Saturday, May 31, 2008

"OK, Slow Down; Take It Easy"

That's what a friend keeps telling me. And I guess my blogging is slowing down right now, and it will speed up when I'm able or in the mood.

Nothing's new. Actually, that's not true, but I'm not quite willing to blog about it at the moment. That's the "problem" with public blogging. Y'all know who I am, so I have to be careful.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Testing, Again

This morning, I've been up earlier than usual. It's testing time again. I was asked to do the "oral" interview test in Ra'aya, the girls high school in Beit El. They've arranged taxi service for me.

I feel less enthused than usual. I'm too tired. It could be because I've done a lot of traveling and not enough sleeping this week.

Yesterday I cooked in the morning and babysat in the afternoon. My babysitting for the grandkids involve teaching them English. I'm the only one who speaks English to them. They don't always understand what I'm saying and I can't have "deep" conversations, but they do understand a lot of basic English. They've developed skills I don't have. People who understand languages they don't know, or pick up languages quickly are more aware of "other signals." They don't get bogged down in worrying that they comprehend every single word.

By exposing my grandkids to some English a couple of hours a week, I'm really preparing them for multiple languages. Experts say that a person's linguistic ability is expanded if they learn more than one language from the youngest age.

I only heard English when I was a kid. I'm sure that I would have done better in Hebrew and my school Spanish if I had been exposed to any other language.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shabbat in Efrat

Last Shabbat we traveled to Efrat for a family Bar Mitzvah. Maybe we saw you or you saw us?

Been Busy

I'll post more details when I get the pictures burned on a disc and some food cooked for Shabbat and guests invited and...

Yes, I'm busy today, too.

Last night we got back late. Yes, we've been busy. But I want to tell you the story with pictures, and the pictures are still in the camera. So please return later for the update. OK?

Yes, busy. And today, I have more to do. Busy week, for sure.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Advantages of Walking

This isn't a health article.

If I hadn't decided to take a walk the other day at dusk, I wouldn't have been outside in order to see and photograph the magnifcent sunset.

There's an added bonus to getting out of the house and it's the beauty of G-d's world. I don't "play" with my photos. I don't "photoshop" or any of those photo-graphic programs. On the rarest of rare occassions I may crop a picture. I do use the zoom lens, but that's it.

I learned my photography skills on simple
Kodak "brownies."
  • "Point"
  • "Make sure only what's important is in the viewfinder"
  • "Stand stiller than still"
  • "Shoot"

And oy v'voy if you wasted film.

"Do you realize how much it costs to develop and print every picture?!?"

So that's why, even now, almost two years after buying my digital camera, I rarely take more than a couple of shots of any scene. And that's why cropping is so rare for me. And of course, living in Shiloh gives me some of the most gorgeous photo material.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An Afternoon In Jerusalem

Yesterday I ended up not having to teach. My students all had important tests in other subjects.

So I called my friend and we decided to meet for lunch. We went to the Anna Ticho Museum Restaurant.

Being as it was birthday week, and I'm a restaurant "member," I had been sent a coupon for a free dessert, as long as I bought a meal. It was a great piece of cheese cake a piece of great cheese cake. Unlike most of the cheese cake I've sampled in recent years, this didn't have that awful gelatin taste/feel/texture.

The only downside of the meal was that the WC stank. I was in shock, kept thinking that I had imagined it. It smelled like an old subway public toilet, the type that stinks up the whole area. Yes, that bad.

After eating we decided to do the tourist thing and went to the Psalm Museum in the same area.
There are pictures to illustrate all 150 chapters of T'hillim Psalms. They're all painted by the same person, Moshe Tzvi Berger.

Happy Birthday To Me -- KCC #30

May's Birthday Month
At Least In My Family!
KCC #30
Iyyar, 5768 אייר

Looking back, here's a list of all the previous KCC's:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, KCCMetaCarnival, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.

There's something for everyone, so please post about this KCC and send the link to anyone and everyone.

The Kosher Cooking Carnival is in its third year already. It's not just a "recipe carnival." It includes posts about all different aspects of kosher foods, including:

  • Halachik Controversies
  • Traditions
  • Menus
  • Annecdotes
  • Special Holiday Foods and History
  • Cookbook and Restaurant Reviews
  • And, of course, recipes

There is no limit to the amount of posts you can send, as long as they fit the criteria. You may also send in links to other bloggers' posts. Please use the carnival submission form.

If you're interested in hosting a Kosher Cooking Carnival, please don't be shy. It's great fun; just let me know which month you want. The calendar is filling. June's KCC will be hosted by
West Bank Mama, July by Soccer Dad, and August will be at Here in HP. So, as you can see, hosting the Kosher Cooking Carnival is definitely the "in" thing to do for jbloggers. To reserve your month, please write to me at: shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Usually I serve an extraordinarily disorganized balagan of a KCC, but this time I'll divide it in topics, at least two. One is Pesach/Passover, since a number of posts came about it. Keep them in mind for next year. And of course, the other is…

Everything Else

This may be a peculiar start to the non-Pesach part, but I think the general philosophical question is greater than the specific Passover reference. What do you think about this question?
Is a traif Seder better than none at all? This same question goes for all Jewish ritual events which include eating. So, I guess that includes everything, since even the fast days are preceded and followed by food.

There's a new blog/site (what's the difference nowadays),
Jerusalem Metro, which reviews restaurants in a rather "unique," not quite my style manner, but I'm just an old fogey, right?
Arcaffe, you disgust me and your customer service sucks." Not my choice of words in the title, but since I've eaten there on occasion, it's cause for concern.

In the meantime, I've found another restaurant/coffee shop where you can have a very
reasonable meal. OK, it's not downtown, but there are buses and parking.

For those who love a
classic Jewish chicken soup, try Lillian Bart's.

Garlic Spread seems perfect to perk up a meal.

If you can't visit Frumhouse, you can
try her tea in your own home.

Crème de la Krim doesn't blog recipes, but she said that I could post this on KCC:

It's a dessert called bocconi dolci, which I made for the l'chaim three days after Pesach. It has layers of meringue, melted chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberries. It's one of the best desserts around!

Thanks Leah!!

And from another

Leah, I have three posts: Beer-kay Avot?, Michael Pollan on Counting the Omer (and the Freedom to Bother) and Counting….

August's hostess, Leora, gives us a very inclusive list of
healthy and easy to prepare side dishes.

Irina has a kosher feast when
Republicans Rock Out.

Read about
Baila's Challah-baking adventure. The pictures are great. And, Baila, challah is bread!

My youngest stopped baking our challah when he went into the army. Even when he came home, he didn't bake. We wouldn't want the tank grease flavoring the challah. Read of the
rabbi's baking adventures and lessons in patience.

Try Ilana Davita's
Quick Shabbat Treats; they look great and easy, too.

Frum Satire writes a very interesting post about shiva and included how he
ended up eating when paying a shiva call.

SK sent a very impressive
Crystallized Violets and Violet Jam.

Indian recipes are great in the kosher kitchen. Manjula Jain presents
Aloo Gobi » Manjula’s Kitchen Indian Vegetarian Recipes, and it's even "illustrated" by a short movie.

Look at the
Roadside market Crimea photographed by chossid. And here's an article from chossid about Purim food.

Now does the Moroccan
post-Pesach Mimouna belong in the Pesach part of KCC or not? Look at the delicious pictures. At least pictures don't make you fat.

Try frumteacher's
Cold Fruit Soup. It's good for Passover and all year, too. The same goes for this super-easy applesauce; nothing can be simpler.


Some people may like to
clean for Pesach, but I'm not one of them. Look how hard I worked.

Most people don't have the opportunity to see Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda getting ready for Passover. You have to be staying in just the right place for the holiday, or at least
look at these photos.

Ra'anana Ramblings tells us how her husband's ancestor
rescued potatoes from the clutch's of kitniyot!

Read about this amazing
kosher cooking adventure from the OU site.

Honestly, I can't imagine eating meat for every Holiday meal. Two meat meals in one day are just too many for me. And it's not only because I was a vegetarian for over twenty-five years.
What did you eat on Shabbat before the Seder?

An onion on the Seder Plate? Read all about it on A Simple Jew, who also tells of a different sort of seder.

My neighbor's chocolate chip Passover cookies are so easy; I may break my vow and actually bake some.

My husband sent me a link to the great kosher cooking crisis of Passover 2008. We bought KPNoK* margarine here in Shiloh; you can see it in the fridge. I never manage to finish it and usually throw it out by Purim when I start the inventory countdown. I use olive oil for most of my shortening needs. Due to the health advantages I have no desire for any other shortening or "exotic" oil, except maybe for butter…

Please mention this edition of KCC, linked of course, on your blog to bring in more readers to all the bloggers who have contributed. And also let people know that their posts are welcome. It's not just a recipe carnival. I'd like to receive more Halacha (Jewish Law) posts about Kashrut and food issues, including Shemitta. Remember that for all practical purposes, Shemitta won't be over for another year, since some Shemitta fruit will still be eaten for quite a while, and there are canned foods….

Considering how much food is involved in all aspects of Jewish Life, I'd expect lots more posts. The Kosher Cooking Carnival is dependent on bloggers who send them in. The hosts certainly may do their own searching, too. And if you see a post which would be good for KCC, please send the link in via the
carnival submission form.

Dig in and enjoy!!!

*Now, if you can guess what KPNoK means, please send it to the comment section.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Blog Carnivals Are Getting Bigger and Better

It has been a while since I'd seen an edition of the Carnival of Family Life, that is until a few minutes ago. The latest is really impressive. You should take a gander.

And that reminds me... KCC...

Serving the Public

In the previous post I mentioned the crowded bus Saturday night. Now, you should know that it was the 11:30pm bus, the last bus home. Two buses leave for the Shomron at about the same time. The one which ends at Ariel, which goes into Shiloh and one whcih goes all the way up to Elon Moreh and doesn't go into Shiloh. Both stop in Ofra.

Both buses were painfully crowded with apssengers of all ages, including lots of young families with tiny babies and all their parafanalia. Egged, Israel's bus company, has a "law" forbidding the drivers to travel with passengers in the aisle.

"A seat for every passenger."
Now, that may sound nice in theory, but when there won't be another bus for another 6 or 7 hours, and no extra buses are to be sent out, it's cruel. Our bus driver was a mensch. There's no other word for it. The aisle was full of people before we left the Central Bus Station. Another driver poked his head in and warned ours that it was against regulations:

"Last week, 11:30pm, I left 15 people in Jerusalem when I went to Beit El."

Our driver wouldn't have any of it. At every single stop along the way he allowed desparate passengers in, and when the underneath storage area was full, he begged everyone to crowd themselves further back and make room for more passengers and their belongings.

It became like the ancient stories of Jerusalem during the Holiday pilgrimages. Somehow, miraculously, everyone got in. I think that the standing people didn't fall, since they just held each other up. There was no room to fall down.

That driver was truly wonderful, Baruch Hashem.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


The latest Havel Havelim was just posted at Frume Sarah’s World, which reminds me that I had better get cracking and finish the Kosher Cooking Carnival, (this link is the last one I hosted.) Usually I'm finished by now.

I guess I'm a bissel out of practice. I was also totally zonked today after going to bed late after the trip back from Efrat via Jerusalem. The bus was so full; the aisle was more crowded than a sardine can. I couldn't fall asleep last night. Today I slept a little later than usual, and then mid-morning my friend came over and we sweated to the oldies.

Since Jack took over HH, there are lots of new hosts and hostesses. And of course lots of bloggers I'm not all that familiar with. Take a look.

Testing Season

Yes, it's that time of the year in the northern hemisphere.


The following "foul-up" didn't happen in my school, at least not at the pre-test.

Nearly 12,000 high-school students in England received national standardized-test papers that had the answers printed on the back.
Officials blamed it on a printing error and claimed most students likely didn't realize their good fortune.
The printing company, however, got a failing grade. (full article)

I'm sure the students hope that it would happen, but in all honesty, I wonder if my students would even notice. They don't realize that they have to inspect everything.

There's an old "trick test" to prepare students. It's a list of instructions. The first is to read the entire list before you start answering the questions. Then there are all sorts of things to do, like listing siblings' birthdays, the letters in common with all of your names. Actually, the tasks can be math, or anything. That is until the last task, which is something like:
"Just write your name clearly."

What am I doing up after 2am?

Yes, it's after 2am, and I'm an early riser.

Well, we were away for Shabbat, in Efrat for a family Bar Mitzvah. We got back late, and I was still too wound up to sleep.

Now my eyes are beginning to close, so I'll post this, turn off the computer and dig out my toothbrush from my bag and get ready for bed.

ps Did any of you see us? We were in "Rimon;" at least I think it's Rimon, the old neighborhood of Efrat. Efrat has grown, wow!

Good night

Friday, May 23, 2008


f2f, well here she is!

And then we went to a wedding!!

Baruch Hashem

Computer Panic!

Twice just recently, including minutes ago, strange things happened on my computers, as if something was broken.
  1. I couldn't get my "memory key" to function. It seemed like it was dead. I plugged it into the extension and the computer acted like it wasn't there. I tried "my computer," and there was no sign of it.
  2. Just now, I went to down/upload (whatever's the correct verb) pictures to the other computer and the computer kept insisting that the #$%$$% port wasn't recognized, whatever the term. I kept turning the camera off and on and plugging and unplugging.

Now, what do you think happened? Were both things really broken? None of this affects my blogging, so you can't guess by that.

  1. After calming down, a couple of days later, I checked the extension by unplugging and plugging it in again. Suddenly, the memory key appeared.
  2. I simply restarted the computer and tried again--no problems. The pictures are being burned on the disc as we "speak."

Yes, Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d, things can be this simple to fix.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

f2f s'more

Today I was privileged to meet f2f--face to face with another jblogger.

We sat over a mid-morning nosh together and talked and talked. She is from afar and is traveling around.

She has met some other jbloggers during her wide travels.

I'm not posting the picture now, but you can start guessing...

Not Ye Olde Girl Scout Campfire

In my Girl Scout days, I even had a "campfire badge." I don't know if Girl Scouts still do things like that. I also had a "tree badge," for which I had to recognize the leaves and barks of about ten trees. I learned these crucial skills at the Girl Scout Day Camp in Cunningham Park, Queens.

Well, for the "campfire badge" we learned
how to build a campfire. There were three standard designs: teepee, log cabin and ? Forgive me for forgetting the third. Well, after asking for a while, I discovered only two standard shapes. I guess this Israeli style could be called the third:

These pictures were photographed by me at the entrance of Beit El. The kids there have been getting ready for their Lag B'Omer campfires since Passover.
Davka, the article I linked to about Lag B'Omer was written by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper, former head of NCSY, the organization which taught me about Torah Judaism. And the very first NCSY activity I attended was a Lag B'Omer trip to Bear Mountain State Park, NY, in 1963.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Are Teachers Really Like?

That's a tough question. I'm a teacher, and I've never quite fit into any "box." I'd say we teachers are a creative bunch. Read the latest Carnival of Education, CARNIVAL IN A STRANGE LAND, and I'm sure you'll agree.

Strange, I wonder if the guys painting the roof trim this morning noticed my friend and I sweatin' to the oldies.

Hashgacha Prattit-- G-d Does The Scheduling

Mom in Israel has been writing a lot about the Jewish "group therapy," Megirot, -- More on Megeirot. She seems to be basing her "expose`" on an article which appeared in one of the Hebrew papers here.

I found what she said strange, not because I've ever gone to/done Megirot, but because the woman who leads it here in Shiloh is so totally and utterly different from the person described in the article. My neighbor could never have anything to do with something so negative.

Yes, I had to speak to her about it. I didn't mange to catch her after Tuesday afternoon T'hillim (Psalms.) But miraculously, that's Hashgacha Prattit-- G-d Does The Scheduling, this morning when I had to get to work at an hour when ther's no bus and rarely rides... yes, she came by.

Of course, I asked her about the article.
"But you know and agree that many things in newspapers arent true."

That statement is enough, but she also said that she herself had investigated by speaking to people much more veteran in the system than herself. Megirot have been going on for ten years. She learned it from someone who learned from the founder.

Also, it's clear to both of us that there are women who attend it who have serious emotional problems, certainly there have been some in the ten years the method exists. Those who reported the very bad things may just be projecting their own problematic personalities.

If you're interested in Megirot, and there are many participants who have found it extremely helpful, make sure the person who leads the group and the other participants are the type of people you feel safe with. That goes for any sort of therapy.

Didn't Sleep Much

That's not my usual. Must get more exercise. I'm not going to the pool, will set up exercise dvd and do that before work.

Kids have big test today. Proctoring is usually fun. I sit and crochet. What could be better? Though before I "relax" must make sure they understand that I mean business. One must be tough in this world.

Only problem is getting to work on time. But that's another problem...

Savta on a Segway

An amazing adventurous way to look out over Jerusalem!

Isramom: Savta on a Segway

This Is What's Being Fixed

The wood all around the roof edge. That's what we're getting fixed.

PS Yes, it's no my usual posting time. Can't sleep. Not enough exercise I guess. Too hot and sunny.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Bissel Repairs

Baruch Hashem, Thank G-d, I shouldn't complain. When we built this house we got a contractor who promised quality. We ended up paying more than most per meter, but after over twenty years in the house, we've shelled out a lot less on repairs.

Now we're having some work done on the wood trim around the roof. I can't remember the term in English. In Hebrew it's an "argaz ruach," wind box. No, I don't know where the Hebrew came from. Maybe the earlier sloped/shingled roofs here weren't well-sealed, and the wood was put up to keep he wind from blowing over the top of the house, like in insulation.


So we have this wood trim around the house. About fifteen years ago, some then new immigrants from Russia made a present of painting the trim. I paid for the paint and they worked. They also fixed the succah. I'm supposed to be embarrassed to say that we haven't had it painted since, a definite no, no in terms of wood care. Around seven years ago, a couple of pieces of wood needed replacing, and we had that done. But that's it, and we've been in the house 22 1/2 years. So, I guess, we're extremely lucky.

The "argaz ruach" by the front door was all open and broken. I asked a couple of people to fix it, but they said that they'd never find the time. Then just a few weeks ago, a neighbor put up an ad for his son's "wood business." It mentioned "argazei ruach" as one of the things they fix. So, he was hired, and he and his worker are painting all around our house and replacing the bad and missing boards.

So far, so good.

Lose Your Appetite

Not all the drinks mentioned in America's Unhealthiest Drinks Exposed are available here, or possibly where you are. And that's the good news.

I lost my appetite for Pina Coladas after discovering that the average one has 625 calories, 75 grams sugars.

Read this one:

The Unhealthiest Drink in America
Baskin Robbin’s Large Heath Bar Shake (32 oz)
2,310 calories
266 g sugar
108 g fat (64 g saturated)

Let's look at America's Worst Drink in numbers:

73: The number of ingredients that go into this milkshake.
66: The number of teaspoons of sugar this drink contains.
11: The number of Heath Bars you would have to eat to equal the number of calories found in one Baskin Robbins Large Heath Bar Shake.
8-12: The average number of minutes it takes to consume this drink.
240: The number of minutes you’d need to spend on a treadmill burning it off, running at a moderate pace.

Sweet melon is looking better than ever!

Falling Behind

There just aren't enough hours in the day for everything I have to do, work, house, family, friends and the computer.

The computer means answering letters, blogging on three blogs, though I must admit that I haven't been posting anything original on The Eye of the Storm, just posts from Shiloh Musings. What makes it truly different is the comments. There is a real "commenter community" among the Arutz 7 readership, and my The Eye of the Storm is a beneficiary, though I must admit that, at times, it can be very aggravating. Take a look, and join the "party."

I haven't read all my mail for so long it's embarrassing. And I have to work on the Kosher Cooking Carnival, which will be published, G-d willing next week. Send your post via the carnival submission form.

Could it be that I'm just "slower" than I once was or do I really just have more to do?

Also, one of my posts is on a fitness carnival. Take a look.

And sorry if I haven't visited lately.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Healthy Treats?"

As a savta (granny,) I don't think it's a good idea to be as strict about food as I was with my own kids. I was "notorious" or "admirable," depending on your opinion of things. When my kids requested "mastik," chewing gum, I replied:
"So you want to chew, take this," and I gave them green peppers, which we called "green mastik."

I made up a hot drink with carob powder and called it hot chocolate. My kids couldn't figure out why their chocolate didn't taste like anyone else's.

But as a grandmother, I'm not the boss. My grandkids get all sorts of real nosherei from the other grandmother and their father. They wouldn't fall for the green pepper scam.

They're used to being taken to the local grocery, a small supermarket, everyday after pre-school. Yesterday when I took them, I got them to choose a banana yogurt drink. I can't stand those things, but it was the perfect treat. It has some nutrients and it's not all that tasty, so they didn't finish drinking it.

Sometimes I've managed to buy them dried fruit, also a better snack.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Straight From the Market-- HH #166

The latest Havel Havelim has posts from a great variety of blogs, some of which I've never read before. I'll have to really go throught it carefully. It's also illustrated with the most adorable pictures. I guess the HH hostess had help from the younger generation.

And I'll just take this jblogging opportunity to remind you that the next edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival is rapidly approaching. This little Havel Havelim logo-- or is it just a one-time appearance--should inspire you to blog something about kosher food.

KCC is a lot more than "just recipes." Any post you write or see concerning any aspect of kosher food, whether, Jewish Law, customs, anecdotes, menus, restaurants, cookbooks and yes, recipes, of course, fits the bill.

It's easy to send your post via the carnival submission form. I can be reached at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Shavua Tov--Have a Wonderful Week

Yenta and Megillah

I don't think there's really any similarity between the two, but I do want to finish blogging before the virus check kicks in. It slows everything down and it's the perfect way to discipline myself and reduce computer time.

#1 What could be more important than starting new families, finding spouses for those who want to marry? Sometimes the only thing to do is to pray, and there are groups organizing to pray for Jewish matches. The entire 150 chapter T'hillim, Psalms, are divided among 40 people who say their share on the first day of the Jewish Month mentioning all the names in their list. If you want more information look here.

#2 Check out the latest Gantseh Megillah. There is a great variety of articles. I appreciate that Michael includes mine, even though he very frequently does not agree with what I've written.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Don't Know What It Was

Friday night, Erev Shabbat, we ate at Yemenite neighbors. They serve a lot of greens and use all sorts of herbs and spices.

I don't know what it was with the fish, she didn't make the very "hot" fish in sauce she had served us before, but we all had to blow our noses afterwards. It was "cleansing."

That Beeper

Like many of our neighbors, we have an "emergency beeper." During the Barak reign of terror, that Hell of a year when Ehud Barak was Israel's Prime Minister and Arab terrorists very frequently attacked innocent Israeli citizens, many communities like ours got beepers to send out quick announcements about security issues. Ours is by the dining room table.

Thank G-d, by the time the system was set up, Barak was out of office and things calmed down. Now the announcements are reminders to attend events, whether lectures, parties or funerals. Just before it began to ring, and I went into a panic:
"Who could have died?"

Nobody died, Thank G-d.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What's So Terrible About Looking One's Age?

I'd rather be youthful, in a young at heart way, than botoxed, tucked and stitched.

Too many people of my age and even younger look peculiar with unhighlighted colored hair, too dark for their skin and not matching their eyebrows. Others look like old babydolls left out in the sun, stiff puffed out cheeks. I'd rather be real.

She was once so pretty. That's Pricilla Presley, Elvis's wife, if you can't recognize her.

The Potato Temptation

A few years ago, a friend sent me a diet book, one of those "beware of carbohydrate" ones.
I read through it but never really tried their diet. It was when I was still a vegetarian, making a low carb diet extremely difficult.
One thing that surprised me was their ranking of various carbohydrate foods. Pasta rated much safer than potatoes. I don't remember exactly why and can't find the book, but recently I have discovered that potatoes can be very "dangerous." When I make myself a vegetable omelet sans potatoes, just onion and squash, I feel satisfied. But when I add a potato to the vegetables, I find myself uncontrollably starving for more potatoes and then I cook up a whole bunch, eating and eating until the craving is satisfied.

And if you had been wondering...

I wrote that I had a parent-teachers meeting yesterday. Well, I dressed up very properly and got to Beit El relatively quickly. I was well-timed to catch a bus and there are more frequent rides after 3 than my usual after 12 to Beit El. So really, it wasn't a stressful trip. I ended up with a half hour on the Teachers Room computer and easily blogged this.

Then I went up to the English Room to wait for the hoards of parents. My "coordinator" and I had a nice chat while we waited. Yes, we waited. Finally, some parents came in, but they were for the teacher who wasn't there. The father was someone I had known over 40 years ago, so we had a little reunion. And then I waited some more. A father-son team came in to speak to the other teacher, and I waited. After an hour and a half, I decided to search for parents. I found a neighbor, mother of one of my students. I spoke to her, even though we had just had "the talk" a few days ago. But I was desperate. How could I leave without meeting a single parent.

I'm proud to say that I didn't nosh on a single cookie. I crocheted. Be Prepared!

The parking area was full, but the English Room was ignored.

I showed up, because I consider these meetings very important. I also never heard any reactions to the letters I had sent off to the the parents of my seniors. I reported that their sons have not done the minimal required work and will not be able to finish their English requirements.

If this is how the parents participate in their sons' education, I feel sorry for the kids.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I shouldn't complain, but...

It's like a bitter tasting medicine, which takes so long to "embibe."

My computer is working in slow motion. The virus check has been running over three hours. It's a daily torture. I use the AVG free one. It is effective, but it takes so long and I guess my computer isn't as young as it used to be; as if I am.

I have things to do, but I don't have the patience to do them while the scan is scanning.

Thanks for listening. ps the spellcheck still isn't checking... at least I think it isn't. Maybe there aren't any spelling mistakes. Though, when it works it doesn't like the word "spellcheck."

Meeting The Parents

Tonight, or more exactly, this afternoon is the Parent-Teacher Meeting where I teach. It should be the best opportunity to meet with the parents of my students.

Yes, I wrote "should," because attendance is no great shakes.

In absolute honesty, I enjoy these meetings. I remember my days of going to these meetings as a parent, and I sympathize with the parents. It's not easy, not if your kids are gifted, problematic, dyslexic (used as a general term for all mild learning disabilities), any combination or all of the above. When my kids were in school I had to deal with it all, from hostile teachers and administration to explaining to fawning teachers that even a gifted student works very hard. It's disappointing to meet parents who have no idea who and what their kids really are and need.

When my kids were little, it was considered a great achievement and privilege if they got suitable "testing accommodations." We did everything to help our kids take advantage, even if it cost a lot of money. Today parents don't realize that if their son gets the right to use an electric dictionary, they must buy it immediately. Otherwise, what's the point? If a child has the right to oral testing, he must have a walkman. I stopped recording tests, since the kids never came with the necessary equipment. Actually I wish I had one with a loudspeaker which would proclaim:
"No, I'm not your dictionary!"

In recent years, the parents of the kids who need the most help don't show up, or they don't come to sit and talk to me. And davka I have professional experience counseling parents of kids with learning and study problems.

Let's see what happens today.

ps Blogger's spellcheck seems disabled; let's see if I can catch all the typos myself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now, How Could I Complain?

After finishing at the Neve Yaakov Pool, I gave a quick call to the school where I teach, just to check the schedule. Being that we're in "finals season" I never know when I'll be given a bissel extra "vacation."

Good thing I called. The secretary told me that I'd be starting later than usual. I quickly called a friend, with whom I'd been trying to make a lunch date, and-- we did it!

Considering how Bush's visit has paralysed Jerusalem and imprisoned innocent Israelis in their homes, we were pretty restricted as to venue. Luckily both the bus I was on and the Begin Highway, she could access, both reached Ramat Eshkol, so we met there in the shopping center.

After waiting over half an hour on line in the post office to mail my mother a birthday card, which should have had been mailed a week ago to arrive today, we went to the nearby "Nina's Bagel Cafe`."

I ordered a "tuna bagel." It was OK for ns20; though it wasn't a "real bagel," the boiled then baked variety. But there was salad and it was big and, I'll repeat, only twenty shekels. Yes, I also gave a tip. Nu, it didn't break the bank.

Then we walked around a bit, and I was tempted by this simple lounge, but it's certainly not very portable, considering that I was wheeling my pool bag plus and was on my way to work.

Trying to catch the bus was almost dangerous, since that truck parked in front of the bus stop on the sidewalk. I had to stand on the busy road to see the bus and hail it.

Yes, B"H, I'm fine.

Choosing Clothes

It's always so confusing and tricky to choose the right clothes for the weather during this "transition" season. It can be freezing cold in the morning, boiling at noon and cold again in the late afternoon. Shiloh, like Jerusalem, has little humidity. Humidity stabilizes the temperature. The water in the air is like insulation. We don't have it, making for extreme temperature differentials at various times of the day.

Now, I have to choose what to wear. I don't want to be too cold or too hot.


The Cooking Has Begun

I started putting together the May edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival. It will be #30.

Hosts for June, July and August are already lined up. So, if you're interested in hosting one, please get your dibs in for September or later.
Of course, it's never "too late" to send a link to be included, since if you miss one, there's always another edition the following month.
KCC is a lot more than "just recipes." Any post you write or see concerning any aspect of kosher food, whether, Jewish Law, customs, anecdotes, menus, restaurants, cookbooks and yes, recipes, of course fits the bill.
It's easy to send your post via the carnival submission form. I can be reached at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finally, The Truth About Boiled Egg Shells, How To Get Clean Eggs

I never used to have a problem getting the shells off the boiled eggs until a few years ago. I just didn't put "things" together.

I remember learning that I had to quickly cool the eggs and shells would come off easily, but suddenly, nothing was working right. My family kept mumbling and grumbling.

Then, two things happened:
1- This year when getting the food cooked for the Passover Seder, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the eggs I had boiled at my son's place peeled easily and cleanly. How was it that I suddenly did something right?
2- I forgot to tell my husband to buy more eggs, so he went to the neighbor who has an organic egg business. They ended up having to go down and collect them, still warm.

Now, what do you think Yona--the guy with the organic egg business-- warned my husband?
"Don't boil them today. The shells won't come off.
They are too fresh. You need older eggs for boiling,
not these, at least for a good few days."
Oops! Now I understand. The shells started sticking when I began buying the fresh organic eggs. The eggs I bought in Jerusalem were from the big companies. They always keep a large stock, so they're not as fresh, not at all.
It's like those good news/bad news stories.
"The eggs aren't fresh, but don't worry. You can take the shells off easily!"

Is It "New Old Books," or "Old New Books?"

Well, I have a bunch of books, new for me, but old in actuality. My friend is "downsizing," getting rid of things, so she'll fit into a smaller home. And she invited me over to "shop." The price was right. You can't get cheaper than "nothing," so I took some of her old books, but they're new for me, and when I finish with them, I'll just pass them on, since I no longer collect books, certainly not of the "light" reading variety.

So if you're interested, and within schlepping distance, please let me know.

Bake Your Breakfast Omelet? Recipes, In General

I'm tempted to try the Crustless Quiche by Mark Bittman, a k a The Minimalist. The big question is, in what to bake it. He uses special "cups."

Now, you may have noticed that I haven't been posting recipes recently. I'll tell you a secret. I have a very minimal amount of recipes and lots and lots, an infinite amount of variations. That's the key.

I just cook what I have and what I'm in the mood for. Cooking shouldn't be all that complicated. I'm always amazed by people who think that every type of fish needs its own exclusive recipe. There are basic cooking methods, the oven, the big covered frying pan etc, spicy, savory, garlicky. Honestly, what's the big deal?

Depending on if I'm just cooking for myself, or more people, and depending on what's in the house, I "just cook." That's one of the reasons I can't give exact measurements. Eggs can be all different sizes, so sometimes two are enough and sometimes you'll need five for the same results. "Same results," rare, but who cares? Isn't every day different?

Enjoy cooking. Don't obsess.

2 Cents Oops! Shekels

A few months ago, Israel announced a new coin, a 2 shekel one. Soon after, I received one with change I had gotten. Yesterday, when I was looking for money to pay the big ns2.80 (maybe 75 cents at today's rate, I'm guessing not calculating) from Givat Asaf, the T Junction to Beit El to Beit El. I was lucky

I was lucky; the bus was late. Usually I "just miss it." The buses aren't coordinated. If I only wanted to travel by bus it would take me almost two hours to get to work, a trip of under 30 minutes, if driven door to door.
Back to the new coin, before I gave it to the driver, I took a picture. It's next to the "button-like" one shekel coin. I haven't gotten one of the new plastic twenty shekel bills yet. They don't look different from the paper ones. People say that if you leave it in your pocket and wash the clothes, the money will be fine...

Monday, May 12, 2008

If It's That Dangerous, Don't Come!!

Is there still time to disinvite US President Bush? The draconian "security measures" being demanded for his "safety" are outrageously insulting. He will be seriously, horrendously seriously, inconveniencing innocent Jerusalem citizens and those of us who travel to Jerusalem for services, shopping and personal reasons.

Streets will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians. Businesses will lose money. Is Bush going to compensate them? What about our wasted time and cancelled appointments?

Just in case you haven't seen the list of "measures," here they are:

Maximum security will be implemented from Tuesday May 13th through Friday May 16th. This will effect the daily life and traffic in Jerusalem.

Prohibited parking

Wednesday, May 14thMuseum Row, Shmuel Weiss,Rupin,Ramban,Paris Square, Agron, Hameches Square, King David, Amoni, PLumer Square,Jabotinsky, Wingate Square, Hanassi,Smolanskin,Keren Hayesod,Ben Zvi,Shazar,Binyanei Hauma (emergency exit) Thursday, May 15thMuseum Row, Shmuel Weiss, Rupin, Ramban, Paris Square, Agron, Meches Square, King David, Admoni, Plumer Square, Jabotinsky, Wingate Square, Hanassi, Smolanskin, Keren Hayesod, Israel Museum Parking lot, Kaplan (between Rothschild and Rupin), Arlozorov. Friday, May 16thAdmoni, King David, Meches Square, Agron, Paris Square, Ramban, Rupin, Shmuel Weiss, Museum Row, Israel Museum Parking lot.Cars parking in these streets will be towed away.

Street Closures

The following streets will be closed for the 3 day visit:Keren Hayesod Intersection (Plumer Square) until Agron Intersection- Residents of the area will be allowd only upon presenting Id`s

Alternative driving routes

Begin Road, no. 9 road (Golda Meir Blvd., Yigal Yadin), Derech Hebron, Hativat Jerusalem, Haim Bar-Lev, Eshkol Blvd., Bar Ilan, Haneviim St., Jaffa St., Ben Zakai, Yehuda Hanassi, Golomb, Derech Moshe Baraam.

Important Links

The Israeli Presidnetial Conference 2008The President's WebsiteThe Israeli Police

Closed Sites

The Israel Museum:Closed on Wednesday May 14th, from 17:00 until Friday, May 16th at 11:00. Bible Lands Museum:Closed from Wednesday May 14th until Friday May 16th

Information Centers

Police: 1-700-90-20-30, will be open from May 12th from 12:00 Municipal hotline: 106, or 02-5314600

USA president's route: 14.05.08

Ben Gurion international airport : 11 amLanding at Ben Gurion international airport – reception – after the reception, flight to landing pad Givat Ram.Main driving routes:Road 1, Sacharov, Ben Zvi, Ramban, Agron, King David, Admoni. Landing pad Givat Ram – King David hotelMain driving routes: Landing pad Givat Ram, southern gate, Museums row, Shmuel Weiss, Rupin, Ramban, Paris Square, Agron, King David, Admoni. King David hotel – President's residenceMain driving routes:Admoni, King David, Plumer place, Jabotinsky, Wingate Square, Hanassi, President's residence. President's Residence – Prime Minister's residenceMain driving routes:Hanassi, Wingate Square, Balfoure, Smolanskin.Prime Minister's Residence – King David HotelMain driving routes:Smolanskin, Keren Hayessod, Plumer place, King David, Admoni.King David hotel- Binyanei HaumaMain driving routes: Admoni, King David, Hameches Square, Agron, Ramban, Rupin, Ben Zvi, Zalman Shazar emergency gate, Binyanei Hauma. Binyanei Hauma –King David hotelMain driving routes: Binyanei Hauma emergency gate, Zalman Shazar, Ben Zvi, Rupin, Ramban, Agron, Meches, King David, Admoni.King David hotel – landing pad Givat RamMain driving routes: Admoni, King David, Meches Square, Agron, Ramban, Rupin, Shmuel Weiss, Museum row Southern gate, landing pad.

USA president's route: 15.05.08

Givat Ram landing pad- King David HotelLanding Pad, South Gate, Museum Row, Shmuel Weiss, Rupin, Ramban, Paris Square, Agron, King David, Admoni King David- KnessetAdmoni, King David, Hameches Square, Agron, Ramban, Rupin, Kaplan, Rothschild, KnessetKnesset- King David HotelMain driving routes:Knesset, Rothschild, Kaplan, Rupin, Agron, Hameches, King DavidKing David Hotel- Israel MuseumAdmoni, King David, Hameches Square, Agron, Paris Square, Ramban, Rupin, Shmuel Weiss, Israel MuseumIsrael Museum- Prime Minister's ResidentShmuel Weiss, Rupin, Ramban, Arlozorov, Hanassi, BalfourePrime Minister's Resident-King David HotelSmolanskin, Keren Hayesod, Plumer Square, King David, AdmoniKing David Hotel- Bible Lands MuseumMain driving routes:Admoni, King David, Hameches Square, Agron, Paris Square, Ramban, Rupin, Shmuel Weiss, Bible Lands Museum

USA president's route: 16.05.08

Bible Lands Museum-Givat Ram landing padMain driving routes:Shmuel Weiss, Museum Row, South Gate, LAnding PadDeparture time: 10:45
Now, if safety was really their priority, there wouldn't be any motorcades, nor grand announcements. Everthing would be quiet and discreet. But men don't like that sort of style.