my ear ache...

I must admit that I wasn't an innocent victim, since I was in the pool in the morning and don't use ear plugs. Last year, I almost bought a pair, but the thought of stuffing my ears with some "things" got me too nervous. It was almost as bad as my nightmares about putting little plastic circles on my eyes, gevalt!

So I jump into the water bare-eared, what's the big deal? Last night I paid for it. By the time we returned from our monthly trip to Kever Rachel, I was in serious pain. Of course, seeing the "renovations" our morally perverse government has made to the once pleasant city next to Jerusalem didn't make me feel any better. Jewish vehicles now drive though a concrete, open-topped "tunnel" the get to the heavy gate of the walled in tomb. If you haven't been there for a few years, or only know it from the pictures, please prepare yourself. It's like going into a prison.

Again, back to my ear...

Baruch Hashem, I'm not frequently cursed by ear infections. The last one I remember was well-over ten years ago, brought on by a winter flu. That time, in total desperation, I went to the doctor who prescribed antibiotics. The infection was cured, but the fluid build up stayed for months, which apparently is a side affect of that kind of remedy. There's no way I'd be able to fly to NY next month if suffering from that.

So, last night as soon as I got home, I decided to try the remedy that some Russian immigrants once taught me.
  • Put about a half cup of coarse salt in a frying pan
  • heat it
  • spoon it into a cotton or wool sock
  • hold the warm compress over the ear until it cools
  • repeat periodically, until "cured"

I also took a couple of Acomol, used in Israel instead of aspirin, before going to sleep. And, you shouldn't be surprised, I do, Baruch Hashem, feel much better today. And I will buy some ear plugs. Does anyone have any recommendations?

another something new

Jewish blog surfing is getting even easier with another listing, It doesn't rate them like The Jewish and Israeli Blog Network . I think that they're both pretty new and very extensive.

I have a funny feeling about it, as if our small Jewish blogging village has suddeny become a large city. Or were we always a large city, and I was just used to our little friendly neighborhood?

Being involved in Havel Havelim for over a year, hosting every couple of months, I thought that I had a finger on the pulse as the saying goes. Apparently, I was wrong, or I'm just not in that group of (are they young) innovators and computer/internet experts?

As an old savta, bubby, granny (take your pick), I'm just happy to kvell at the growth of the Jewish blogging family I'm part of.

Ken yirbu, gezunte heit!

I'm going to cross-post this on Shiloh Musings.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just in case you have nothing to do, or don't want to do what you're supposed to be doing...

Before I get myself to the bus to Kever Rachel, here are a few great carnivals to keep you out of trouble:

Let's start with Abba Gav's Havel Havelim, which has the best graphics yet! Maybe you want to teach me how to do those great montages, or whatever they're called?

This next one isn't a carnival, but it's a great blog resource:
The Jewish and Israeli Blog Network .

Since you're working up an appetite, try the Carnival of Recipes, which has a great variety of recipes. And speaking of recipes, don't forget...
to send me all of your food links , whenever you post
something that could be in the
Kosher Cooking Carnival. Either
send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via Conservative Cat's
handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may
discover other carnivals to visit and enter...

Was I too nasty?

First, just a quick note: Since Sarah made me a new banner, I realized that I had to do some other "renovations" and chose a new BlogPatrol counter. I hope it matches the ambiance she created. Good timing, since just recently they added some new ones and also redid their site.

On Friday, while taking a break from pre-Shabbat kitchen stuff, I was in the den on the computer when I began to smell something burning. 100% confident that I hadn't left anything on the stove, I didn't even check the kitchen. Yes, that was risky since Thursday night the week before, I had smelled something burning when I was in bed, and it ended up being the beef, which I was 100% sure had been left on a very low, the lowest flame, for my husband to turn off later. The last I remembered had been adding some sweet, cheap wine and telling him to turn it off before going to bed. It took a week to get the pot, an expensive French one we had bought in England or Europe 30 years ago, clean enough to use.

Busy blogging, I tried to ignore the smell, but then I heard the "crackle" of fire real close to me. It was hard to see out the window, which is blocked by leaves, so I ran to the merpeset (terrace) and saw my next door neighbor busy burning the dry weeds between our houses. They really are nice people, had even asked if we would mind their getting goats, which we enthusiastically agreed to. But this was Friday, noontime, and I had two washes on the clothesline, and most of our windows face towards where he was burning weeds. I very nastily told him off. He was very apologetic as I gathered the wash to bring to the laundryroom for another session in the machine.

As far as I was concerned, that was it. He wouldn't do such a thing again, and I had no time to dwell on it.

Later in the afternoon, they surprised us with flowers and wine.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Shavua Tov, Oy

The "Oy" is because I think I caught what was making my granddaughters sick last week. Shabbat's over, and I feel horrendous, though it was a lovely Shabbat.

There was a Bar Mitzvah in our shul and a nice kiddush on the family's new lawn. And then I went down to a great "Shiur Nashim" after lunch, which I will write about, and for Seudat Shlishit a neighbor invited friends for her mother's yartzeit.

This week, in Israel, was Parshat Korach. Korach incited rebellion against Moshe, and this is the parsha right after the "Sin of the Spies." When Korach and his followers approach Moshe and announced:

Verse 3: ..."You have [taken] too much for yourselves [and] since the entire
congregation are all holy and Ad-noy is in their midst, why do you raise
yourselves above the assembly of Ad-noy"?

And what did Moshe do in reaction? What sign of strength, leadership?

Verse 4: Moshe heard, and he fell upon his face.

Why? How weak and wimpy! That's how I always thought of it, until this afternoon. Tired from the heat, the summer flu filling my head, my eyes were closed, and periodically I dozed, but I heard those words in Hebrew, echoing:

וַיִּפֹּל עַל-פָּנָיו he fell upon his face.
and it sounded so familiar in my aching head, just like the Yom Kippur עלינו Aleinu prayer, during Musaf, that "the Priests and the People... the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, the height/epitome of their purity and holiness... ונופלים על פניהם they fall on their faces." That was in prayer, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, when we beseech G-d for forgiveness.

My friend researched the shiur to give her answers to: "what should we be doing?" She felt that Moshe's response to Korach's rebellion would be a good example, because in the end Moshe reasserted his leadership and the rebels were killed by G-d. We were all troubled by the picture of Moshe "folding" so quickly at Korach's accusations.

I guess Moshe didn't "collapse;" he prayed, like we pray on Yom Kippur. He prayed for the survival of his people. And I hope that even though we seem so "down," we're just praying to G-d and gathering strength to not just survive, to flourish as a free Jewish People in our own Independent Land.

Shavua Tov

Friday, June 23, 2006


The Jewish-Lebovitch singing sensation, Matisyahu, did some of his first big shows for... well, maybe you should just watch this to see the post-American High School in Israel and pre-Matisyahu the world knows. The first clip is about 6 minutes into it, if I'm not mistaken, and the second is 24 minutes.

Shabbat Shalom

ps thanks, Ya'aqov

a new blog "collection," "source"

Good timing, since I volunteered to host Havel Havelilm in a couple of weeks. Searching for great posts on Jewish/Israeli topics should be easier with The Jewish and Israeli Blog Network . It compiles/collects Jewish/Israeli blogs to make them easier to access. They've listed this one here.

Thinking of Others

I discovered that something very unpleasant happened on Wednesday when the World Zionist Congress came to Shiloh.

The organizer from the Convention had given us the impression that he had carefully worked out an exact schedule, even demanding approval over the speakers at each yishuv they were to visit. Because of that we made sure to be waiting exactly where and when he had instructed for the buses to arrive. Strangely, he didn't answer his cellphone 20 minutes after the promised arrival time. Fifteen minutes after that we finally reached him, and he said that they were just getting into the buses on one of the distant Eli neighborhoods. What it boiled down to was that they were going to be almost a full hour late. Their tour around Eli had taken a full hour longer than planned.

We had a very full hour planned for them, and being as efficient and professional as we could, we did the program in an hour, as not to increase their lateness.

Only afterwards did I discover that there was supposed to be another stop, another visit in the Shiloh area. They had promised to visit the Olive Press in Givat Achiya, a hilltop neighborhood of Shvut Rachel, just to our east. Ronit Shuker had prepared for the much-awaited group in her Visitors Center. Ronit and her husband, Yossi (pray for a refuah shleimah l'Yosef Chaim ben Yehudit,) are modern pioneers having, as a young family, established both Shvut Rachel and Givat Achiya.

On Givat Achiya, Yossi and Ronit established an Olive Press to produce olive oil from olives of the region. Then a terrible tragedy happened when Yossi was caught in one of the presses and has been 100% paralyzed ever since. Ronit and their young children have continued with their work. Since the accident, Ronit succeeded in opening the Visitors Center and there she waited for the eighty (80) delegates from the World Zionist Congress.

Everything was ready, and food cold drinks were on tables. Then, because an extra hour was spent in Eli, instead of welcoming her eighty guests from all over the world, she got a phone call that the visit was cancelled. I felt so awful when I heard, since I would have had gladly cancelled most of our program to give them time in Givat Achiya.

Keeping to a schedule is so important, because when we don't others suffer.

bloggers meet

The bloggers who met have a very different agenda from those with whom I'm in touch. They are American "liberals" who are attempting to seriously influence politics there.

I guess that many of us are would-be editorial writers and politicians. We're the alternative media and the voice of the people, who feel that nobody is representing them.

And some bloggers give a voyeuristic view of lives that others had wondered about.

And since nobody pays us for this, nobody controls us. We can write whatever we want. We can't get fired. The worst thing would be that nobody would read what we blog.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I think that it would be a good idea to make some additions to my sidebar. I use my sidebar as the base when I feel like "surfing" blogs. It's safer that way, since I discovered too many porn and other objectionable blogs, when I used the "next blog" from blogger.

There have been some regular visitors to my blogs, and I haven't added them. Don't be shy and remind me please who you are.


The Amazingly Talented Sarah!

The amazing and talented Sarah has done it again; (She designed the banner for Shiloh Musings.) She designed the banner from some old photos.

My parents, bli eyin haraa, ad me'ah v'esrim shannah, are the only ones in the photos still alive. There's one person I'm not sure of, so I may be mistaken.

To introduce you to the cast, there's a picture of my father and his, my grandfather who died before I was born. The little kids are my Aunt Rosie, Uncle Izzy, my mother and a "cousin." At the table are: Uncle Izzy, Uncle Joe, Aunt Rosie and Uncle Donny, (seated) Aunt Florence, Aunt Sadie, Aunt Pauline, my father, my mother and Aunt Sylvia.

It's nice to have all of them meandering with me in me-ander.

Thanks again, Sarah!

BOMS & Education

Carnival Update
the carnivals are both great

BOMS 134
Who could ask for more?

Education for you and me
According to the A, B, C

and while we're at it
don't forget
to send the links
from the kosher kitchen sinks
before it's too late
for number eight!

Send me all of your food links , whenever you post something that could be in the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Either send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via Conservative Cat's handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may discover other carnivals to visit and enter...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

don't put her down

Here's an inspiring story about a young woman, who has made a success out of every opportunity. The title is 100% wrong.

hair cut

Don't get too excited. You're not going to see it. My hair has been covered (see chapter 18 of the book linked) since I got married 36 years ago. This is the shortest my hair has been since I was 13. I hope my hats still fit! Summer heat goes to my head, and I just couldn't take the big, metal barrette (though it's flat and simple) in the back of my head any more.

My friend cut my hair. Will I keep it short? I have no idea. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

FLASH! Big News in the Music World!

Matisyahu, the Lebovitch-Reggae singing sensation, was just on Israel's swinging "Galatz" radio station. According to my resident expert, ds#1, this was the very first time, since Galatz had been boycotting, or ignoring him, put off by the Chabad persona, which doesn't jive with their idea of a top singing sensation.

But when the legendary Sting, performed with him in Tel Aviv, they could no longer pretend that Matisyahu didn't exist.

Just proves that you don't have to live like a goy to be a star! Kol hakavod l'Matisyahu!!

The other side of summer homework

I'm a high school EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher, and I'm still preparing the summer assignments and tests to be given this summer and first thing when school resumes. Such timing to see this op-ed in the New York Times complaining about such "homework."

Yes, I agree that the examples the writers gave were very extreme. The students in my school wouldn't do anything like what those American students are expected to do. Should I be jealous? Maybe. I don't give assignments like that, and I don't think it's right to do so.

For me, the sole purpose of "summer homework" is to minimize "summer vacation senility," my term for the very distressful and wasteful loss of foreign language skills over the long vacation from school. We take three steps forward and one or more back, making a very frustrating educational experience for all.

I'm willing to entertain my students in my own home with free English lessons if it would help them retain what I worked so hard to teach over the year. Yes, I'm serious. And since that's not possible, the best I can do is give them review assignments over the summer. Some students will even be tested during vacation in the high school, and I will test all of those who are continuing with me when studies resume.

It's an investment in my time, too, the extra summer homework. In just the right doses there's nothing wrong with it.

What a difference

What a difference the screen makes!

My daughter sent us her "old computer" a couple of days ago for storage. She has a laptop so hadn't been using the pc for a few years. When my youngest saw the monstrosity sitting in his room he had an idea. "Why not hook up that nice big screen, instead of the ancient tiny one?"

I got permission from dd#3, who warned us that she had had problems with it. The good news is that it's behaving and it's much larger than our old one. The colors are a bit lighter, and suddenly all sorts of things are easier to read! It's not fancy, just very bulky, but I'm not too slim myself.

And with those words ringing, time to get ready for my Tuesday morning swim.

Monday, June 19, 2006

shoes, croc or not?

I heard a rumor that "Crocs" are really cheap in the states now. Here in Israel they're a good $55 (plus) a pair, a bit high for something that may not be all that comfortable; though my son swears (if you'll excuse the expression) by them. Where can I get a good deal, when I go to NY this summer?

I also need a good pair of shoes for basketball. Mine are too flexible; though that's what I love in a shoe. I'm starting to suspect that it's not that great when playing. So strange, since we grew up with ordinary "keds" type sneakers for sports. And I was always a barefoot dancer, modern and folk. I also suddenly need a "slight" heel. I am getting old.

Even though I've been in NY three times in the past year, I really didn't do any shopping and haven't the vaguest idea where to get the best prices.

goes-with-everything sweet kugel

An epal of mine, sent me, initiator of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, a request for a "parve noodle kugel."

To define terms:
parve= neither meat nor dairy, an important aspect of kosher cooking, which forbids eating meat and dairy at the same meal; fish also has certain restrictions
goes-with-everything= parve, not even fish
noodle= pasta, but in these concoctions, the broad, long "egg noodles" are usually used, though it's not required; you won't be jailed or ridiculed if you use shells, wagon wheels, elbows, spaghetti, or anything you want to get rid of, even a combination of shapes
kugel= Yiddish for casserole, tasty, whatever you call it

This is a "family size" recipe. You can make less, or divide it in freezable baking dishes, or cut it after cooking for freezing.

a 1 pound (or 500 gram) package of "egg noodles"
4 eggs
1/2 cup or less of brown sugar, or white, not crucial, I personally like brown
a handful of raisins
a diced apple
optional for a more exotic flavor, small can of diced pineapple
spoon of cinnamon

  • cook the noodles, rinse
  • put in a large bowl, or even directly into your casserole baking dish, if you're sure it's large enough
  • mix with the eggs, cinnamon and fruit
  • bake, same temperature as a cake, until "dry" inside, like a cake check with fork or toothpick, or how "springy" when you press the middle
  • If you want to make a dairy version, use a cup of cottage cheese instead of two of the eggs

Remember: You don't have to be Jewish to eat kosher food!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Havel Havelim of the Vanities

When you translate Havel Havelim, you get Carnival of the Vanities. But if you read both those carnivals, which I highly recommend, you'll see how different they are.

"when I'm 64"

It's getting closer. Yesterday my friend and I discussed the financial benefits, the discounts, since she just turned 60. And headlines all over blast that Paul McCartney Is 64! Wow!

There haven't been so many articles about age, since the baby-boomers began hitting 30, 30 years ago. That's since one of our slogans was: "Don't trust anyone over thirty!"

Sir Paul was always an inspiring "older guy." We couldn't think of the Beatles as being "really old." But it's sad to think that he's alone at 64, widowed from his beloved wife and now separated from his second one and toddler daughter. His song of today is probably Money Can't Buy Me Love.

And in the meantime, along with my fellow baby boomers, I'm starting to check out all the reduced rates I can look forward to. Retirement is a whole new lifetime, G-d willing.

KCC #7

Thanks, Sadie, for the Seventh Kosher Cooking Carnival!
number seven
food from heaven
for number eight
don't be late
so send please
your recipes
stories, pics and more
as long as they're kosher!

Here are the previous ones, the 6th, the 5th, the 4th, the 3rd, the 2nd and the 1st. And it's never too soon to get your food link in for the very next Kosher Cooking Carnival,


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Those hats

I only started crocheting hats barely a year ago, if that long. Today I tried to list for my friend every hat I've crocheted, and we counted at least 15. OK, at least half were for others, but still; I really don't need so many hats. That was one of the reasons I had given for not wanting to start crocheting them. I don't need, nor want dozens.

I have an idea. It would be a perfect "match" to be able to donate, nice comfy, crocheted hats to a cancer patient society. Maybe some of the patients would like my hats. I make them more for the pleasure of keeping my hands busy. Not all are because I want to wear them.

So, bli eyin haraa, this week I must contact some organization. If you know of any, please send me (via comments) contact information.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Just a quick tip. The summary must answer:

Who did what, why, when and where?

For instance, you can summarize the movie "Forrest Gump" as:

Forrest Gump, somehow, managed to be at every major event in American history of the mid-late Twentieth Century.

Are there any other volunteers to summarize in one sentence a long book or movie?

Friday morning

got up before the alarm
fell asleep to the smell of burnt meat
how could it be?
was on low
and just added more wine...

now to get dressed
for a swim
doven and eat

back later
after tutoring
I think

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Busy Fingers

It's either the keyboard or the crochet hook. Yes, that's how I keep my fingers busy. Neither cleaning nor cooking. Yes, there's food in my house, but I don't do the heavy cooking daily. I like to cook all the meat and poultry when I cook for Shabbat on Thursday and Friday. It works for us.

My teaching job is in the afternoon/evening, and there are times I get home too late to cook from scratch, so it's really good to have things to heat up.

About the crocheting, I'm having fun doing it, but I only know how to crochet hats. Besides the ones I've made for myself, my daughters and friends, I also made a "reggae" hat for one son and almost finished another for the other one. I'm "always" crocheting, and I think people think I'm crazy and maybe even rude, but it helps me concentrate and stay awake. It's hard to believe that it's barely a year since I started crocheting hats.

Last summer when I went to the states I was working on the first one, which I gave to my daughter. I generally have two or three going on at the same time. There's always yarn waiting for me, and it helps me hurry just thinking about the new project. Like now, I have this gorgeous, and not cheap, yarn I bought for a hat for myself. Now I'm working on the one I was drooling over before.

G-d willing I'll finally get myself a digital camera, and then I'll be able to take pictures and show you my progress, like Moze. But don't worry, I'll still write about all sorts of other things.

And remember: It's better than eating!!

Marathon dreams

During my jogging days, which lasted over four years, I had dreams of running a marathon. Don't all joggers? Of course, I knew that a jogger's pace wouldn't break any records, but it was a matter of pride, doing the distance, endurance!

If I could run around my neighborhood a few times without stopping, certainly I could increase my distance and eventually run the required 26 miles, 385 yards. Needless to keep you in suspense, so I'll let you know that I never got close. Actually, even after four years of running, ok, jogging, it never got easier. Increasing my distance and speed were impossible dreams. My body just wasn't designed for running.

During those four years and a couple of months of almost daily jogs, I endured more pain in my knees and back than any other time in my life, and that includes five full-term pregnancies.

It's not that I'm sedentary by nature, no way. I can easily walk for miles, as I've done in the Od Avihu Chai March from Shiloh to Jerusalem. All right, I must admit that we haven't walked the entire way, which is similar to the official marathon's distance, since the first year, but we do walk a good portion of it, and I generally feel better the longer I walk. I also like to do Israeli Folk Dances, which are very active, and I play basketball, too.

This article makes me feel better about aborting my jogging career. It tells how amateur runners can seriously damage their hearts. It's not just a risk to your knees and ankles. There are much better and safer ways to keep fit, so in just over an hour, I'll take the five minute walk to our local pool.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Organ transplants

I'm sure that it wasn't too many years ago that the idea of organ transplants was no more than science fiction. Today it's an almost routine medical procedure. Many, many people all over the world are alive because of the generosity of others both live and dead.

Our friend Judith Nussbaum is one of those lucky recipients. In her body is the kidney of a man who just wanted to help another human being.

Monday night there was an amazing and moving evening at the Israel Center, Jerusalem, about organ donors and recipients. Judith mc'ed and spoke about her experience. Also on the program was Robby Berman of HODS, Halachik Organ Donation Society, Prof. Etyan Mor, Director of the Department of Transplantation, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus and others.

Refuah Shleimah and good health to all.

after the grades are in

You may disagree, and your comments are certainly welcome, when I say that the toughest challenge to a teacher is "holding the class" after the final grades of the year have been handed in.

In the school where I teach, the kids are totally aware of when we have to get those grades into the office. It's not that they are attuned to our minds via ESP or have spies in the office. The reason is much simpler. The secretarial staff decorates every surface the teachers may see with "reminders." Of course, I'm not one of those teachers who need the colorful and clever signs. I'm usually one of the very first to calculate the marks and hand them into the office. Would you expect anything else?

Wonderful, except that as difficult as it was pre-G Day, it's even harder to get those kids to behave once there's nothing I can threaten or bribe them with. So that's when we open the EFL Cinema Festival! My challenge is finding clean movies that will keep the little darlings riveted and silent. So far, this year we've shown Robin Williams's Flubber and The Rock with Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage (yes, the fast-foward came in handy.) And I need more suggestions!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

slight emergency

I wrote "slight," since it wasn't a person, but it was very upsetting, nevertheless. I had to call emergency services, since my computer didn't go on when I pressed the start button this morning.

I had been sitting on the comfortable office chair since 5:45am, after placing the percolator, filled with water and strong Turkish coffee on the stove. With a large mug of water in my hand, I had staggered into the den and then in total shock, took it in. Nothing! The screen showed absolutely nothing! I tried every trick I knew, and the screen was still black, though "number lock" was lit on my keyboard, so I knew that something was still alive.

It was too early to call the "maiven." It's not like he's a doctor saving lives, but... I was in pain, severe withdrawal, I needed my blog fix. Oy.

On the way to the pool, just before 8 I left him a message, and then I really got nervous. I was sure his daughter had said something about his traveling abroad. I was able to stay busy in the pool, distracting myself a bit. I couldn't have been very successful, since I kept telling everyone that my computer was sick.

Luckily when I finished my "swim" I saw a message from him on the cell phone. I called back immediately, didn't even bother listening to the message. He suggested taking out the plug and having a slow cup of coffee. I pulled out the plug and took a long shower. It revived only slightly, strange movements on the mostly black screen. I called him again and he said tha the'd try to pay a house call.

He did while I was at work and somehow the screen and computer came back to life. So here I am. Enjoy!

carnivally yours

Here's a tough one to rhyme
but I'll give it a try
the Healthy Eating, Diet and Fitness Blog Carnival No.1
check it out, and have some fun!

A different perspective, this Havel Havelim
...gevalt, more problems rhyming....

BOMS 133
is not by Gary

about coffee and tea
tastes good to me!

and a reminder
for links kosher
to be sent
to Sadie's Luncheonette

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sandra Dee is Dead

Did she ever live?

For those of my generation, Sandra Dee was the pretty, blond singer-actress who married Bobby Darin. This obituary (also linked here) tells much more. She was nothing like her pure perky image. Her life was dark and haunted, but the lyrics sung by Stockard Channing in Grease live on.

Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee
Lousy with virginity
Won't go to bed 'til I'm legally wed
I can't; I'm Sandra Dee

Watch it! Hey I'm Doris Day
I was not brought up that way
Won't come across,
Even Rock Hudson lost
His heart to Doris Day

I don't drink (no)
Or swear (no)
I don't rat my hair (eew)
I get ill from one cigarette
(cough, cough, cough)
Keep your filthy paws
Off my silky draws
Would you pull that crap with Annette?

As for you Troy Donahue,
I know what you wanna do
You got your crust
I'm no object of lust
I'm just plain Sandra Dee

Elvis, Elvis, let me be!
Keep that pelvis far from me!
Just keep your cool
Now your starting to drool
Hey Fongool, I'm Sandra Dee!

Sandy:Are you making fun of me Riz?
Rizzo:Some people are so touchy!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d

ht=the muqata
Torah loyal rabbis are beginning to look at the surrogate mother differently. Israeli Chief Rabbi Amar has stated that a married woman may serve as a surrogate mother. The child is perfectly acceptable by Jewish Law, since the child already existed as an embryo when inserted in the surrogate mother.

the Salute to Israel Parade 1968

Here's the ad for the 1969 PARADE!
How many people in the picture can you name?

getting routine

I'm getting used to getting up early to get to the pool 4 mornings a week. And when possible, I'll also go to the two evening sessions. Luckily they made closing earlier. It used to be 9-10pm, which was too late and two chilly. Now it's 7:30-8:30pm. Since I took out membership, I really have to go as much as possible. I can't stand going when there are kids, young girls (separate here, thank G-d.) I also don't want to be there when the sun is strong, so early and late are just perfect.

In the summer, there's no better place to be than here in Shiloh. That's why I can't imagine going away for a vacation.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

mundane vanities

"mundane vanities"
makes perfect sense
to a blogger
if you please

Yes, Carnival of the Vanities
numbers one ninety four
for two hundred
just add six more!

There's nothing vain
about Carnival of the Mundane!

And if you're looking
for something to do
I just suggested two!

just in case

Just in case you had read about our lack of water problem before Shabbat, I ought to tell you that it returned, the water that is, just about when I had to light candles. We managed to have "just enough" water boiled for tea and coffee.

I don't know exactly what caused it, but as a good citizen, I reported it to the authorities.

And now, I ought to wash some dishes.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Waterless Shabbat?

I hope not!

Just as I was filling, rinsing the giant electric water urn before Shabbat, I noticed that our water pressure was rapidly falling, like a ton of bricks, or the Titanic, choose your example, or pick whatever. Well, as I was saying, I suddenly noticed that less than an hour before Shabbat, and not only no water for showers, but it looks like the toilets can flush only once. It's a good thing the guest, who wanted to know what life's like out here, got to take a shower first. I guess she's seen enough and won't be back so soon.

The pre-Shabbat clock is ticking, and the reserve tank doesn't seem to be working very well, or did my husband use up the last drops rinsing his corn. I hope he enjoys it. We don't have any disposable plates either, so we can't skip the fancy ones. Didn't the orchestra play on as the Titanic went down? OK, bad comparisan. We're not drowning. There's no water! That's all!

We have five bottles of mineral water, 1 1/2 liters each, in the pantry/laundry room.

Let's just keep our sense of humor! Gulp! Gulp!

post-dessert slump

Is that the reason I'm so exhausted today? Last night at the wedding, I was served a full selection of desserts and sampled too many of them. All that sugar and fake cream make one fat and sluggish. Not even this morning's swim in the pool woke me up. Also, a bissel less sleep than I'm used to and a bit more exercise. So, G-d willing next week I should get myself in better shape.

Shabbat Shalom

blogging memories

Periodically, I've blogged about my childhood in Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY. It was a wonderful place to grow up in the 1950's. Due to the posts, I've found at least one old friend and possibly more. G-d willing we'll have some sort of reunion when I next visit the states.

Some of the locals of the time became famous celebrities, Richard Dreyfuss and Estelle Gittleman Getty. I'm still waiting for confirmation that David Ansen was one of the very talented Ansen brothers.

Strangely, it's easier to get information about me by googling, then about them.

wonderful wedding

Last night we were at a beautiful wedding. There were well over a thousand guests, many related to the newly-united families.

Both families are among those bereaved due to Arab terrorism. The chatan (groom) spoke movingly under the chupah (marriage canopy), and the kallah (bride) danced for her ailing grandmother.

What a wonderful couple. They should be blessed.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The "Mini-Shiur" I gave on Shavuot

It's traditonal for Jews to study Torah the night of the Shavuot Holiday, which celebrates our receiving the Torah from G-d.

There's all night learning in English by one of my neighbors on Shavuot. This year I was asked to give a shiur (Torah lesson) for a few minutes. At least I understood that it would be a very short one, so considering that I had little notice and no time to prepare, I agreed. I "opened for" the Rav, that's the Shiloh Rabbi Elchanan Bin Nun, who is not a native English speaker, though the past few years he began giving English shiurim on special occassions, since some neighbors don't understand much Hebrew. Some of us, who have sufficient Hebrew to also go to make sure there's enough turn-out and help translating if he gets stuck. Also, it's always interesting and why not take advantage?

I'll try to write what I had said, including the introduction.

When I was growing up, in the New York City school system, it was required that someone recite a "Biblical passage" at every "assembly." Never being shy about speaking in public, I frequently volunteered. It was in either or both P.S. 46 or J.H. S. 74. We were given a sheet of paper with suggested passages to choose from. Being that we were in a New York City Public School, not all of the passgages were from the Jewish Bible. There was one I always chose, it was Ruth's pledge to Naomi.

Ruth Chapter 1
1:16 And Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after
thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;

A few years later, when I was already an Orthodox Jew and a student in Stern College, where a student always gave a Parshat Shavua Dvar Torah (short talk based on the Torah Portion of the Week) at the Shabbat meals, I always volunteered the week of Lech Lecha.

Genesis Chapter 12
12:1 Now the Lord said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.

Decades later, here in Shiloh, suddenly at a shiur which was about one of the two, I suddenly saw a connection and asked whichever rabbi was giving it: "Please give a shiur connecting Ruth's pledge and Lech Lecha." I repeated that request to a variety of rabbis every few months, twice a year, on Shavuot and Parshat Lech Lecha, but nobody did it. I even blogged about it.

And then when I was given the opportunity I behaved like my favorite fairy tale character, The Little Red Hen, and "I did it myself."

And here it is:

Here are the complete quotations I distributed; read them very carefully and see the intrinsic similarities and differences.

Jewish Publication Society: Genesis Chapter 12
12:1 Now the Lord said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
12:2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'

Jewish Publication Society: Ruth Chapter 1
1:15 And she said: 'Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her god; return thou after thy sister-in-law.'
1:16 And Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;
1:17 where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.'
1:18 And when she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking unto her.

Remember that Abraham, who was still Abram at the time, was given these orders by G-d, and Ruth, a young widow, made these decisions on her own. That's one of the important differences between men and women. That's why in the morning blessings we thank G-d for "making us according to His wish." We're more "connected to G-d."

Naomi and her husband Elimelech were among the wealthiest in Beit Lechem and fled it during time of hardship and poverty, in order not to have to give their possessions away. They took everything to Moav with their two sons, who then married local women. In the end, Naomi was widowed, childless, poverty-sticken, left with just her two daughters-in-law.

There's an interesting Rashi to the second Lech Lecha verse:

Verse 2: I will make you into a great nation.4
Since traveling causes three things: It inhibits the birth of children, and decreases one's wealth and lessens one's fame, therefore, these three blessings were necessary. He [G-d], promised him children, wealth and fame.5

Elimelech and Naomi traveled, they left the Land of Israel, and they subsequentally lost their children, wealth and good name. And that's the message to all. We will not save ourselves by leaving our precious Land.

Wonderful, yes

Today's the day I handed in grades, so basically teaching's over for the year, but I'll still see some of my classes. This is the time of the year to show movies. Honestly, what else can I do with them? I also have to finalize textbook choices for next year. Oh, yes, a teacher's work is never done. I guess that's why the field is dominated by women.

Everyone wants to know about Shiloh Pitt

I've had an unprecedented amount of visitors to this blog because of Shiloh Pitt. Sorry, but my specialty is the ancient-modern city of Shiloh, the Biblical spot, which is where I live. In Hebrew, it's pronounced shee' low.

Most of my neighbors seems rather oblivious to the fact that such a famous baby is carrying the name of our town. In Israel, Shiloh is a name usually given to males, though one of the original families to move here after the town was re-established named their daughter Sheelah, which, in Hebrew is spelled the same.

The letters are: shin, yud, lamed, heh
Israelis who aren't familiar with the Bible sometimes miss-pronounce it as "Sheelah."

I'm sure the Pitt-Jolie fans will be searching for another few days, until their curiosity is satisfied. Sorry I can't help you.

Top 5 Keywords:
shiloh (Google)
shiloh pitt (Google)
shiloh (Google)
shiloh pitt (Google)
shiloh pitt (Google)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

off for a quick swim

Pool membership must be used!!


The one and only Sarah is helping me spruce up my blogs. She's the one who got me the "code" for the profile pic and now she's working on my Shiloh Musings banner, which will combine a couple of photos I took.

This blog has me stumped. I just can't think of one or two images that illustrate what this blog includes. If only I was a cartoonist, then there would be a way to combine my very Gemini being.

Any ideas?