Friday, October 31, 2008

Crucial Winter Decisions

This may seem strange for those of you who automatically take the clean wet wash from one machine to the other, barely pulling out the rare, extra delicate item. Then, maybe you debate between totally dry permapress vs almost dry on your automatic cycle.

But I hang my wash out, unless I hang it in the house. Only on the rarest of days would I put something in the dryer.

So, double-guessing G-d and gouging the darkness, placement and direction of the clouds is a necessary, professional skill for me, much like a ship's navigator in the days when it all had to calculated in one's head.

Fresh Juice, The Healthiest

After yesterday's visit to Tel Shiloh, I began walking up the hill. I didn't get far. Actually, it was right after I waved my friends goodbye, when I saw something interesting.

I saw a couple of guys juicing pomegranates.

Shiloh has the perfect climate for the Biblical fruits, like pomegranates, grapes, figs etc. And one of my neighbors sells bottled pomegranate juice. Natural health enthusiasts consider it extremely healthy.

I was given a cup to drink.

It really was delicious, and just perfect so soon after the flu.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Winter Sky

No doubt. The winter sky is much more beautiful than the summer one. Sky blue is beautiful, but it can get boring, very boring. Not even a cloud to mar the... blue, lots of it.

These are all from early winter. There's no real fall here. Suddenly, it's winter.

What do you think?

It reminds me of Clark Gable vs today's chiseled, in more ways than one, actors. That summer sky is more like a "perfect face," all smoothed and in proportion.
Winter is real. It surprises.

A Different Kind of Busy Day

It's Thursday. I should be thinking about cooking for Shabbat, but I haven't even taken out the meat/poultry to thaw.

It's also, Rosh Chodesh MarCheshvan, that's the first day of the Hebrew month of MarCheshvan. Rosh Chodesh is traditionally considered a Women's Holiday. I try to celebrate by visiting Tel Shiloh, just a mile from my house, for prayers, psalms and contemplation. According to Jewish Law, "women's prayer," isn't identical to that of men, which gives us flexibility.

In the afternoon there will be a memorial ceremony for my friend Yehudit, who passed away just before the Succot Holiday. On Shabbat there will be a Shiur, lesson, in her memory and after Shabbat, we, her friends, daughters and other family members, will get together to remember her.

For the JBlog Carnivals

There seems to be real problems in Blog Carnival, the site we've come dependent on to deliver links to carnival hosts and publicize blog carnivals. The site hasn't been up much recently. When I did the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival, I didn't get its collection of links, instant carnival.

Lucky for me, my carnival creating techniques were hatched pre-bc. You can find them here:

How To Host a Blog Carnival #1
How To Host a Blog Carnival #2

It looks like we have to go back to emailing links to hosts and/or carnival coordinators. Mail links to carnival hosts, if you know their addresses, or heads:

Jack, Havel Havelim: talktojacknow at sbcglobal dot net, jpix: frumhouse, jpixcarnival at gmail dot com or frumhouse at gmail dot com, Kosher Cooking Carnival: to me, shilohmuse at yahoo dot com.

The show must go on!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Smashed Bananas"

When married daughter was three, #3 daughter was born, and the precocious one asked:
"When will you be giving her smashed bananas?"

The bananas sitting in my fridge right now fit that description. They should have been put in "cold storage" before Shabbat, but I was rather out of it.

So I had better recycle them into a banana cake.

Lots to do today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Little Housekeeping

No, I didn't clean up the mess in my room. I did a different job. I reorganized my picture CD's. It's amazing how many I've accumulated in just over two years. No, that's the wrong verb. It's not a collection of things I bought or was given.

These are CD's of pictures I've taken with my digital camera.

I passed the "hundred" mark, meaning that there's almost a disk a week, OK, maybe closer to 3/4. I can't be exact, because I didn't count the disks. Next job it to get the picture storage off of this computer. Those are many of the pictures I've posted in blogs, which I've found all over. Or some are mine, either pre-dating the digital which were scanned or from the disk I had made of my first NBN flight, when I didn't have a digital camera. When I had the pictures developed the guy made a disk and negatives. I sent the CD to Nefesh B'Nefesh.

Today I also did some "light" editing for a neighbor, just a few suggestions. And I went to our local T'hillim, Psalms group.

Good night

Seen In Jerusalem

In between Tsippi Livni's meeting with President Peres, announcing new National Elections, and the opening of the Winter Knesset Session, which dealt with those same elections, I was in Jerusalem. They're busy with municipal elections. Here's Arkady Gaydamak's reflection on a coffee shop window.

And this picture points out that the lightrail, Olmert's miss-managed legacy to Jerusalem is still under construction.

Here's the fashion scene near the Jerusalem Bus Station.

And more Gaydamak signs.

It was funny yesterday. I went in to join the packing for "packages from home" for Israeli soldiers, but they had never gotten back to me to tell them that the time I said I could make it was too late. I arrived after they had finished. So, I rather quickly replanned my day, including that I didn't have to babysit, since the baby wasn't yet recovered from his stomach virus, and my daughter would be home. So, I did errands for us both. I bought some disposable "paper" baking pans, great for cakes, in Gindi on Agrippas St. I bought the grandkids some cute cookie cutters, too. At the homeopathic pharmacy, I got something for the grandkid. And then I checked in at the Unemployment office. I also picked up some ribbon-yarn for my latest project/hat to match a skirt I bought recently at Hagara, on sale of course. Then I took the bus to Ofra for a quick visit and delivery. And then, I went home. I got a ride with the gas guy who was excited to discover that I'm trekker's mother.
Yes, B"H, I'm feeling better, though still trying to catch the running nose to send it away.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Post-Shemitta- KCC #35

Post-Shemitta KCC
Kosher Cooking Carnival #35
Tishrei, 5769 תשרי ,

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, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34.

From the beginning, of the Kosher Cooking Carnivals, I've said that it's not "just a kosher recipe carnival." I hope that more halachik posts will be sent. Now, freshly post-Shemitta, things are most complicated in Israel. Yes, we can work in the garden, and farmers can go back to the fields, orchards and vinyards, but for the kosher consumer/customer there's the reverse count-down from last year. It will take a while for vegetables to be non-shemitta and then longer for fruit and even longer for "products" like juice, wine and canned goods. So, if you write, or read, any posts about those issues, please send them, in.

Let's start with
Raizy's Perfect Pasta Salad.

Lady-Light tempts us with her
Succot menu. I hope my family doesn't see it, or they'll be jealous. And you must read about her adventures making Jerusalem Kugel.

And here's Juggling Frogs'
Sukkot / Shmini Atzeret Meal Planners for 2008 ~5769. You can use them any year, I'm sure.

And here's a
A medieval Rosh Hashana menu by Devo K.

I'll have to try Robin's
edible succot with the grandkids next year!

Eating out in Jerusalem doesn't have to be expensive.
Take a look!

The Hip Hostess sent in Quinoa Salad with Orange, Cilantro & Golden Raisins.

And here's another
orange colored salad; the raisins are optional. It depends on if you want two or three ingredients. Yes, it's that simple!

not really over yet; is it?

Is The Key to Redemption a
Chocolate mousse pie? Check it out.

My husband loves Jerusalem artichokes. I wish they would self-peel.

Here's a very special
An Apple a Day... from profK.

T'china has become very international, available in supermarkets all over the world. But it's really
very easy to make at home.

Mimi has
za'atar on her mind. Have you ever wondered what's really in that seasoning? Mimi will tell you.

I'm working on this KCC right now, just after Simchat Torah, so the title:
The Heartburn and The Heeb really speaks to me, to my kishkes, to be exact. It's on Shtetl Fabulous, what a name!

Annette Berlin presents
Easy Pizza Dough. Made with pizza sauce, veggies and cheese, this dough makes a lovely lunch. Or, substitute the cheese for meat and create a fabulous fleishig meal. I had trouble accessing the blog, but it does sound like a great recipe.

Here's a first for me. Turn on your speakers for this one: George L Smyth presents
One Minute How-To - How To Create A Traditional Taste For The Holidays posted at George L Smyth, starring: Feed Me Bubbe!

There are Jewish neighborhoods in this world where even the most righteous have trouble finding a succah. Jerusalemite writes of many of the
kosher restaurants in Jerusalem which build succot for their diners.

Under normal conditions, this isn't food, but
when you're caught by the flu, you're willing to try almost anything. More suggestions are requested.

Soup! "
Soup for the king!"

Comforting Carrot Soup sounds just perfect, and her Lemon Stuffing for Chicken seems very tempting, too.

Juggling Frogs tempts me with her
Creamy Carrot Miso Soup. Well, jug' if I'm ever your guest…

And another
soup, this time by Our Shiputzim; there's nothing "everyday" about it.

Yes, soups are very popular. That's why I've made a special category this time. Here's Annette Berlin's
Stracciatella Soup.

If you're interested in hosting a future KCC, please let me know, shilohmuse at yahoo dot com.
Baila is hosting November; Leora has December and Ilana-Davita has reserved January.

Please submit your posts and any others you deem suitable for KCC via
blog carnival. And if BC is down, like it was the last time I checked, you can just mail me the links, and I'll pass them on to the hostesses, unless you know their emails.

Thanks to all of you, and please post and link this edition of KCC to your blog and pass the link around. It's only worth the effort if many people read it and visit the various blogs who participate. The Kosher Cooking Carnival is based on submitted links. The hosts aren't required to search.

Enjoy, there's something for every taste.
PS Just a reminder to send links in for Havel Havelim and JPIX.


I finally got around to adding a blog to my blogroll I had wanted to add from the first I had heard of it. Luckily she visited mine and left a comment, and I did it.

It's A Soldier's Mother. She has another good blog, This is Israel.

I wonder why it has taken so long for me to do it.

I had four years of full time soldier-mothering. Of that time, the middle two years both my sons were in the IDF. I had them set up their room with storage boxes filled with enough uniforms, socks, gotkes etc so that I didn't have to run the washing machine the minute they came home and pray that the sun would stand still long enough for things to be washed and dried before Shabbat. It took that stress out of the period.

They were in during Ehud Barak's reign of terror, when going to Jerusalem was more frightening than Shechem and Jenin.

My elder son was in Lebanon during the war Ehud Olmert would rather delete from history. If you go to that Havel Havelim I hosted not long ago, you'll see a picture of him.

And now, my baby has milu'im, reserve duty, in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nose Running, But I'm Walking

Thank G-d I'm feeling much better. OK, not all better but, as long as I'm armed with tissues and handkerchiefs, life will go on. Today, my friend and I took a walk. We went around the neighborhood three times, meaning we walked about three kilometers. It took about an hour.

She had gone shopping with me on Friday, just before I collapsed and was impressed. I really did feel fine, except when I tried to breathe.

Thank G-d I didn't burn my husband's dinner. I had forgotten that I can't smell anything.

I hope that tomorrow will be even better. I have lots of plans.

Almost KCC Time

Actually, it's already at the "starting gate," scheduled to be revealed in about 24 hours. Blog Carnival has been down, so nothing has come in for awhile. If you have any posts, I'd be glad to include them. Just mail them to me at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

And if you miss this deadline, there's always next month. I suggest you just send links as soon as you post something or see something which suits the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Halachik posts, kosher restaurant and cookbook reviews are welcome, too. It's not just a recipe carnival. And anyone who knows anything about kosher cooking knows that you need a lot of halachik knowledge to run a kosher kitchen.

Just today, when I was making my famous two-pot simply delicious vegetable soup I discovered that my carrots weren't "equal." They needed two types of care. One bag said they were grown in Holland, while the other was from the HolyLand, since they were certified that trumot and masrot, tithes, were taken. Can anyone explain?

It's like the little "quizzes" about full-term twin boys requiring britot two days apart, though born only minutes apart. Do you know the answer to that one?

Sit Down for Stand-Up Havel Havelim!

Benji starts by fleeing from a rat, or was it "just" as mouse in the supermarket. Nu, as a good stand-up comic, he must get our attention, even if it's just to read a Havel Havelim!

Benji, achbar is a mouse and achbarosh is a rat.

Nu, of course all of you will want to read of his blogging adventures. Bring your own drinks! Or, The drinks are on your house.

Yeah, some war zone.

Coffee, Again

Yes, Baruch Hashem, it's a good sign when I can drink coffee in the morning, but it didn't taste so great with the lemon juice still in my mouth. I should have had a glass of water first to wash it away. I haven't had dairy since Wednesday, or Thursday morning; can't quite remember.

If the wholewheat challah roll is still waiting for me, I'll try Rivka's idea of having it buttered with slices of garlic for breakfast.

I'm so tempted to start baking bread and/or challah again. I haven't done it in years, many years. Actually the last few years it was baked here, it was by "my baby." And then when he went into the army I stopped baking. When I eat bread, I expand like yeast dough, so it's more a yetza haraa, evil inclination, than anything else. My married daughter keeps telling me that I must bake for the segula (spiritual help). To make those blessings, you have to bake a lot. Maybe, I should, bli neder (don't consider it a vow), try to bake just once a month and freeze. If so, I'd have to make room in the freezer, keep less meat and "stuff." We have some Herby challot the grandkids like, which I must use up first.

Even though I'm not working, I don't have time. Lazy me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fly Away Flu Potions

My general cure for the aches and pains and coughs and sniffles and... of viruses and flues is lemon juice, freshly squeezed and diluted with water. When I'm miserably sick it goes down alright, but when I'm better it's disgusting. Or once I can't get another cut or drop into me, I consider it a sign of good health. I also make a plain "soup" or bullion out of miso. I put a spoon of it in a cup and then drink it. I find this much more effective than honey.

When I kvetched about feeling awful, leora sent me her potion:

I'll give you my throat concoction: peel and slice a garlic clove (or 2). Put the garlic in a mug. Slice off peel from a ginger root; cut some ginger root into the mug. Add hot water. Add hot pepper sauce (or a hot pepper).If too spicy for you, add some honey. Can you get herbal remedies with astralagus root?

And on Friday, when I staggered, obviously under the weather, into our local greengrocer, he gave me a slice of horseradish which I had to chew. Later on when he delivered lemons, which in my flu fog I had forgotten, he told me to have three cups of chamomile tea.

Flu season is beginning and the doctors have no cure for the weakening virus, so if you have any tried, tested and proven cures, please send to the comments.


And yes, I'm better, but still weaker than usual.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Feel Yuck

For the past few days, my ears felt funny, and I had a strange cough. Then last night it all began feeling worse, and now I realize that I have one of those chest-ear-throat things.

Not pleasant. My coughs are now frightening and hurt.

I hope I can buy lemons. They're my cure, lots of lemons squeezed into water. Vitamin C tablets aren't as effective. And when suddenly the lemon-water tastes too awful to drink, I know that I'm getting better.

It's never a "good time" to be sick, but G-d willing I'll be fine by Sunday, since I have lots planned for the week.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dancing in Shiloh

Here's a very short video of the dancing at our Simchat Beit Hasho'eva. It's the traditional Succot party.

Getting Fed Up With Facebook

Maybe I'm just not a facebook type person. And I don't think I'll twitter, either. Don't get me totally wrong. I did sign up with facebook and invested a number of hours setting things up, but this morning it has been very frustrating.

Someone sent me a great idea. I should make a facebook group about the Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh. Actually, she volunteered to do it, but I said I would. Gevalt! What a mistake and waste of time. Every time I try to add someone to the group, the site gets stuck. I keep having to close down explorer.

If you facebook, and you want to join, I presume that you can figure out how.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Security First

Now that I've discovered the "video" on my camera and have a YouTube account, I'm having fun with the new medium, but...

Yes, a big but. I have all these cute mini-movies of my grandchildren and no way to send them other than YouTube, but YouTube isn't really secure. When I post pictures of the grandkids, I try not to make them very recognizable. They're the "bad" pictures according to the artistic standards my parents hammered into me my whole life. Outside of mailing cds, what can I do? The files are too heavy for email.

After Succot--Already?

It's hard to believe that the big Jewish Holiday is over. Our succah is still up. G-d willing, my "baby" will take it down today. Until then, I'll have to hang laundry in the house, since I can't get to the clotheslines. Minor problems.

Simchat Torah was great fun in our neighborhood. Baruch Hashem!

Of course, tomorrow I already have to start preparing for Shabbat. I've eaten too much and exercised too little. The two fast days in the holiday season, Tzom Gedalia and Yom Kippur aren't enough. And I don't know how Jewish people out of Israel manage with even more sedentary eating days, aka "second day yomtov."

I uploaded a couple more of my "short movies." One shows confusion during the traffic jam by the shopping center and the other was taken at the weaving workshop at Tel Shiloh.

So, here they are:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bad Way To Start The New Year

The Jewish New Year began, and so far it hasn't been all fun, games and feasting.

Three deaths: Harry Hurwitz, initiator of the Begin Center, it wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for Harry. My Uncle George, and my neighbor, Yehudit.

And I'm gaining weight. I'm eating too much of the wrong things and I haven't been exercising since the pool closed a month and a half ago. A bit of walking just doesn't do it. Of course, I should really get myself to go to the pool in Neve Yaakov tomorrow morning, but of course, I'll just say:
"I'll start next week."
Yes, the famous "next week," the ma~nana (pronounced manyana) of all times. And how am I supposed to put the little ~ over the "n" to get that "nya" sound?

I also have to do laundry, lots of laundry.

KCC is almost finished.

I had better stop kvetching. There are more important things.

Good night

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Finished Yet

That's Jewish Holiday Season, three weeks plus. It's not finished yet, though we're in the home stretch. Tonight begins Simchat Torah. Here in Israel it's a one-day Holiday, combined with Shmini Atzeret. Outside of Israel, it's another two day holiday. I would certainly be many pounds/kilos heavier if I lived there. And by the time we begin recovering from Simchat Torah, we celebrate Shabbat.

After Shabbat, things calm down a bit. No holidays for two months, until Chanukah. That's why we can rationalize those fattening Chanukah treats like fried potato latkes and sufganiyot, deep-fried and coated with powdered sugar.

Yesterday, I went to Jerusalem for two things. The most important was to celebrate the engagement of the daughter of friends. Besides the occasion itself, I enjoyed the fantastic treat of seeing old friends. It's very rare for me to come across anyone I've known since before I was married, but here, besides the hosts, whom I've known since my teens, I met up with three other friends from all those decades ago. I'm so thankful that the hostess is so great at keeping up friendships. B"H

Since we had been invited to the party in Jerusalem, it was the perfect day to do a bissel shopping. Finally, I'm becoming better at using those "shopping coupons." I got us a new electric kettle in Hamashbir and recordable cd's and a cd album at great prices at ACE. I read the list of stores more carefully and discovered that Freid Linens is on the list, so I can get some new mattress covers.

Oh, and the added bonus of the day... After schlepeping my purchases from downtown to my husband's office, wondering how I was going to bring them to the party, I discovered neighbors at the Begin Center, and they took the heavy bag home. B'ezret Hashem, I'll pick it up from them after I'm dressed.

Now, off to continue my day.
Chag Sameach!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Succot is the Havel Havelim Holiday

That is, of course, because the phrase "havel havelim" comes from Kohelet, (Ecclesiastes,) and we read Kohelet on the Shabbat of Succot.

So, that means that it's a mitzvah to read Havel Havelim! And while you're at it, don't forget to check out the various links. Baila did a great job.

Chag Simchat Torah Sameach

From Coffee To Water

In my previous post, I lamented a major coffee mistake, but now, with my precious cup of the sugared, milked brown stuff, next to me for sipping, it's time to blog about water.

Bottled Water!

Note, I didn't say "mineral water." A lot of the water for sale in bottles isn't mineral water. It's just processed water from unknown sources. At least unknown to the innocent, naive consumer. Other bottled water is less healthy and more contaminated than tap water.

I agree with this New York Times Editorial asking for accurate information by the bottlers. With all the articles about it, there isn't any real information about which bottled water is really worth paying for.

When we're in the states, I like the bottled mineral water, because I don't like the taste of the New York water. I also don't like the taste of many of the bottled waters, especially the "purified" water. I have the same problem in Israel. Yes, water, like wine, has different flavors, tastes. Oh, and I don't like the flavored waters either.

How Dumb Of Me!

I have my morning routine, which included brewing coffee. This morning I got everything ready, as usual. Then I sat here at the computer drinking water and even wasted time on facebook, a rarity since I rarely open it.

Finally I took my empty giant glass mug to the kitchen for my great coffee, and... coffee!

It was empty. I hadn't turned it on! So, now I did, for sure. I checked. The light's on, but now I have to wait, again...

Bad way to start the day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

All Cooked Out

Considering all the cooking, with the Jewish Holidays, even the fast of Yom Kippur requires pre-fast and post-fast meals, the latest Carnival of the Recipes came right in time. I can get plenty of ideas, even if I have to "adjust" the recipes.

Actually, we did "cook out," but my contribution was "homemade." Yes, at home I prepared a carrot salad. All it contains is:

  • carrots, shredded/grated in the food processor

  • a can of pineapple chunks, unsweetened

  • raisins

Yes, that's it. Very easy, tasty and impressive. The raisins are optional, and all you need to remember is to buy the canned pineapple. Nothing can be simpler than that.

A Few More Scenes From Succot At Tel Shiloh

I could fill post after post with gorgeous pictures.

Thousand of people came the the "country fair" at Tel Shiloh. I hadn't really made plans for those days. Of course, I planned on doing at least some of the Od Avihu Chai March, but that was it. At least with all the activities, I had something to go to.

The question is what to to tomorrow. Maybe I'll go to Jerusalem. My friends' daughter got engaged and they're having a small "party" in their succah. It'll probably be one of those "stay ten minutes, until there's no room for anybody else, and then leave" type of events. But it would be nice to be there. And our electric kettle died, and we need a new one.

So, maybe tomorrow, it'll be Jerusalem's turn. Even in the Bible, Jerusalem came after Shiloh.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thousands At Tel Shiloh!

Yesterday was a very big day at Tel Shiloh! Mateh Binyamin, our regional council, like an American county or state, organized a great Succot Fair here in Shiloh. There were street theater tours all around the Biblical site, suitable for all ages.

And there were so many different crafts and activity workshops.

Rivka, the lurker and Jameel were there with all the kids.

The weather cooperated, too. Not too hot, nor prematurely winter.

Here are some of the workshops.

Yes, I'm having fun with youtube!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Filling Meal

Recently, I had a tasty, filling, reasonably priced meal at Jerusalem's Central Bus Station. There's a nice restaurant with places to sit on its second floor, near the street exit. It may be part of the "Na'aman" chain. You can also get served from the street, where I once had a good sandwich. There are different prices for "sitting" and "take-out."

The best bargain, not for those on super-strict diets, is their "toast." Choose between a white or whole wheat roll, and on it you can have two of their choice of proteins--tuna salads or a variety of cheeses, and they'll give you any of their cut salads you want. They heat the sandwach, squashing it in the "waffle-iron" toaster, making it easier to get into your mouth. My friend was glad they did it, because she couldn't imagine how she'd eat that giant sandwich, like the "hero sandwiches" I remember from decades ago.

It's served on a large plate with a nice salad and dressing of your choice.
The restaurant is pleasant, and they did lower the music volume when requested. At least they did for us. Actually, we had planned on eating in another bus station restaurant, but the noise was torture. Neither of us are capable of being in very noisy places without suffering.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Better Than Expected

Considering the drought, it's not very wise to complain about rain.

At first it was announced that the Od Avihu Chair March would be cancelled or postponed, because of the weather. Then a few minutes after that announcement, the beeper beeped again, and announced the cancellation of the cancellation!

The march would go on! This year we hiked between Maale Levona, Givat Harel, Eli and Shiloh, ending at Tel Shiloh, to join the tourists/pilgrims.

In the area of the tel, there were lots of activities, including "street theater."

And there was also arts and crafts of all sorts.

And lots of visitors had the great coffee, cake, ice cream etc at the Tabernacle Gallery Cafe`.

The special Succot holiday activities continue tomorrow, too.

Playing With YouTube

After two years of owning my Cannon A620, I've finally begun using its video, the moving picture option. You can see one of my movies here. It's nothing very profound, just a busy Jerusalem street scene.

In terms of "art," it will never replace stills. Whenever my eyes wander, I find myself "composing" pictures, on what to focus etc. Movies, video--that's something else.

Photos, especially black and white, last forever, decades, a century. In our digital world, most of our pictures and movies are virtual, not real. You can't touch them. Nobody is going to put a cd or memory chip under their pillow or in their wallet.

Many people report that photos they've stored in various internet "services" have disappeared. Periodically, I print some important ones. If I can't hang the picture on the wall, make an album or look at them on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays, when it's forbidden to use electrical gadgets, what's the point? There's no reality in their existence.

Today the sky is pale grey, not photogenic at all. It may be a washout for all of the Succot plans. There's rain "in the air," at least the odor of those early winter, dust-cleaning rains. If there's something worth filming, and I succeed, I'll youtube.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can't Kvetch-It's A Mitzvah To Be Happy

ושמחת בחגך
V'Samachta B'Chaguecha
And you were joyful in your festivals

Yes, we were in Holiday mode in our neighborhood shul. With the sadness, also joy, as some neighbors added grandchildren, and one was even named. Other neighbors were away, because a grandson was Bar Mitzvah on the first day of Succot.

My house was full with four out of five kids and all the grandkids. The kids put up the succah and decorated it. I'll have to post pictures.

In recent years I've collected all sorts of things for easy-made decorations. The best are Jewish calendars and Rosh Hashannah Cards. It's all free, so if they get rained on, it's no big deal. Next year use this year's calendar.

The weather was strange, hot, dry and smelling of rain on the way. I hope it clears for tomorrow and the next day when all sorts of activities are planned for tourists and locals at Tel Shiloh. I've made no plans, just hanging out in Shiloh, going to the Tel and hoping to see friends etc.

The Avihu Chai March will be in the Shiloh area this year.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bleary Eyed

I'm tired.

There just aren't any other words for it.

I got up extra early yesterday, since I had promised to accompany a neighbor to the hospital for a minor operation. It didn't involve hospitlization, but I didn't want her being alone or coming home without someone.

We got to the hospital amazingly quickly. Our second "tremp," (ride,) a driver we didn't even know, insisted that it wasn't really out of his way to take us there. Since we were so early, my friend bought herself breakfast before signing in.

And then things got more complicated. We were sent from one floor to another and then back again and yet again, until someone explained that we needed yet another office and form. Finally, after phones and faxes and more calls and faxes, we had everything and went back to the first clerk for the third or more time.

I didn't stand on line but went to the side of the counter and put on my nicest smile and my firmest, no-nonsense voice:

"You remember us. Don't you?"

And I shoved the forms at her. She looked over, nodded and took them. After she finished what she was doing, she quickly processed my friend and sent us off to another reception area. My friend handed in her file and was told to wait. And we did, and we did. The crowded room began to empty.

It was over an hour later, when I got the call about my uncle. No privacy, but since they were all strangers... And we kept on waiting. The room was getting much too empty. Finally, they called her, but she returned quickly, since that was just the first check-up of the procedure. It was over two hours after her appointment, and still we were waiting.

We asked at the desk:

"I don't know. You just have to keep waiting."

So we did. But then it looked like hardly anyone else was there and it was almost three hours after the operation was supposed to be. Back to the clerk who finally agreed to search the little treatment rooms and find out what was happening.

"You're next for Room 9."

And we waited some more. By then we were numb and hungry. My friend went into the treatment area. The clerk was too tired to stop her.

"There are still people there."

We changed to more comfortable chairs. She scouted the room again but didn't return so quickly. Then there she was:

"You're not going to believe this. The surgeon said:"
"The risks outway the benefits. Come back for another check-up in six months."

Considering all, it was hard to complain, and we were too tired and too hungry.

And now I'm up extra early again. There's lots to do before the chag and before Yehudit's funeral. The kids, G-d willing, are coming, too.

Chag Succot Sameach

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Twice In Less Than Twelve Hours

ברוך דיין האמת
ברוך דיין האמת

Twice today in less than twelve hours I got very bad news. Yes two people died, my Uncle George and my neighbor Yehudit.

I don't really feel like writing personal things about them, so I'll be very brief, unless the words start flowing like tears.

Neither death was a "surprise," but a few months ago no one would have expected that they were close to the end of their lives. People's health can "change" in an instant, and that's what happened to both of them.

Yehudit and Uncle George never met in this world, but they may be meeting right now...

HaMakom Y'Nachem

On A Roller Coaster

Let's start with something impersonal. I don't know if I'll have a chance later. Please take a look at this week's Havel Havelim.

Last summer, I spent time with my parents and other relatives. I'm glad I had the opportunity, since my uncle George passed away today. He was fine when we ate out togehter in the dairy place we've been going to for the past few years.

Baruch Dayan Emet

In Shiloh, we've been praying for the recovery of a neighbor, Yehudit bat Sarah Blumah. Many of us have been getting together for T'hillim, Psalms. It's a stressful time.
I also have to prepare for Succot. Blogging takes a back-burner; sorry.
Chag Succot Sameach

Facing Facebook

OK, after a few weeks on facebook, I don't see much in terms of advantages. I find more communicating via blogs and comments, and of course direct email is even better. And nothing beats real, old-fashioned f2f and even phone calls. In the facebook fishbowl, it's spooky. I don't know what happens to the info.

I keep getting "friend requests" from total strangers who saw my name as a "friend" of other strangers, whom I'm sort of sorry I "friended."

I have info on my blogs up, but I haven't noticed facebook as a "referrer."

No, haven't started twittering, yet. Gevalt.

Must put in another load of wash. Can't do that via the computer.