Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Raining!

Yes, although we're well into the second third of winter, at least according to the calendar, rain has been so rare that rain is worth announcing on this blog.

Israel gets the necessary and blessed rain only during the winter, from late October until early April, on average, and this year has been so far from average, it's frightening. Somebody told me that there hasn't been such a dry year for 75 years. Considering that 75 years ago, people didn't garden, nor launder clothes very frequently, nor bathe as frequently as today... this year's drought, added to the previous years' droughts are really bad.

I'm going to finish soon and turn the computer off and unplug if the thunder continues.

Baked Compote

Sorry, but I didn't take a picture while cooking it.

We were invited for Shabbat lunch to neighbors and asked to bring dessert. We brought two things, one some pastry bought in our local store and the other was "Baked Compote." What's "Baked Compote?" Honestly, I just invented it. Since I've been on my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet, I've been making Baked Apples for dessert, but I didn't know how many people would be at the meal.

The great thing about the Baked Apples is that there is no sugar, but it's very sweet, because it's baked. No water is added. So I put on my "thinking cap" and invented:

Baked Compote
  • use an oven-proof covered pan
  • peel and slice two apples per portion, (just to be safe,) and place them in the pan
  • add the juice of a couple of juicy oranges, or some natural orange juice. It shouldn't be enough to cover the apples, unless you want a liquidy compote.
  • sprinkle cinnamon and any other spice you'd like
  • bake, covered, in a medium oven until boiling for at least fifteen minutes
  • let it cool in the oven or in a warm place, where it can continue cooking

Now, that I've gotten you hungry, it's time to remind you that we need your posts in the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Please send them here. And if you'd like to host an edition, please let me know at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com


Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Not Enough To Diet

I should have exercised more this week. Food isn't everything. Considering how busy, and out of my control, my meals were, I guess it's good that I didn't eat more than the Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet recommends.

Actually, there were times I ate less, which is bad according to the diet instructions. The key is never feeling hungry, and there were times I was starving, and there was nothing suitable and filling to eat.

When I'm home, the eating and meal planning are very easy. The problem when traveling is planning and packing food. At one of the Jerusalem Conference sessions, I was surprised to see a table-mate eat an apple taken out of his bag. I guess one can do it, as long as food isn't served at the same exact place. They had a constant supply of coffee, hot water, tea bags and cookies. When I arrived Tuesday afternoon, I had tea and lemon to fill me, but Wednesday I tried the coffee, since there was real milk, not the post-meat, non-dairy "whitener." And Monday evening, at the grand-opening, I had a few sushis.
Each week, each day has its challenges for the dieter, because dieting is full-time, for a lifetime. The tendency to be overweight will never leave.
I'm not a compulsive eater. That's not my problem. The diet methods which address bad habits and emotional eating with behavioral therapy don't suit me. I don't grab cookies or cake, because I can't be bothered, or don't have the time for, cooking. Yes, at certain events I find some foods irresistible, but those events are rare. They're too seldom to blame for the over fifty (50) pounds or twenty-three (23) unnecessary kilo on my body.
The young woman who supervised and guided my exercise on the machines at the Dan Panorama, Eilat, agreed that according to the "blood type food theory," carbohydrates aren't good for my body. I'm Blood Type O.
As I've written before, it will most probably take me at least a year and a half to get to a truly healthy weight. And if the weight stops coming off before then, I'll just have to make peace with it, yes give up--but stick to the basic diet.
I don't know how all this will end up, but in the meantime I'm grateful for the customer support I'm getting from Start Fresh. And I'm amazed that the diet actually suits me. I couldn't go on a diet which went against my food inclinations.
Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

Pre-Shabbat Update, Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Baruch Hashem, thank G-d.

G-d has been performing great miracles, as you'll read in Ruth's letter about her son-in-law, Moshe. I also heard that another, even more seriously wounded Israel, Aharon Karov, who was considered, "anosh," the Hebrew term for dying, is already starting to walk. We must never give up!

Dear Relatives and Friends,

This will be the last update until late Saturday night/early Sunday morning and I'm happy to tell you that Moshe continues to improve in health. Last night he was in quite a lot of pain but today says that the pain is a lot less. Sarah stayed with him last night but neither of them got any sleep due to a lot of noise in the ward. Hopefully tonight will be better.

He says that his sight is a little better in both eyes and that the double vision problem is better than it was. They say that his sight should continue to improve although we must be prepared for the possibility that it may never be the same as it was. However, knowing Moshe and the distance he has travelled in the last ten days - "they" could well be wrong!

Moshe decided to ignore the fact that he was told that he wouldn't be able to eat solid food for four or five days and has been eating normal food! This, in spite of the fact that he cannot open his mouth very far due to the damage that was done to the jaw "hinge" and the repair work that has been done (this is what I understood - it's possible that I've got it a bit wrong). He has to do frequent exercises on his jaw, holding his bottom jaw open for a length of time or having it held open for him. He is working hard on this.

Now for the amazing news - there is talk of him being discharged in the early part of next week. When this happens, he will have to continue to come back as an outpatient and he still has to have the support padding taken out in a few weeks. It's almost unbelievable that only ten days ago we thought we had lost him. What a fighter!!

A long road to recovery lies ahead and he still needs your prayers, but he's on the way!!

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom (a good and peaceful Sabbath),


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great News For Coffee Lovers!

Drink Coffee and Keep Your "Marbles!"

That's the best way of summarizing this New York Times article.

For many years, in my heyday as a "health nut," I eschewed coffee, and drank all those brown faux coffee ground up, who knows what. I don't remember exactly how long ago I not only went back to drinking coffee, but I started with the real thing, not instant.
After controlling for numerous socioeconomic and health factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the scientists found that the subjects who had reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two cups or less.

I like these numbers!

"Compound Interest" From My Teaching Career

I must admit that I really don't miss teaching all that much. I don't feel an "emptiness" in my days or weeks. I don't miss the difficult traveling, the stress of wondering how or when a ride would come. I don't miss the lesson planning or trying to control the unruly teenage boys or dealing with the administration. My last year of teaching had very few "successful" and inspiring lessons. I guess it was time to go.

But I do miss the good times, when I had students who wanted to succeed and appreciated what I did for them. I miss the days when the parents were grateful and told me that "for the first time" their son enjoyed or felt he was learning something in English.

Recently, a couple of things happened to remind me of those "good times."

A neighbors' son was Bar Mitzvah a couple of weeks ago, and they invited everyone to an "Oneg Shabbat," a Friday night after the meal reception. I had taught the neighbor's nephew a few years ago. Sitting at the table, I tried to find him in the crowd. He then came over to talk to me; it was so nice seeing how nicely he has grown up. Then his mother came over and told me that they had been looking forward to seeing me and how much they had liked me.

Then yesterday, after leaving the Jerusalem Conference, I was waiting for the bus to Ofra, to babysit, at the "white statue" at the Ramat Eshkol/French Hill Junction. Suddenly, someone a bit familiar aproached. I realized that he had been a student of mine, but in those days he didn't have a full black beard. We talked a bit, and he asked me if there was a bus to Ofra soon. I said "Yes," but I didn't tell him that the driver was proabably going to be an old friend from high school. There's always a chance of schedule changes.

I got on first, and M, the driver asked:

"Isn't A getting on?"

When A got on they had a very pleasant reunion. If I hadn't taught in that high school, I wouldn't have enven known M.

It's nice to know the younger generation, those younger than my own sons. Now I'll just be "that old lady" and not "HaMorah," "the Honored Teacher."

Post-Operation Update, Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Here's the latest update on Moshe Avitan from his mother-in-law. Please continute praying for a refuah shleimah, a complete recovery. Thank you.

Dear Relatives and Friends,

I had hoped to get the update out in time for people in Israel to read it tonight. However, the phone has been going non-stop since I got home from the hospital. So sorry Israeli people if you don't see it until Thursday morning. At least those in the States will get to see it today and possibly also England and mainland Europe.

I'm extremely happy to tell you that, thank G-d, the operation went well this afternoon. It was about three hours from the time Moshe went into the operating theater until we heard that he was in the recovery room. The bullet has been removed and is ready to hand over to the Shabak ("Shin Bet", Security Services) for examination by the ballistics people. They have also somehow put temporary support under his left eye so as to align the two eyes. This will have to be removed in three or four weeks. By that time, presumably, they expect the left eye to be "supporting itself". For the next few days Moshe will only be able to eat liquids and semi-liquids. This seems rather a shame as he was beginning to come back to being "Moshe" and eating, talking and generally behaving normally. Now we have to go back a bit. Slowly, slowly...

I haven't seen Moshe since the operation. After coming out of the recovery room he went back to the ward and only Sarah and, possibly, his mother are to be with him this evening. I hope to be able to report on his continued progress tomorrow. Keep praying please!!

All the best,


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slowly, Very Slowly

Yes, I'm slowly catching up. I still have over a hundred emails to look at, even though I ought to just delete most sight-unseen. I haven't yet had time to visit blogs. Please forgive me.

This week has been very busy.

G-d willing, tomorrow should be quieter and at home.

Today, for example, I had to "tremp" to Jerusalem, since there isn't a bus when I needed or was ready to leave. I went to the Government "Employment Office" for my monthly "check-in." Then I took a bus to the Hyatt to attend another couple of sessions at the Jerusalem Conference. I couldn't stay for more, since I had to babysit for my grandchildren.

I'm not working, but I'm very busy, B"H, thank G-d.

And there's the laundry and cleaning and...

It's Not The Season For Goat's Milk

I don't know what cures are used where you live, but in my part of the world, Shiloh, Efrayim-Benjamin, Israel, when someone has fungus-like sores in their mouth, the popular cure is "straight from the udder" goat's milk.

There are all sorts of first-person stories of those who enjoyed sudden relief and quick cures after drinking fresh, warm goat's milk. All of the early stories told of the milk being squirted straight into the affected mouth. Apparently, some goats became infected, and now the owners insist that the goats be milked normally, and the fresh milk be drunk from a cup.

My younger granddaughter suffered one of those infections, after taking antibiotics, and I tried to help them find some goats. Goats aren't as common as dogs, but I have two neighbors with goats. Unfortunately, none of the goats were "with milk." It's the wrong season.

My son-in-law made numerous phone calls all around the area, until he finally found people with milk-laden goats. A friend picked up some fresh milk on the way home, and my granddaughter drank it. The next day, after a couple of days not being able to talk and eat, she was fine. She was back to talking, singing, dancing etc, thank G-d.

Tuesday's Update, Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Here's the latest letter from Moshe's mother-in-law. Extra prayers are needed today for Moshe because of the surgery.

Dear Relatives and Friends,

Here we are, less than 12 hours before the scheduled time for Moshe's surgery. It's nerve-racking!

Today Moshe asked the nurses to put a patch over his left eye. He is seeing reasonably well, albeit somewhat blurry, with his right eye but the left eye, lacking supporting muscle below, was causing him to have a sort of double vision. He felt better with the patch.

The surgery is scheduled to take place between 12 noon and 1 p.m. Wednesday. Obviously, depending on the operating "list" it could be earlier or later. Your extra prayers and Psalms are requested for any time you can on Wednesday, that the surgeons be given strength and skills from Above to perform the operation successfully.

Once this is over we seriously have to get down to the business of post-trauma counselling for both Sarah and Moshe. It is difficult to see when this could have started as Sarah has constant calls on her time from the medical authorities and to deal with bureaucratic stuff and Moshe seems to have doctors and nurses wanting to do check-ups at all hours of the day and night.

Thanks to you all for your concern.


May G-d give strength and good health to the entire family.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tired, So I Planned For Tomorrow

Does what I wrote make any sense? I'm tired, yes, I am. I was very busy today and didn't eat enough.

Just before I planed some of tomorrow's meals on Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet. It seems silly to reconstruct/report today's food. I didn't over-eat. I just didn't eat enough, and I feel it, especially since I didn't sleep enough either.

Trying To Stay In Control

One of the techniques of successful dieting is never to get hungry. That's because once we're hungry, we're more apt to get out of control.

Yesterday was one of those super-busy days. I couldn't take along an entire day's worth of food. In the morning I went down to Tel Shiloh, for Rosh Chodesh, start of the Jewish month's prayers. Then I went to Ofra to babysit, and then I went to the Jerusalem Conference opening.

In the morning I had trouble with the Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet site and couldn't record my planned meals. And now I don't have time to do yesterday's, and since it doesn't adjust to the different time zones, at least as far as Israel, I can't register today yet.

I had a very nourishing breakfast. It was a meal most people would have for lunch or dinner, salmon and vegetables. I took an orange, red pepper and cucumber along, planning on buying a yogurt for myself, when I bought the kids a treat and making myself an omelet while babysitting. I ate the orange and pepper and bought the yogurt, but I never made the omelet. By the time I was on my way to the conference I was truly starving.

I got off on the way, at Pisgat Ze'ev, and went to the mall, craving a sandwich, imagining that I'd just toss the top slice of bread, OK, half of roll. Though I knew that bread just added weight and that I'd never really eat only half the bread.

I quickly checked out the mall for sandwich places and found the best prices at "Henry's," davka for a tuna salad-take out. NS25- and it came with a big tempting roll, which is now frozen in my freezer. The salad was great, lots of tuna and salad, with only a drop of canned corn. At the conference reception, I treated myself to three, or four sushis. I'm allowed a bit of rice and avocado.

Yes, I regained control, Baruch Hashem. Dieting is a full-time job.

Monday's Update- Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Thank G-d! The letter from Moshe's mother-in-law tells of a miracle, but we must continue to pray.

Dear Relatives and Friends,

I'm very happy to tell you that Moshe's sight is improving. Today he was able to read two more lines on the card they give him to check his eyesight. His spirits were also higher today.

What seems like a lifetime ago but is only one week ago, we were praying that Moshe would live and that he would have full mental faculties. Then we were praying that he wouldn't be blind. Once he regained consciousness on Wednesday and they were able to check his eyesight, finding that he had at least partial vision in one eye, we were praying that he would have vision in both eyes - at least to some extent. Now, as his eyesight is improving with every day that passes, we're praying that he regain full sight. I wonder, why do we always want more than we have!!! Sorry - just being a bit introspective.

Please keep up the good work everybody. We have the big hurdle of the operation that they're now talking about doing on Wednesday which is the big operating-room day in Hadassah.

Thanks for all your concern.

All the best,


Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday Update: Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Here's the most recent letter from Moshe's mother-in-law:

Dear Relatives and Friends,

As expected, there is not a lot to report on Moshe's physical condition today. He continues to improve and has been up and about and is eating normally. His eyesight continues to be very blurred and we still have no prognosis on what will be with his sight. He is due to see the eye doctor tomorrow (i.e., Monday) and perhaps we will have more idea then, or perhaps not until after the operation which, so far, is scheduled for Wednesday.

Now that the initial period of worry about his life is, please G-d, over we begin to realise to what extent this attack has emotionally hit Moshe and all the family. They are all traumatized and it's going to take a lot of time for them to come out of it. Please have the whole family in mind when you pray for Moshe's health.

Thanks for all you are doing and keep it up!!

All the best,


I would like to add something about trauma, shock of bad news. One doesn't have to be at the "event," attack, accident to suffer, be affected. When my older son was nine, he was hit by a small truck while riding his bike in the neighborhood. The neighbor who took on the difficult task of knocking on my door and telling me and also had to get me to prepare for a ride in the hospital in the ambulance, was the school secretary. I was a teacher in the school, and for years later, every time she called me on the phone about the most mundane and benign things, I'd reply in the most terrified way:

"What happened?"

Strangely, I suffered less long-term hysteria-panic after I was run over in a terror attack. In that case the damage was more physical, and my making contact with the media, my interview with the Jerusalem Post and a Dutch newspaper and appearance on the English-language IBA News allowed me a certain release, control of the situation and confidence-building. I also found myself at the very same spot, very soon after, so I didn't have a chance to develop that "phobia" people sometimes get.

Back to my son's accident. Totally contrary to anything in my psyche, he enthusiastically looked forward to returning to bicycle riding. When, about three months after the accident, the orthopedist told him that he could walk on both legs and get rids of the crutches, the first thing he said was:

"May I ride my bike?"

The doctor almost needed to do first aid on me, and told him that it would be very good physical therapy. His most serious, and potentially crippling injury, was a dislocated pelvis. Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, my son recovered, and I learned to admire his emotional strength and healthy attitude.

As Ruth requested,
Refuah Shleimah
and lots of strength
to Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha's entire family,
friends and neighbors.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I've Joined A New Food Blog

It's called Kosher Cuisine, and it has lots of recipes on it. I may lower the standard a bit, since I don't cook fancy, not at all. I'm a very plain simple cook. If a recipe has too many ingredients, I don't bother with it, or I leave out a lot of things.

I hope I won't be disinvited from the blog.

I have a couple of very simple two-ingredient recipes. One is for
Baked Apples. And the other is for carrot salad.

And Now For A Super HH

Raizy posted an absolutely super Havel Havelim. It's a superb compilation of jblog posts of the past week.
To give you energy, don't forget to check out Kosher Cooking Carnival, at Ilana-Davita's. If you're interested in hosting an edition, please let me know, shilohmuse at yahoo dot com
More info, also about my new weight loss carnival, here.

The Great Green KCC

Thanks to Ilana-Davita for posting the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival! She did a really great job. I can't wait to check out all the links.

If you're interested in hosting one, please let me know at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Also, please remember to send in links to any relevant posts you see, whether they're yours or just posts you've come across. KCC is not just a recipe carnival. Anything about kosher food, traditions, Jewish Law, cookbook and restaurant reviews, too.

And now that I'm on Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet, I'm starting a Blogging About Losing Weight Carnival, so please send in links for that, too.

Thanks and have a wonderful week and Chodesh Tov. The Jewish month of Shvat starts tomorrow.

Funny Misc.

Today's January 25, and if I'm not mistaken, when I was a kid, still living in Bell Park Gardens, I had a friend whose 58th or 59th birthday would be today. It's strange what one remembers.

The weather is very peculiar here. The sky is white and was white yesterday, too. In a normal year it would be a sign of snow. The weather should be colder and wetter. Our drought shouldn't be a surprise for anyone. Chazal, our Sages and the actual Bible, say that G-d rewards us and punishes us with rainfall. We get the amount we deserve. As a Nation, a People, we have been sinning, so G-d is withholding rain.

Living in the HolyLand is like nothing else in this world.

I hope my friend remembers to come over for our exercise session.

I have a crazy week planned. Vacation is over.

Update: Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Here's the latest letter I received from Moshe's mother-in-law:

Dear Relatives and Friends,

I wish you all a shavua tov (a good week). I have been asked to send Moshe Avitan's Hebrew name with all my updates so that people new to the list will know what name to use in their prayers. Hence, you will see this name on the subject line from now on.

I'm happy to tell you that there is continued improvement in Moshe's physical condition. He is now walking, eating and talking normally. His nervousness (understandably) still prevails and I think it's going to take a while for him to revert to the happy, outgoing and smiling Moshe that we knew before this attack. Slowly, slowly...

It seems that they are thinking of operating on Wednesday. As I understand it, the operation will be two-fold: (a) to take out the bullet, and (b) to do reconstruction work under the eyes where muscle has been damaged. I will perhaps know more of this tomorrow.

We are in a sort of hiatus period now with information. I don't think that anything is going to change very much, apart from, hopefully, continued improvement, until after the operation. This doesn't mean that we can forget Moshe in our prayers, Psalms and learning. He has still a long, long way to go before he has a complete recovery. So please continue to keep up the good work!!



Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm Not Really A Fish Fan

I can't be bothered with home aquariums, tropical fish and all that. But I was enchanted by that "Aquarium" tourist site in Eilat. Neighbors had told me that it was a "must see," and they were right.

Here are a few movies I took there. There's no comparison between the special lighting, cleaning etc and the scenes we had seen in the boat' underwater windows the day before. I took lots more pictures and wonder if I should youtube and post them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another Half Pound!

Considering that I was given two "all you can eat meals" for four days, vacationing in Eilat, I think that an additional half a pound weight loss is great.

If you're planning a vacation, make sure you can get lots of salads, sans dressings. I was able to fill my plate with negative calorie foods, breakfast and dinner. I did have a bit more protein and fats than I should have, but I stayed away from breads, potatoes etc.

And just to make sure I wouldn't crave the desserts out of curiosity, I took a bite of three. After each bite, I said that it wasn't worth gaining weight for more.

Fruits were sweet enough, and I had, still have, some (half my previous) sugar in the morning coffee.

So I hope the
Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet staff is proud of me.

Thursday Night Update: Moshe Refael ben Aliza Chaya

From his mother-in-law:

Moshe has today been taken from the ICU to the "mouth and jaw" ward. His general condition continues to improve and he was able to eat a little today. The doctor wants him to get out of bed a little tomorrow and start to move around. I'm sure that it will make him feel a lot better if he can perhaps go for a shower and walk a little. The doctors are still hesitant about doing the surgery and want to wait a few days in order to get rid of a lot of the fluid build-up. They are amazed at how fast Moshe is improving. We're certain that the prayers and Psalms that are being said by so many people are behind this improvement!!

Having seen pictures of the car, we wonder how Moshe and Sarah came out alive! All the windows were shattered. Apart from the bullet that hit Moshe we know that one bullet went through the left front door and exited the car from the right front door at "body level", passing in front of Moshe and Sarah. Another went through the windscreen and exited the back window, passing between them. Apart from being cut a little by some flying glass, Sarah was physically unscathed.

Please continue to pray for a Refuah Shleimah, a complete and speedy recovery for Moshe Refael ben Aliza Chaya, thank you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eilat Pics

Sorry, they're posted on Shiloh Musings, but here's the link, and you can view them there.


Dieting "Down"

Vacations, especially in hotels, aren't great for dieters. At least in the Dan Panorama, Eilat, there was plenty of salads, as much as you can eat. And I ate so much, two meals a day. The breakfasts were also, "all you can eat," and more. So I'd fill up on salads, and eggs and a little herring, and coffee, of course. One morning I had a few slices of grapefruit, and, as the norm here, I took a plain yogurt out for my lunch. The other part of my lunch was fruit, taken from dinner.

Ahh, and dinner was more salad, if you can imagine such a thing and some chicken and a slice of some other meat and more salad.

So today I didn't eat salad. Not only, because I was all saladed out, full of seven salad meals in four days, but because we didn't have any in the house.

Today I had cooked vegetables, three meals. #1 with tofu, #2 with eggs and #3 with tuna, water-packed of course.

There wasn't any yogurt either, my favorite snack, and the fruit didn't tempt me. So I did a "diet no, no" and just had three meals.

Sorry, it's crooked. I didn't really plan on shooting a "movie." I hadn't realized that the camera was in video mode.

My Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet isn't unrealistically obsessive, so I trust that customer support will be nice.

PS I had about three bites of dessert the whole time, just to prevent cravings.

B"H, Thank G-d, Improvement in Condition of Moshe Refael ben Aliza Chaya

I received an update from Sarah's (Moshe's wife) mother and received permission to post it. Of course, please continue to pray for a complete recovery, Refuah Shleimah, for Moshe Refael ben Aliza Chaya.

Dear Relatives and Friends,

I'm happy to tell you that there has been an improvement in Moshe's condition. They have removed all the horrendous tubes from his mouth and he is now able to talk a little and drink through a straw. His face is all colours of the rainbow with big purple rings around swollen red eyes but it seems that he can see -- albeit with blurred vision -- from both eyes.

Adding to the facial swelling is the fact that he is being given steroids - presumably to reduce the build up of fluid in the sinuses.

They are hoping to operate early next week and are talking about possibly moving him out of the ICU tomorrow.

That's it for now. Thank you all for being with us in your thoughts and prayers,

Thank you

Catching Up On Carnivals

I just finally got a peak, or peek, yes, peek, two e's like eyes, at the latest Havel Havelim. It hadn't been posted early Sunday morning Israel time when the computer was shut down on vacation.

The same goes for
Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog Carnival 85, which I also just got to now.

If I discover that I've missed other carnivals, I'll just update this post.

I still have the pictures to take care of. It's going to be complicated, since I have so many, and they won't fit on just one cd and I also have to do a cd of the wedding we went to last night to give as an "extra" gift to our neighbors.

Sorry For The Politics

When I "invited" my different blogging identities to blog on the "other blogs," I knew that I'd be complicating things a bit. Now I have to check which blog I'm blogging on, and I didn't this morning. I was sure that I was writing on Shiloh Musings, not here on me-ander.

I should have gotten the hint when I discovered that there weren't the right "labels" in the blog "memory," but I was so intent and intense on writing my post, that I just ignored it. So, if you're among the readers who don't want politics, I apologize.

G-d willing, a bit later in the morning, I'll be putting the hundreds of photos and videos, three whatever worth of digital memory, onto cd's, and then I'll try to post some. Now that I'm taking videos on my Canon 620, I'll have to get something stronger than my "one" or "two."

And tomorrow, I'll weigh myself, if my friend is home, and see if my "sort of" following my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet kept my weight from increasing. It's not easy to diet in an "all you can eat" Eilat hotel setting, even "half-board." At least this is Israel, where salads are more than plentiful.

Same Old Ehud Barak

ברק ברח
Barak Barach
Barak Fled

That has been the rallying cry against Ehud Barach oops! Barak ever since he ran for cover instead of helping the wounded at the training accident at Tzehelim Bet and how he ordered our troops to flee Southern Lebanon, which enabled Hizbullah to arm against Israel.

The vast majority of Israelis are disgusted and disappointed by Israel's early withdrawal from Gaza and the pre-mature cessation of Operation Cast Lead, aka the Election Campaign War.

Ironically, Tzachi Hanegbi, whose mantra used to be "Barak Barach," now sounds just like him in his announcement:

"Hamas militants face a simple equation," Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio. "If the [rocket] fire resumes, we will respond with force so strong and overpowering, they will miss the day the Israel Air Force's offensive began." (hat tip IMRA)

Barak's reign as Prime Minister was full of threats like that, but he never followed through, and we ended up with the worst bout of Arab terrorism ever. The media calls it "The Second Intifada," not that I remember any announcemt by the terrorists that they had ended the sic "first" one. There were periodic lulls, like when ocean water recedes between waves.

Ehud Barak was elected during such a lull, and then he so mishandled the subsequent terrorism, emboldening the terrorists by his unilateral campaign promise withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, that most of the country felt under siege. We were forced to get bullet-proof vehicles or travel dressed in heavy bullet-proof vests. My sons were serving in the army at the time, and I was more nervous about their walking in Jerusalem than when they were doing their actual military tasks.

Today, what frightens me is the national amnesia, which has allowed that same Ehud Barak to return to politics as head of the Labor Party and subsequently become Defense Minister. As IDF Chief of Staff, he was instrumental in downgrading the army which caused the many mistakes in Olmert's Lebanese War fiasco of two and a half years ago.

And now, Ehud Barak is willing to accept continued smuggling of arms by Hamas into Gaza. All I can think of is that a deal was made via the Egyptians to keep things "quiet" until after Israeli elections.

Please don't forget that one of the new U.S. President Obama's highest priority Foreign Policy aims is to establish a new Arab country in the very heart of Israel.

My husband and I just spent close to a week on vacation in Eilat, sans internet. That's why I haven't posted recently. We were dependent on TV news, which gave very little real information. Now we're back.

Most Israelis, Jews and concerned people all over the world are shocked that Israel ended Operation Cast Lead without the freeing of Gilad Shalit. What was the real point of that "war?" "War," "operation," "campaign," it doesn't matter what it's called. The important thing is to have a clear goal, and Israel doesn't. Our soldiers are motivated and want to to the job professionally. When we returned to Jerusalem from Eilat, we saw signs all over proclaiming that "the people have the fortitude to support the soldiers on the frontline." Our problem is that we're ruled by weak tired, selfishly ambitious and shortsighted politicians.

G-d is angry with them, and that's why there's no rain. But G-d loves the people, and that's why with all of the rockets and missiles launched at southern Israel, there were so few casualties.

With elections coming up, we have the opportunity to vote for true leaders. I'm voting for Ichud Le'umi, the only party which is uncompromising in its support for the People and Land and State and Security of Israel.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Returned

This blog has been terribly quiet this week, but I'm back now. Nothing's wrong, and nothing was wrong. My husband and I went on vacation in Eilat, sans internet.

We're back, and I had well over 700 letters in my yahoo account and a few hundred in my other one. And, no, I haven't finished going through them.

I'll try tomorrow. And you should see the pictures...

Please Pray for Our Most Recent Terror Victim

A young husband, father from nearby Shvut Rachel was shot in the head by Arab terrorists the other night. His parents live in Shiloh.

Please pray for a Refuah Shleimah, a complete and speedy recovery to:

נא להתפלל לרפואת משה רפאל בן עליזה חיה
Moshe Rafael ben Aliza Chaya

And please let others know.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Down, And Lots More To Go

Yes, I'm sticking to my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet, and I've lost another pound and a half. That's ten and a half pounds so far.

Thank G-d!

This week will provide new challenges, and eventually I'll reveal why.

Please forgive me for not visiting other blogs much or answering all my mail.

Nothing breeds success like success, so I'm feeling very positive about dieting.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Staying Busy By The Computer

I still have a hundred or more letters I've never even checked out, and this coming week will be even more difficult.

It looks like my new Blogging About Losing Weight Carnival is taking off. A nice number of posts have already been sent in.

I have a post in Weight Management and Fitness Forum 33rd Edition. I guess that for me the best way to keep dieting is to get more involved.

There's also the latest Gantseh Megilla to read.

And just a reminder that the Kosher Cooking Carnival will soon have a new edition, so submit your post, please. If you're interested in hosting, please let me know at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Shavua Tov
Have a Great Week

Friday, January 16, 2009

Like "Uppers" for The Computer

We've bee having computer aches and pains. They're slow, crowded etc. Our clunky laptop was finally diagnosed with a stable of Trojan Horses, among other diseases.

The doctor, not our usual maven, came over to fix it. Yes, he's really a doctor, but now he only doctors computers. We've had that computer for a few years, but it was only on internet the last few months. So we never took care of "vaccinating" it against viruses etc.

So now it's all signed up with the free avg, my favorite.

Now this computer, the pc, has other problems, old age. Memory limitations, like its owners. The last time the maven was over he set it up with

It cleans like a hyperactive cleanliness obsessive on "speed." And then for a short while after, the computer acts like it's on "uppers."

I'll be off for Shabbat, and then next week, I'm taking a sort of break from frequent blogging. I'm still over a hundred letters behind.

As long as we're healthy...

Diet Talk

Since I'll be dieting for at least a year, ok the rest of my life, I may as well establish a Diet Blog Carnival, though by the time I send the info to bc,I hope to find a snappier title. How about?

For me, the key to dieting has been the fact that I honestly believe that I can live on the principles I've adopted from the Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet.

Obesity is a super-major problem in today's world. When I was growing up, mid last century, there was only one chain of "large" clothing stores, Lane Bryant, but today it is so easy to find gorgeous clothes in large sizes for both men and women and children.

Even if I reach my "target," meaning lose fifty, yes, 50, pounds, about 22.5 kilograms, I'll still be overweight according to the charts. That's frightening, because I know that soon, I'll be losing less than a pound a week, and there are only 52 weeks in a year, so I have to consider that it may take me about a year and a half to gradually change my body to something it really should be.

I'm only interested in a gradual weight loss, because I want to reach a way of eating, which I can live with and not feel that I'm dieting. That's the key. That's my aim.

The other night, daughter #1 reminded me that I actually have a very small frame, but the extra weight is evenly distributed, so that people who didn't know me before haven't a clue. I mentioned it to someone who only knows me as a fatso, and she was surprised. I then mentioned it to someone who first met me thirty years ago, and her reaction was:

"You were a chatichah, (a knockout.)"

That shook me up, because I had always thought myself fat.

I can't predict the future, but I can learn how to eat less, G-d willing. Now I'll set up the new blog carnival and edit in the submission link. I hope to hear from all sorts of bloggers about losing weight, diets etc. No doubt that many of the links will be ads. I'll make it a separate category.

Here's the link for sending in your story/post!
Please publicize the carnival, thanks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It Didn't Even Hurt

NO, I'm not talking about a medical procedure. I'm talking about signing up for unemployment insurance.

I checked in on the internet, and I did have time, though I needed to go the the Bituach Le'umi, Israel's National Insurance office to make sure I'm covered by my "Sick Fund." I've been unemployed since September 1st. Do the counting quietly to yourself, please.

At the end of September, pushed by daughter #1, who knows about these things from work, I signed up in the "looking for work department," "to get in the system." She told me that then I'm covered from September. At that point I hadn't yet received all the things/forms etc I needed from my previous job.

Time flies, and suddenly, I realized that I ought take the next step. So, as I previously posted, the "goyisherebbitzen" and I cased the joint yesterday.

So this morning, armed with my files, I refound the place, went through security, got on line, had time to sit and crochet and finally met a clerk. He was nice and patient; he told me to fill out some forms I've had since September and then see him without taking a new number. Isn't that nice of him?

So I did, but some forms didn't make sense and my not have been relevant to my status. I only filled out what made sense. Then he told me to sign and said that my sick fun dues would be paid and I'd get some mail. I thanked him and told him how pleasant he was. He gave me a peculiar look. Maybe he's not used to good manners.

Good News-Bad News

The good news is that Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet is offering me more time to lose the enormous amount of weight, which has attached itself to me for about fifteen, yes, 15 years. That means that I'll be boring you, or inspiring you G-d willing, with my weight loss saga for the next...

The bad news isn't all that bad. How can I consider it tragic that a computer is "sick?" Our lunky laptop, which isn't very portable, stopped working last night. Luckily, our baby was home and tried to fix it. I went to bed before the verdict came in.

It's freezing cold, and I have lots to do today...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maybe I Should Start A Dieting Carnival

Yes, I know that I said that I didn't want dieting to dominate my life, but, yes, but...

When I was looking for blog carnivals to send my
Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet posts to, I didn't find any.

Now, considering how many people, and I'm sure that includes bloggers, diet, have dieted or should diet or will at some point diet, why aren't there lots of blog carnivals dedicated to dieting?

Yes, please don't remind me that I need another blog carnival like a hole in the head.

Unexpected Results From Start Fresh Kosher Weight Loss Diet

I'm finishing week five, the last of my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet membership. Besides the nine, or G-d willing more, pounds (over four kilogram) lost, I lost, or gained, something else.

I lost the ability to honestly say:

"I have no idea what I weigh."

If I had weighed myself once, or even twice, if the Start Fresh Customer Service hadn't offered me more than the original week, it wouldn't have made as much of an emotional impact.

I've been this approximate weight for close to fifteen years. It seems to me that suddenly my much smaller than average waist disappeared and I needed "extra large" clothes.

My entire body has changed. I've been weighing more than I did before giving birth to my children, after full-term pregnancies.

After looking at the numbers five times on my neighbor's doctor scale and then recording it on the Start Fresh site, I can no longer pretend:

"I'm overweight, but I'm fine."

Nine pounds are a drop in the bucket. To get to a recommended weight for my height, that's hoping that I'm still the height I was--think osteoporosis--it will probably take a year or two. I will not go on any extreme diet, and I know that soon my weight loss will slow from its present rate.

Of course, it's a shame that in recent years I've gotten myself a nicer wardrobe than ever. That's Murphy kicking in.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Could My Coffeemaker Be Suffering From Hardening of the Arteries?

Recently, it has been taking much longer for my morning coffee to "filter." I wanted to say "perc," but it's not a percolator. I guess I'm showing my age via my vocabulary.

Israel has very hard water, no, not frozen hard, filled with minerals. Kettles usually get that white mineral coating, so I'm wondering if something like that could be happening to my coffeemaker. If that's the case, is there any safe way of "clearing it?"

Thanks for your ideas. Please pass this post/link around to any food lists or blogs or sites. I'd hate to dump a perfectly sound appliance, just because it's aging.

All I Needed Was Sleep!

By 4:30am this morning, I was wide awake, but I did start my going to bed preparations at 9pm, a couple of hours earlier than usual. And now, 7:30am, I finished posting a slew of posts to Shiloh Musings. The third wash is in the machine, and a bit later, I'll hang them all up.

I have lots to do. My new Israeli passport came in the mail, and I picked it up the other night, even though the "post office" wasn't officially open. G-d was good to me. The woman in charge was on the same bus going home, and when I asked her when exactly it would be open the next day, she offered to open it on the spot and give me the passport.

Next is to make an appointment for my US passport.

I also have to finish signing up for unemployment, which I should have done months ago, but it took a long while to get all the stuff from "former job." I've been signing in monthly as "looking for work." So I'm "in the system."

I ought to start getting rid of all my English teaching books, since I don't have any private students, and I can't see myself going back to work. I don't think anyone wants to hire me, and I really don't miss the job. Actually, I'm surprised at how little I miss it.

My new hobby is volunteer pr for A Package From Home. I've been wondering about the various online video options. I had trouble setting them up on youtube, so I got them on yideoz, and now I heard of WEJEW from Sharon Katz. Any words of wisdom from you readers?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Too Little Sleep

I haven't slept enough recently. I feel myself fading. Even though one of my favorite TV shows may be on tonite, I think that my place in in bed, nice and early.

OK, I still have to put in a wash and put some things away. I was up at 4am to be able to leave at 6:20.

Today's course in Matan was unreal. Shani Taragin talked about Yeshiyahu, the Prophet. She stood there, hand on the mic, sans notes, talking 10 miles an hour. I was impressed. Then I went with a friend to Barbara Silverman of A Package From Home. After that I walked through town, then the shuk (Machane Yehuda) and then to the bus station and home via bus.

I've been on the computer too much, getting into frustrating foul ups. But that's another story.

Another Pound Down

I'm another pound thinner than I was when I started the Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet!

I'm now into week #5, and I've internalized most of the lists of what and how much I can eat each day. I also know that if I eat all the carbohydrates now permitted, I won't lose weight.

Last night, I was late in meeting my husband, sons and niece at the "Eema Restaurant." That was good, since I missed all the pre-meal nosherei, t'china, chumus, pita, cooked salads, etc. I just had them order chicken breasts and fresh salad for me. Maybe I shouldn't have had some of my sons' beer. Consider it my carbs for the meal.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The 200th Havel Havelim-- Celebrating Big Time

Jack had envisioned a different celebration of the 200th Havel Havelim, but when he looks back, he'll see that he has really been celebrating these past two weeks in his almost 30 and still counting war updates.

Jblogging has come of age, when we're considered part of the Israeli media efforts. We may be "hobbyists," non-professionals, but our journalism experience and skills can't be denied. Thanks to Soccer Dad, the visionary jblogger, who first came up with the idea of a Jewish blog carnival, we know each other, or each other's blogs.

Most of us have been surprised at the directions our blogs have taken, and the various star jbloggers have changed; some disappearing entirely. Personally I never expected my political blog, Shiloh Musings, to have so many others blogging on it, but I'm happy to see it more a magazine, than just online vanity press. Especially now, during the Operation Cast Lead, it's an advantage that you can read Sara, Nitzan and Esther, Netivot on Shiloh Musings.

As a group, we do have impact, and that's community, the word used by many during last summer's jblog conference.

Don't forget that jblogging isn't just about war and Israel. It's also about whatever we (Jews) do or think or eat. Don't forget the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Send in your posts, please, not just recipes, halacha, customs, stories etc. And there's JPIX; send your links, too.

To be precise, thanks, Jack!

Not Keeping Up

I haven't been able to "crack" a hundred in my emails. Last night I found over two hundred, and I haven't been under a hundred for awhile, so if you've sent something and I haven't answered, nothing personal. I'm just overwhelmed, over-stressed.

I also haven't been visiting blogs, so again, nothing personal.

The good news is that I've lost another pound on my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet . That makes it 9 pounds or just over 4 kilo since started a month ago. One more week in the basic program.

These food tips from the NY Times seem mostly good, but I'm surprised that New Yorkers rely on canned pumpkin, when we get a better version of the fresh product here in Israel.

Most of my posting is on Shiloh Musings.

Yes, you can blame the war.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

No One Starves At A Football Game

It's easy to keep to my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet when I'm home, but, as all dieters know, it's much harder when you're away or traveling.

Thursday afternoon, too early for a real dinner, I took the bus to Jerusalem to see the
AFI Football game. I knew that I wouldn't have time for dinner, and after the game it would be too late to eat. So, I had both a good breakfast and a good lunch, protein, cooked vegetables, salad and some vegetable soup. For dinner I had my snack of a yogurt and apple in the bus.

Luckily, the excitement of the game kept hunger away. I had no desire to eat the popcorn and brisket sandwiches. But I had a sip of something to keep me warm.

I went to sleep as soon as I got home.
Now it's Saturday night, after Shabbat, and even though I did keep to the diet restrictions, I feel heavy. I don't think I should eat bread. Or it could be the fact that I got no exercise, less than usual.
I'll end with the football movies I put up. There's lots more, but they'll go up later. Hopefully, I'll get the player to post from his computer, since his is stronger and faster, and mine is old and slow. (I hope there aren't any major typos. Blogger claims it's perfect, "no spelling errors," and I know that's not so. I'll try to correct.)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Worth The Frozen Toes and Swolen Fingers

Pictures and youtube in a later post. I'm updating my youtube with some great movies.

What we don't do for our kids...

Last night we finally made it to Kraft Stadium to see our baby play football. He's a star, you wouldn't expect anything else, defense player on the Jerusalem Big Blue Lions Tackle AFI Football Team.

Honestly, football is a dangerous brutal game, and the medics are kept busy. Ambulances wait by the exit, and injured players hop in, wielding their crutches, to cheer on their teammates. So is that the place for a neurotic, hysterical Jewish mother/grandmother?

Of course, I love my son! He looks great in his uniform, and I'm not going to post identifying features, because otherwise he'll disown me. You'll just have to guess, once the pictures are posted.

Just please remind me next time to get real thermal socks to go in my boots and a blanket to sit on. Last night I sat on my scarf, luckily I brought my really wide one, and thermal gloves. I can't control the camera buttons wearing them, so I wore my thinner ones. I'll have to try the leather, which can turn pages when it's cold in shul.

Strangely, the still photos came out dark, but the videos are bright and clear, taken with my Canon 620.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

...And I Didn't Even Have Time To Crochet!

As dangerous as war is, like the present Election Campaign War aka Operation "Cast Lead," life goes on here in Israel.

My two passports, the American and the Israeli are due to expire soon. Yes, that means that I have to renew them, so on Monday, I had my picture taken at my usual photo-printing place on King George Street, Jerusalem. No surprise that the requirements for each are totally different. Israel is much easier, a pale blue background, and I could sit there smiling happily, knowing that making aliyah as a young bride decades ago was a wise move.

For my American pictures, the photographer reversed the background to white and told me to take off my large earrings (shades of the demands I remember from my high school yearbook picture) and make sure that my ears show. He also suggested that I wipe off my smile, so that the picture would look more like a mug shot. I followed orders, since he said it was based on other customers' experiences.

I checked out how to get a new passport on the Israeli Ministry of Interior site. There is an option, for less money, to do it online, but I'm a "people person" and always feel more comfortable f2f. So yesterday, armed with the pictures, my dying passport and the hat I'm crocheting-so my expected wait would be pleasant and productive, I traveled to Jerusalem. I left when convenient, not believing in getting there "early." I figured that the middle of opening time would probably be best, and I was right. The security line to enter took less time than it takes to get into the bus station, and that was with "hand" checking, not x-rays.

I walked up the very long two flights of stairs, the equivalent of three or four by today's standards. Decades ago, a schlepped baby carriages up and down those stairs, and davka now there's an elevator.

I asked for a passport form from the "information clerk," who also gave me my number. I sat down in the fairly empty room, saw that there were less than ten ahead of me and quickly tried to fill out the form. I had barely finished when a clerk called out asking if there was "anyone for passports." I raised my hand and she told me where to stand.

While I was waiting, behind just one person, I overheard another clerk trying to explain to an uncomprehending English-speaker that he needed an additional document, so, of course, I butted in. They were both grateful, since it was getting frustrating for them.

When he finished, I asked the woman if "she did passports," and she said yes, and very quickly it was all done and paid for. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive in the mail.

From entering to leaving the building took less than half an hour. Now, I have to make my appointment, via the internet, for my US passport. I can't imagine that being as pleasant.