Friday, March 30, 2007

Emergency Beeper!

Yesterday, noontime, as if we didn't have on our minds, the emergency beeper went off. I always run to check and read the announcements.

We were "urged" to get the beeper during the terrible, murderous Arab terrorism which characterized Ehud Barak's reign as Prime Minister of Israel.

Baruch Hashem, most of the announcements are useless or sad things like:

  • Story time in Shvut Rachel

  • Tour of the Tel is going to begin ten minutes ago
  • No water, sorry. It's being repaired.

  • Baruch Dayan Emet. __ passed away; funeral will ....

This time is it announced that we were all invited to a Brit Millah, Circumcision ceremony in the local shul, right behind my house. The baby just made a two generation Shiloh clan in to a three generation one, and there were lots of great-grandparents visiting, too.

Baruch Hashem, it was nice to have an excuse to change into clean clothes, put on lipstick and leave the house for an hour.

Dawn again

Actually I hadn't seen dawn awhile, until this morning. The sun had been rising earlier and earlier, one of the signs of spring. It's not that it suddenly rose later or that I had, for whatever reasons, gotten up earlier. It's just that we're now on Daylight Savings Time.

That means that what yesterday was 4:45am, this morning became 5:45am. And I beat the sun to the livingroom! The sunrise beckoned, so wrapped in my robe and tichel, I grabbed my camera to take these pictures.
pre-Pesach dawn1

pre-Pesach dawn2
And now, since it's almost 7:30, not 6:30, I have to get back to work. I want the kitchen changed to Pesach before Shabbat, which will come in at around 6:30pm, rather than 5:30pm.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Only in Israel!

Daylight Savings Time starts tonight. They've been giving instructions on TV. Now, listen carefully:

"At 2am, get up, and turn your clock one hour forward. It will then be 3am."

Got that. To do it right, we have to get up at 2am. Or do they think we'll be up at 2am any way? Why would I be up at 2am?

  • to party?

  • to clean?

  • to feed a baby?

  • to turn my clock ahead an hour?

Not me!

Is it one of those things, that if you miss it: Al tachmitzu! Then you "can't join the party." Does it mean that if we don't change our clocks "on time," at 2am, we'll be deprived of Daylight Savings Time? Or will there be a government fine, like the penalty for paying off your mortgage early?

So, sshhhhhhhh, don't tell the government inspectors. I'm not going to wake up specially at 2am. My plan is to move my watch and alarm clock ahead before I go to sleep. Sshhhh, I hope you can keep a secret!

Signs of Pesach in the Air

Pesach is definitely getting closer. The grocer is keeping bread outside.

keep the bread out
Everyday there's something for the kids to do, to keep them happy and out of the way. It's safer. And a good time is had by all!

play time2
play time1
In Israel it only rains in the winter, so there's no better time for gorgeous flowers.
purple spring flowers
yellow spring flowers

pre-Pesach Senility

I have just wasted over an hour or more, considering how it prevented my doing anything important, let's say all this morning! looking for the fancy white paper napkins for the seder.

Now, I was really sure I had bought some, positive, yes very positive, and I knew that I had put them in a closet. I was sure it was in one of the kids' bedrooms, or maybe in the upper part of the hallway linen closet. So, I kept going through each room and each closet over and over again and again and trying to stay calm.

OK, it's not crucial and we can always buy more, but I just knew that I had already bought some, so I kept looking.

And then I decided to try just one more place, the cabinet under the tv, where I keep the Pesach tablecloths, dish towels etc and what do you think I found there? Yes, it was the obvious place, but....

$3,600 for a Kiss

Yes, that's what Chaim Ramon was sentenced to pay the unnamed female soldier for his "uninvited kiss." And it won't cost him his political career, since the judgement didn't consider it "moral turpitude." He may be the next Israeli Minister of Finance, since the present one, Avraham Hircshson, has his own "legal problems."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The good and the bad and then back to the kitchen

There was a brit millah (circumcision ceremony) here last Friday. Here I am with a friend and her daughter, and you can see some of the crowd.

with a friend and her daughter at a brit
Brit Millah in Shiloh
...and the bad is the litter, even spoiling the wildflowers blooming so prettily.

garbage garden1
garbage garden2
And now, back to the kitchen. We do have to eat, and then back to cleaning for Passover.

Cleaning my mind

Not only our homes must be cleaned, but our minds, too, and don't forget the out of doors. But all that mostly has nothing to do with Passover. To be prepared for Passover, the only thing we must get rid of, destroy, is "chametz." Now, what actually is חמץ chametz? And how does it differ from מצה matzah, which is permitted?

Linguistically, both words have the letters mem מ and tzaddi צ.

And time-wise the difference between the two is just seconds. Judaism is very concerned with time. Shabbat and holidays begin and end at specific times. The three daily prayers are also strictly within exact time frames. Days begin and end at pre-determined times. It's not "approximate." What amazes me is that these rules and regulations were determined without modern time-pieces, without advanced clocks and computers.

Matzah has to be prepared within 18 minutes. How were these 18 minutes determined a thousand years ago, or even a hundred or fifty when accurate watches and clocks were rare? I have no idea, honestly.

And back to those letters, mem מ and tzaddi צ. What other words have them? Mitz, מיץ, juice and l'tzamtzem, לצמצם, to reduce to minimum, the essence, like juice.

From the same linguistic root as chametz, we have chamutz, sour, chometz, vinegar and other negative words.

Does that mean that chametz and matzah are the essence of Judaism? That "fine line" between permitted and forbidden, holy and profane can be found in the production of matzah.

Chag Kasher V'Sameach

Kosher L'Pesach Restaurants

I'm amazed!

Just a few years ago, there was "no place to eat out" on Passover besides one's home, friends, relatives or hotels (very expensive) here in Israel. Now the list is phenomenal! Here's the eluna site, which lists them with phone numbers and indicates kitniyot use.

That was a nice break; now back to work!

blowing in the wind

Sfira Reminder

I just signed up for the OU's Sfira Reminder Service.

The more the better!

The hardest times for me to remember are on Friday night, since after Shabbat I can't be on the computer.

For a spiritual charge

There's so much to do, but if you need a spiritual charge for added inspiration and energy, read this.

Now, back to work!

Thanks, yitz!

Ode to Pesach, not original

ps Does anyone remember that Dynasty parody with Carol Burnett, in which the rich family had a "raisin farm?"

This isn't original, but I didn't invent kneidlach either, and I still serve them!
hat tip to Nuch Epes Ah Chosid, thanks! From pearlies of wisdom , love it!

Ode to Pesach

The pantry is empty, devoid of its stuff
Pesach is coming, enough is enough
The chametz got sold to our rabbi, you know
It was time to get rid of it, time to let go

I bought my Pesachdik groceries, paid more than I thought
I kept buying and buying; I bought and I bought
But don’t Pesach prices always get out of hand
For one week out of the year, we just don’t understand.

We feel the need to buy up the store
To prepare seders and meals and have nosh galore
And after the week is done and we’ve put on some weight
We avoid our scale, those numbers we hate!

We might lose some pounds as we meticulously “spring clean”
Making “seder” in our homes, on that we are keen
At least once a year we do this overhaul
And then we rest for a moment before the cooking calls.

Let’s plan some “healthy” dishes that use lots of eggs and oil
And matzah meal and matzah, over menus we will toil
We have to please our family and friends who join us for a meal
Several variations on matzah can have some “mass appeal.”

There’s always prune juice and compote for you who gets “stopped up”
Or pour yourself hot water with lemon juice and sip it from a cup.
As for me, I love matzah farfel and lots of macaroons
And soup mandlen and matzah balls, I have no use for prunes.

I took a moment to stop my cleaning and write this little ditty
I hope you find it whimsical, I hope you deem it witty.
“Have a good Pesach” is my wish for you out there
May you enjoy your family and friends, together celebrate and share.

"Book Cleaning?"

The "Jewish Erma Bombeck" is Judy Gruen, the lady with the hat. I loved her "cleaning for Pesach" article. It really spoke to me.

Here's my comment:
:-) One day, my elder son (4th out of 5 kids) packed up all the childrens' books and hoisted them into the netherworld of the attic, never to be seen again. As high school graduates, he and his younger brother weren't interested in the "Complete works of Sesame street," "Tiny Pin," nor his sisters' "Madeline's Rescue." I haven't succeeded in rescuing them for the grandchildren! Luckily my mother, sister and a cousin have been buying new soft-cover copies of the classics, like "Caps for Sale" and more!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pre-Pesach Creativity or The World's Easiest Vegetable Pie!

Isn't there a saying about desperation and creativity?

Well, I don't make vegetable pies, but I did. Before the Passover Holiday we have to use up food that isn't permitted over the holiday. That makes for some strange meals at times.

My elder son loves "mallowach," a fatty Yemenite bread. In Israel they're easy to find in the frozen food section of most groceries and supermarkets. When he was living here he stocked up on them, and then he moved out. I don't eat the stuff. It's really fattening.

To make sure I always had some low-calorie foods, I bought some frozen vegetables, but I never finished the package.

So, I made a shidduch, a match made in heaven, between mallowach and frozen vegetables! That's right! A vegetable pie! Two to be precise.

unbaked vegetable pie

Easier than Easy Vegetable Pie

  • place one mallowach on the bottom of the pan
  • put a generous amount of vegetables over it
  • I added a freshly sliced onion
  • then put another mallowach on top
  • bake in a medium oven until the upper mallowach is high and crispy, like a mallowach should be
  • You can add cheese or anything else you want.
  • meat should be precooked, since the mallowach cooks quickly, even if frozen
  • to reduce calories, only use the upper mallowach

 vegetable pie

progress, eh

I've made a bissel progress. See that closet, all lined and full of KP things that were already in the house? It's always my first closet. It's now 21 years since we're in this house, and I always get that closet Kosher l'Pesach first. Actually, that's not entirely true this year. The top upper shelf of the freezer was actually done before Shabbat.

And thanks to nuch a chosid I have a free email sfira reminding service set. Sign up here. I've used them before.

To keep me hopping, literally, I've been listening to J-Walking, the next step. I don't know how we got it or when. It's supposed to be Jewish music for exercise, and it's hard to sit still when it's playing.

Now, back to work.


Quick note, dvar Torah, of sorts about the number 50. A neighbor turned 50, and at the Kiddush cum Surprise Birthday Party another neighbor spoke.

I got "lost" in his words as soon as he mentioned that 50 in Hebrew letters is:
yam, sea
40 + 10 = 50

I reversed the letters making
מי me, who

And in my mind I continued the "Dvar Torah" saying that at 50, one is oneself, who one really is. We can make more of ourselves or less of ourselves, but Grandma Moses characters are rare, and it's only a myth that she started painting late in life. She drew and painted as a child only becoming a successful commercial artist late in life.

After turning 50 we can perfect the person we are, but we shouldn't count on major positive changes.

Honestly, I felt better turning 50 than turning 40.

Monday, March 26, 2007

miscelaneous, while I should be cleaning

I am going to tell you a secret, though you may have guessed...
I don't clean for Pesach at night. I base this on the Bible, midiraita, straight from "the H's" mouth. G-d created the world in 6 days, not nights. Look carefully at the p'sookim:

Exodus Chapter 20
7 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 8 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; 9 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; 10 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

It says work during the day, not at night and not on Shabbat, nu? So don't be "catty" about my blogging at the moment. And in the morning I blog over my morning coffees and water.

As I titled this, "miscellaneous," I'll get down to business.

Typical for this time of the year, I'm looking for those free "sfira reminders," so if you have a link or email address to get one, please let me know. I like multiple ones. One is never enough for me.

Next, Life of Rubin just posted JPIX #4. Take a gander; he did a great job.

I don't think that I've been sleeping enough, so I'll try that tonight.

Springtime for sure

One of the first signs of spring here are the new leaves on the grape vines. I noticed them a couple of hours ago. Grape vines always look dead in the winter, and just before winter ends, you're supposed to give them a "crew cut." My son did that during his last visit, the day after Purim.

This year the irises are each "doing their own thing" and blooming almost "one at a time."

And soon I'll be off for my weekly babysitting for my granddaughters, who are featured in the latest Carnival of Family Life. Take a gander; there are some great posts.


Annoying is the least of it. What word best describes discovering my own email in my "spam" box? On yahoo mail there's a "bulk" mailbox in which spam and other undesirables are delivered. I check it to rescue innocent letters, which somehow have been miss-labeled by overly enthusiastic spam controls, or my own bad aim when deleting. "Delete" and "spam" are side by side in yahoo.
But it does seem a bit absurd at best to keep discovering my very own letters and notes and replies. I re-label as "not spam," but they don't believe me. You'd think they'd be smart enough to know that it's from my address! I wrote it, not some spam machine!!

If people don't want to get my mailings, they can just request to be taken off the list. I always cooperate.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Prayers, thanks and misc.

Let's start with the prayers for a refuah shleimah, a full and speedy recovery.

Gitel Chava bas Pesia, ~Sarah's~ mother
Gnaidel Malka bat Michle, a friend of mine
--v'she'ar cholei Yisrael

Thanks to Daf Notes for the excellent Havel Havelim, full of Divrei Torah.

This morning a group of "olei regel," pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for Pesach passed through Shiloh. Pictures are here. It was a real event, as they let the local kids ride their donkeys. What a wonderful opening for this year's pre-Pesach camp, which is a tradition here for about 24 years. I remember when my daughter and her friends began it. They wouldn't take money, so one of the parents collected money and bought them gifts, the Koren Chumash-Siddur for Shabbatot.

Our local shul, the Beit Knesset Ramat Shmuel is very special. Besides being a local shul, it's well-known in the area for it's "late" mincha. Over the years I've benefited from it finding myself in rides straight the the shul which is in our backyard. Even though it's officially the Ashkenaz shul of Shiloh, our "shul board" is made up of a wide variety of Jews. For years the main gabbai was from Morocco, and now we have a "halabi" on the board, who with great enthusiasm has been fixing it up.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
And now, back to cleaning....

quick visits plus nothing?

I didn't plan on doing one of my "visiting" posts, but I started surfing the jrant list and found some new blogs for me. I won't backtrack, since I commented on the blogs I've already read this morning. I've been following my sidebar blogroll, so you can visit them, too. No, I didn't hit them all. It is the week before Pesach...

It seems like "real writers" blog, too.

ywl discusses the Clintons and their ambitition. I agree that they'll say anything they think will buy them votes.

The Kvetcher (love that name!) writes about Riskin's call to make an alternative Beit Din.

Stacy's still around, and she's right to have found more important things than blogging.

mgm had a rough time. Watch those knives!

abb finds a link to the past.

Jew-ish may be volunteering here in Israel next summer.

That's enough for now.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I guess not all blogs "are created equal"

I keep hearing that the Bagel Blogger is back blogging, but for whatever reason, I can't access his blog without major problems with explorer. And when I see the blog, it's sans posts.

Having hosted all the jblog carnivals, KCC and JPIX, and, according to Soccer Dad, I'm either second or third in the amount of Havel Havelims hosted. So, I've certainly "hit" a log of jblogs. I must say that I've only had this sort of problem with one other blog, Dave Bender's, if I have his name right. They're both pretty generous with the pictures and graphics, so maybe that's why my computer seems allergic to them.

Shavua Tov

Friday, March 23, 2007

When to switch?

As you may have guessed, I'm referring to switching the kitchen to Pesach mode. This year has the hardest schedule, with the seder on Monday night.
IMHO, the very easiest is when the seder is on Friday night, next is the Saturday night, after Shabbat. I know that for many it's terribly confusing, but personally, I like it that way, especially since the last day of Pesach is a Shabbat, and there's a whole uninterrupted week to enjoy. OK, for people not in Israel, who have to keep two days of "yom tov," it means lots of preparation, but that's one of the "prices of living in chutz l'Aretz."
We only have the "three day marathon" with Rosh Hashannah.
Another reason I like the Saturday night seder is that I come to it rested after a very simple Shabbat, after preparing EVERYTHING in advance.
Last night my husband suggested that we switch before Shabbat, even if it means bringing ready-made food in. Considering that we're an "empty nest," maybe I'll take him up on it.
I already have the upper shelf in the freezer full of KP food ready to cook. There's just too much tempting carbohydrates still in the closet. I guess I'll be eating so much noodles this week, that living without for a week plus, will be a relief. has hundreds of online image generating gadgets (banner ad maker, sign generator, label designer, custom e-cards, button creator, etc). Make your own words show up in images to use on your website or blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Let's Carnival and Not Compete!

I don't like the atmosphere I read in the comments here. I really was shocked, since I hadn't seen the nasty posts that had caused Bagel Blogger to bolt. I was too busy enjoying the challenge of hosting the 3rd jpix parts 1 & 2, The Jblog Picture Carnival and forwarding KCC posts to the Baleboosteh. I was enjoying the best of the jblog world, and of course that includes Havel Havelim.

I prefer the jcarnival scene to the jcompetition scene. In the carnivals, everyone's a winner. But in jibs, most are losers, or when you think of the true price, we're all losers.

What's the point of the competition, trying to make one's blog more valuable for advertising and money-making? Or is the the ego trip, one of the things we're warned to avoid in Pirkei Avot? Most probably a combination of the two.

Ploni says that Bagel Blogger's back, and I see that he's working on the blog, but every time I've tried to "visit," it causes my computer to freeze.

As we clean the chametz, the sourness, fermentation out of our homes, let's get the fermenting bitterness out of our jblog world.

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!

Bird Season

When I went out for some air and shopping, I heard the birds, but they kept hiding when I tried taking their pictures.

Shy birds

flying high

Good News!

The Baleboosteh has offered to host the 17th Kosher Cooking Carnival! It won't be for a while, but please keep it in mind when you post anything, or see any good posts, about kosher food, whether menus, recipes, halachik issues, etc. Please send the links to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or to blog carnival. The deadline is April 20, and G-d willing, it will be posted on April 22.

Food posts, especially recipes, are very popular with google. So if you're looking for a way to bring more traffic to your blog, your favorite or easiest version of a food would make a popular post. Nowadays many people prefer googling for recipes, rather than buying cookbooks.

Guest hosts for KCC are welcome. Let me know if you're interested. KCC is a monthly, ongoing carnival.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vacation time!

I didn't mention this yesterday, but I'm already on vacation, Passover Vacation. That's because today is my day off, and tomorrow my students have to clean their dorm rooms and then the whole school is closed until after Passover, at least another three weeks, and since we don't usually return towards the end of the week, I'm not quite sure when I'll be back to work. The bad news is that I have no excuse not to clean, except that I hate doing it, and my knees can't take all the bending etc and my back, too. But I'll do whatever I have to really do.

And talking about "education," school, work etc
take a gander at the Carnival of Education! It's a really good one this week, and we're included.

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The best way to clean...

The best way to clean is just to throw things out!

Clutter is the problem. That's what I learned from Fly Lady; too bad I don't follow the rules and throw out clutter at least every week. OK, the rule is everyday, but even every week would be a major improvement.

How can there be a place for everything and everything in its place if there's too much clutter?

For a while I was throwing things out if I wanted to buy something new, but now there's no room, I've just been buying.

The children in Israel sing:
שמחה רבה
שמחה רבה
אביב הגיעה
פסח בא
Simchah rabbah
Simchah rabbah
Aviv higui'ah
Pesach Ba
Great joy
Great joy
Spring has arrived
Pesach is coming

That's what the kids say. For people with my sort of "disability," it's the nightmare season! Maybe I should return to Fly Lady!

Found Alive!

Strangest coincidences!

When I turned on my computer after arriving home, yahoo reported that a "missing boy scout" had been found. It looked interesting so I had it go up for later browsing.

Then I checked my mail and saw that the baleboosteh is back blogging. Yes, I found her.

And then... I read the article about the little boy, and guess how he was found. A Shiloh shepherd! Did you know there was such a dog? I didn't.

Interesting Psak About Kitniyot on Pesach

Please don't get me wrong, I haven't accepted this psak, yet. One isn't supposed to pick and choose rabbinic decisions according to convenience. According to Pirkei Avot, we're supposed to choose a rabbi (teacher), and then follow in accordance to what he teaches. And since I'm not a follower of Machon Shilo, actually it's not associated with the Shiloh I reside in and never heard of it before, I can't just blindly follow what it has publicized.

According to that institute, they chose the name "Shilo," because:

The central idea behind Machon Shilo is that while the Jewish People have physically returned to Erets Yisrael, they have not yet returned to the Torah of Erets Yisrael, only to the learning of Torah in Erets Yisrael.

Using that same reasoning, I don't know if the time has come to erase all halachik ethnic differences. That's the external manifestation. I think we have to first erase the more "internal" differences.

Here in the Village of Shiloh, I'm encouraged by the large percentage of families whose children have married other "eidot," Jewish Ethnic groups. The newest generation is growing up with "blurred lines," knowing that we're all Jews and that's the most important thing of all.

Chodesh Tov!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

What a "Sweet 16!"
Boo Hoo Hoo!

"It's my party"

by Lesley Gore

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you

Nobody knows where Baleboosteh has gone
Bagel Blogger left the same time...

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you

Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone
But Judy left the same time

The sad Sweet 16 edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival

The Baleboosteh was going to host it, but she and her husband, the irreplacable, Bagel Blogger, for whatever reasons, have decided to leave the jblogging world. They haven't answered my mail. I miss them and wish them and their children good health and success.

Let's go on with the show!

The Kosher Cooking Carnival comes out monthly and guest-hosts are welcome. Here's the list of the previous KCC's: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15! You can check out what's new and old on Blog Carnival, and you can also add the automatically updated KCC "widget" and/or listing to your own blog.

This is the best I could do under the circumstances.

First of all, thanks to the Lakewood Venter for sending this Pesach Link.

Here's a
Jewish food site for those suffering from Diabetes, which I saw on the Yahoo Israeli Food list. There was also a link to get KP gluten-free matzot.

Soccer Dad presents Kosher Honey on Flickr - Photo Sharing! posted at Not Quite Perfect.

Ted Gross presents

Honey-Garlic Chicken With A Few Other Tidbits posted at Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen, saying, he's also running a "great cake recipe contest."

mominisrael presents

Potato kugel secrets posted at A Mother in Israel, saying, "Thanks!! I wrote it for the last one but just missed it! Good for Pesach though."

A Simple Jew presents
What Is The Origin Of The Pastry-Dough Hamantaschen? posted at A Simple Jew.

Try the "
no pot tomato sauce."
Read the review of the
Talk of the Table Kosher Cookbook.

Yes, that's it for this month. If I left anyone out, please write to me and I'll include you in next month's edition. If you'd like to host the KCC, please let me know. And of course, send your kosher food links and any you find to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com or via blog carnival, since this carnival is based primarily on submitted contributions, not searches. And please don't forget to remind your readers to visit and try out the recipes. Pass and publicize the link!


Technorati tags:

kosher cooking carnival, blog carnival


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Never too young!

I used to sell, ok, attempt to sell World Book. The main thrust of our selling spiel was that most of a child's intelligence is formed in the first few years of life. In the illustrations we carried were pictures of infants being shown the encyclopedia.
A while ago I picked up a puzzle with the Hebrew letters for my granddaughters, and yesterday I gave it to them. As you can see, they had great fun doing it and repeating the names of the letters after me. Some of the letters, especially those in her name, the older one already knows. I have to find something like that in English for them.

In just two weeks!

Yes, in two weeks, this freezer will have to be Kosher for Passover.

As you can see from the little sticker on the frozen chicken on the lower shelf, our grocer is already selling Kosher L'Pesach food. But that doesn't help me with the pasta in the closet. Why are fattening carbohydrates always the last to go?
This year I started the panic two months ago, before Rosh Chodesh Shvat. When the house was full, I could wait until Purim. OK, I also had a smaller freezer then, but still. Do I have to start the inventory check and count-down just after Chanukah? Please remind me next year! Thanks!
Maybe I'll find some good ideas in the latest Carnival of the Recipes? It has lots of interesting recipes, some which can be used or adjusted to the kosher kitchen. Take a gander.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Sadly, I've decided to put together the Kosher Cooking Carnival for this month, so I'll be busy with it and not posting much else until it's complete.
You can still send me posts, especially Passover food-recipes, tips, halachik issues, etc, until it's actually up.
ps If anyone's in touch with the bb's, please send my love.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

No, I didn't forget!

Carnival Time, of course!

Havel Havelim #110 is really great. I don't know how Soccer Dad finds the time.

I'm trying to decide what to do about the Sweet 16 Kosher Cooking Carnival. Baleboosteh was supposed to host it, and she's not blogging at the moment. If I don't hear from her, I'll probably do a quick one, sort of like cooking for Shabbat HaGadol. It's Shabbat, and we shouldn't forget it, but honestly, when Bedikat Chametz is Sunday night, the last thing you want is left-over food!

So, quick, quick, if you have any food posts or see good ones, please send me the links, ASAP. shilohmuse at yahoo dot com I'll continue to forward to the Baleboosteh, just in case! If you'd like to host, please let me know. Thanks

Making the best of...

What can I say, sometimes, things just don't go the way we want or the way we've planned.
For weeks I've been promising my 10th grade class...
"When we finish reading the book, and you've taken the test, you'll see the movie."
And yes, today was to to be the day! Only problem, ok a couple of problems. Even though the store had mailed the movie to the school, the mail hadn't been picked up from the post office for a few days. So the movie hadn't arrived at the school. Then I discovered that apparently in all the "excitement" after the accident last week, which prevented my getting to work on Thursday, that had I never reserved the video room.
Perfect match, no movie and no video room! Now, what could I do with my disappointed teenage boys? A "regular lesson?" Nope, wrong answer. I decided that the time had come for them to "write a story in English." For that they need inspiration.
In my over-stuffed little "box" in the Teachers Room are some black and white print-outs from my son's adventures abroad. A couple of years ago I used them to spur a more advanced class into writing stories.
I showed them the pictures and told them to pick out a few and make up a story about them. On the board, I wrote the "question words:"

And I asked them to answer the questions about their story. They had to say when and where what happened to whom, why and how. Or who did what, when, where, how and why.
I have been teaching them literature.
Somehow, it began to work. We were laughing, and they were using English and using the Hebrew-English Dictionary when necessary.
I wrote their English story on the board, and then they translated it into Hebrew. Then I told them that next year, they're going to have to write a short little "composition" for the English Bagrut (state final.)
Thank G-d, miraculously, it turned out to be a good lesson.

The Game of Life, G-d is Good

Last week was one of those extraordinary examples of how G-d is behind the game board. Life is like one of those games. Depending on which decision you make, a whole new set of possibilities opens up, and we really don't know at first what the smallest decision or change in plans may bring. I'm still trying to figure out and remember all that happened last week...

Early in the week, while waiting for a ride out of Shiloh, I mentioned to a friend that we ought to visit a very sick neighbor on our day off. She agreed, and we made plans to meet on Wednesday after my weekly "swim."

In the evening I got a call from someone who had invited us to her daughter's upcoming Bat Mitzvah. She wanted to make sure we'd be there. It was for Friday morning, and since I no longer tutor, and my married daughter and family weren't coming for Shabbat, I told her I'd be there.

Wednesday morning, my day off, I felt an urge to rush down to the bus/tremp stop, even though I had waited a very long time for rides to Jerusalem on previous weeks. After a few minutes a car came, and as I was getting in, I heard another honking, and the driver was trying to tell me something. I got out and discovered that she was off to the pool. While we were traveling I mentioned my plans to visit the sick neighbor, and she said that she wanted to go, too. When we got there, we were told that the neighbor had been taken to the hospital. I understand that if you innocently give tzedaka, charity, to a con man, it's still counted as a mitzvah, good deed. So is a visit to a sick person, who was transferred to the hospital also counted as a mitzvah?

The next day, Thursday, on the way to work, it began hailing, snowing, raining--all at once. Between Ofra and the T-junction to Beit El, the driver lost control of the car, and we kept spinning and spinning and spinning, until we crashed into the guard rail. Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, we weren't injured, though the car was slightly damaged.

Friday, I was determined to get to that Bat Mitzvah. Since I don't get to Jerusalem all that often, it seemed a good idea to do at least one other errand. My mother had asked me to get her a new batch of medications, which are less expensive here than in New York, and someone going for Pesach offered to bring them.

No great surprise, when I checked the bus schedule I discovered that one bus would get me to Jerusalem too early, and the other one would be too late, so I had to "tremp." "Tremping" is hitchhiking, which I do very frequently to a from Shiloh, since no only aren't there enough buses, but there aren't the routes I need. I waited in Shiloh for a ride out, in the direction of Jerusalem.

After quite a while, I got a ride to Ofra, one-third of the way I needed. There I waited some more with just a few people, a mother and her son and two young women, one who is blind. Eventually, a large, family-size van pulled up with enough room for all of us. The mother asked for bus directions to Talpiyot, which I gave. I explained that I'd also be changing buses to go there, so I'd show her the route.

When we were getting off in Jerusalem, the young woman helping the blind one asked if we could assist her friend to the bus she needed. It was the first time I had ever guided a blind person. We had to cross some streets, and imagine my horror when I looked up at the traffic lights and discovered that they weren't working!! Generally, when the lights are out, traffic is totally snarled and blocked, and it's bad news for pedestrians. Miraculously, we succeeded in crossing the streets quickly and easily. All the while, I kept telling the young woman how amazing it was. Honestly, she was amazing, walked quickly and confidently. Her bus came, and I helped her onto the bus; she was on her way. In Israel, people are very helpful, and she wasn't worried about traveling alone.

While waiting, the mother and I talked, as people do. You guessed it. Didn't you? We discovered that we were going to the same Bat Mitzvah! So we decided to share a cab back to the "trempiada," bus stop in order to catch a bus or ride back home. We just couldn't get over the coincidence.

Conveniently the Orah Pharmacy is on the bus route to the Bat Mitzvah and considering that every time I buy my mother's medications, I have have to return for more, since there is never enough in stock. As expected, I was told to pick up some of the order next week. The pharmacist said:
"You'll pay for it all now, since it has to be on today's bill. Today is the last day the prescription is valid. It expires tomorrow!"

I couldn't believe it. If the Bat Mitzvah girl's mother hadn't called, and I hadn't decided to attend, I would have discovered too late that I couldn't buy the medications for my mother. And my mother isn't in New York right now near her doctors, so she couldn't have gotten new ones to fax to the pharmacy, which is taking for granted that they would accept the faxes!

Hodu l'Hashem ki Tov
Thank G-d for He is Good!

Chodesh Nissan Tov
Have a good month!
It's the Jewish month of Nissan this week, the month of miracles!

May this be l'ilui nishmata shel Chasida Rut bat Avraham 'Sarah and for a refuah shleimah l'Gnaidel Malka bat Michleh.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Out of the loop, in the loop, jump through the loop

Rather lopsided, I'd say.

Well, after my panic searching for the jblogging bb's, yitz sent me in a good direction to a blog I hadn't heard of but I guess I ought to know now. It's Ploni Baloney.

There's all sorts of jblog news and whatever on it. All sorts of kvetches about the JIBS, those awards. Funny, I liked the rejected blog central ones. I actually did well in them. And I didn't cheat. Honestly, with blogs so ignored as mine, how could I?

Now, I still need to know what to do with this month's KCC, since the Baleboosteh was working on it, and I won't have time to do more than bare minimum. Pesach's coming.

Enough of this norishkeit. Bed time for me!

It was quite a week!

I'm still trying to make sense out of all the amazing things which had happened to me this week. G-d was very busy no doubt.

Bli neder I'll be blogging all about it, but there's so much.

We had a lovely Shabbat with a few guests from the neighborhood.

Of course, everyone was surprised when I "benched hagomel," said the short prayer thanking G-d for saving me. For me, the Hebrew month of Adar is very full.

Shavua Tov
Have a wonderful and safe week!

missing blogs--no joke

It seems like something has taken over the Bagel Blogger and Baleboosteh, jbloggers' premeir blogging couple. Commercial sites pop up instead of their blogs. They haven't been answering their mail either.

I was hoping that I'd find them back in jblogging business after Shabbat, but no change.

I'm not using their blog addresses in the post. There may be some sort of virus.

Bagel Blogger is known for his graphics and did the first two jpix carnivals, and the Baleboosteh was supposed to host the Kosher Cooking Carnival this week.

I'd appreciate any news of their health and that of their kids. I hope it's just a computer problem. Does anyone have any other way of contacting them or know the rabbi they consult with?

Shavua Tov