Friday, July 31, 2009


Yes, I know there may be problems with the videos I put up. They will be fixed, so keep checking. They seem to work on firefox but not explorer.

It's Friday morning, and I have a lot to do. I did laundry, finally, after the nine days we had to avoid it. Actually, laundry is my favorite of the housework chores.

I still have to cook for Shabbat and clean. No, I don't clean like this guy.

I try not to waste water. Shabbat is approaching. It's really time to sing.

Organizing My Way To Success

G-d willing, I should add. And I mustn't forget to thank yahoo and its calendar.

I set up a couple of daily reminders which appear at the top of my inbox every morning. One is to send an update to Yehudit, my Life Coach. I've been doing this for a couple of months, and it's very helpful.

As I've blogged before, I start my day at the computer, drinking water and then coffee and then "eliminating." I get up very early, so that I can do all this without pressure. Once I read that you must "eliminate" old food before adding new each day. It makes sense. Constipation is a cause of all sorts of medical problems. People who are too busy and too rushed slow down their biological systems and clog their bodies with toxic poisons.

This gives me relaxed computer time for emails and blogging.

Over the past few years, like many closet/amateur/would-be writers, I've begun quite a few books and never finished any. One got close, but then a computer virus eradicated it.

Recently, with the encouragement of my coach, I prioritized and decided which book should get the focus. But I still had trouble forcing myself to write. Procrastination is my middle name!

Then it hit, I just need to set up another daily reminder. So now, I try to follow it and write a few lines, barely a page, sometimes more and sometimes less, but I write. As soon as I finish my daily lines/chapter, I email it to my gmail account, which automatically goes to my yahoo, too. That way it's stored and saved.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Strange Dreams

It wasn't just being spooked by the 9th of Av, the serious 25 hour Jewish fast day.

I decided to sleep later than usual, and due to the heat, I transferred to the couch. One peculiar dream was about a dog, that had attached itself to me. I kept trying to signal people to get the dog away, since I'm quietly phobic, but the dog was somehow under me. Maybe I felt the leather couch.

Another dream had something to do with going back to teaching. Yes, it seems like I am, at least for a few weeks as a substitute. I got a call from one of the largest girls high schools in the country. It's conveniently nearby. And they need someone to take a few classes. At first they asked for two, and then they wanted four. I declined, because four are too many. I'm game for three, but now we're negotiating about which three.

I need the money, and I'm sure that my lack of energy is a result of the fact that I'm bored and have nothing much to do. Energy generally expands with need... up to a point, like a balloon. There's a limit. So, we'll see what happens. As I said, it's just for a few months. And the traveling conditions are much easier and the school is tops. A friend reminded me that in my previous school the fact that the kids didn't work was draining. When kids work, it's more stimulating.

I still want to continue with the diet coaching.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today's Pre and Post Fast Super Vegetable Soup

Nutrition experts say that it's best to eat lots of carbohydrates before fasting, and since the toughest fast of the Jewish year in the Northern Hemisphere starts tonight, I decided to change my "diet" and eat in accordance.

Tonight is the 9th of Av, and yes, it's a 25 hour fast. It starts before dusk and ends the next night in darkness.

I've been varying my vegetable soups recently. I made a pasta-less Minestrone three weeks ago. My classic vegetable soup is based on split peas, but honestly, it doesn't matter what exactly is put in it, it's always delicious and fantastically easy to make.

You don't need an exact recipe.

Today's soup is with light brown lentils. There's a brand pre-cleaned (bugless and stoneless) so I didn't have to spend time checking. The lentils cook up very quickly.

In one covered pot I put the lentils will boiling water and had them cook for awhile. When they began to soften I turned off the flame. Then I cut some onions and carrots and sauteed them in oil in another, larger pot. When they began to soften, I added the lentils, liquid, more boiling water, some sweet potato and a couple of stalks of celery. I also added some tomato paste for extra flavor, and then some salt and pepper.

After about 40 minutes I turned it off.

That's it!

Why Blame The Cabby?

Every few weeks, or months, especially in the summer there are reports here in Israel of horrendous tragedies, children, babies dying or becoming brain-damaged after being left for hours, forgotten, in their parents' car. On occasion, it's a van (school bus) driver, but generally the story is of parents, each thought that the other had brought the sleeping baby in the house and put him/her in the bed.

Years ago, in the days when either there wasn't car airconditioning or windows were still left open, people would hear the child crying, or if the kid was asleep, the car air was safer. Also, years ago you didn't have a carseat for every kid up to school age.

There's news now of a Boston cabby who drove a family home from the airport in one of those large bus-like vans. He checked as well as he could from the outside and trusted the family to take all their valuables. Yep! They left a sleeping baby. He's in legal hot water, and the parents aren't.

I'm sure that they counted their suitcases...

Could It Be The Coffee?

Every morning, about this time, as I sit in the den at the computer, I begin to feel hotter and sweatier than when in the steam room. Could It Be The Coffee?

I drink two very giant mugs of coffee every morning as I type/blog/answer email etc. This is good coffee, made in one of those electric filter coffeemakers. I use good Turkish (Israeli) coffee. Then I add some milk and just a bit of sugar.

Then sometime after starting mug #2, there's a heatwave.

During the day I don't drink coffee, just water, so it's not like I'm a total/true coffee addict. On Shabbat I drink a large mug of instant coffee.

Even though my hair is pretty short, I feel like I've just been shampooed, all wet. And even when I walk too much during the day, I don't feel this sweated up, f'shvit'd.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tagged: "Seven Things I Love "

They got me! Snoopy the Goon, that is. And now I have to play the Seven Things I Love game. And after I reveal those seven truths, I have to tag seven other bloggers.

Let's start:

  1. I love my kids and grandkids, and if I was in the mood to cheat, I'd just list their names, and I've have more than a total of seven. But though that may be OK on a technicality, since most people do mention their family, I understand that we're supposed to list "things" and not people...

  2. I love it when people tell me that I've lost weight, which I have. I really get a kick out the those who tell me: "Enough is enough." My normal weight used to be much less than I weigh now, and I was considered fat. OK, overweight then.

  3. Let's stick with the ego stuff, just a bissel more. I love it when people claim that they don't believe I'm as old as I am. But the bus drivers haven't refused me the senior ticket yet, so maybe I do look my age. (Women start the discount younger than men.)

  4. This is getting harder. Maybe I should have just listed my children and grandchildren... OK, more ego stuff. I love it when people tell me that they read my blog.

  5. Why am I writing such selfish stuff? I love exercising in the water. The Nine Days are tough. It's the middle of the summer and the pool is closed!

  6. I love it that there's a pool very close to my house. It's open only three months a year, but that's better than not at all and having to travel all year long.

  7. I love living in Shiloh and feeling the Holiness here and I also love my neighbors. B"H, I'm blessed.

Now, for the seven lucky bloggers, who I hope will forgive me, please!!

Here in HP, Ilana-Davita, Esser Agaroth, Seraphic Secret, Isramom, Beneath the Wings and The Rebbetzin's Husband.

Of course, anyone else who'd like to do this is invited!


My Yiddish isn't all that good, but anyone who knows even a minimal amount of Yiddish, and you don't have to be Jewish, will understand the meaning.

Today's hot, and even if it's not a scorcher, I shouldn't have done so much walking. Three, too long to call them strolls, walks in Jerusalem.

And of course I haven't been drinking enough, nor eating enough. I can feel my body protesting. Even my knees, which have been enjoying the lighter load, 30 pounds (13 kilo) less, aren't happy.

And in 24 hours we start the 25 hour Tisha B'Av fast. I had better start rehydrating pronto!

Is It Just My Computer?

Yahoo mail is acting peculiar. Sometimes I send a letter and end up with an empty page, rather than the sent notice. Or the clicks just don't react.

Tired and...

I'm really tired today. Yesterday was busier and fuller than usual. I couldn't eat and drink at my usual frequencies. I'm probably a bit dehydrated, too.

My body needs major refill, and it's just a day before Tisha B'Av starts. One must be very well hydrated before a twenty-five (25) hour fast.

I have to buy a slew of gifts for the many weddings we're invited to in the next couple of weeks.

I was offered a temporary job... It won't be easy, but I need the money. It doesn't start yet.

I've been facebooking more than previously. My computer doesn't have the strength/memory whatever to keep so many programs open all the time.

On with the day...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Waiting Bug

Veteran readers know how much I hate waiting. I've used the wasted time to take some great pictures. Today we went to the Knesset. I couldn't use my camera inside, but I love the shots from the outside.

It's late and I'm tired, so please just click here to see them on Shiloh Musings.

Good night!

Strangely Slanted

My political blog, Shiloh Musings, is suddenly all italicized. I have no idea how or why. I haven't played with the template, and only I have template/editing/owner rights.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

School Debut, HH #227

Check out Jewschool's Debut Havel Havelim! They certainly passed the test!
Now that's one "degree." There are two more for a PhD in Jblogging, the Kosher Cooking Carnival and JPIX. Hosting all three is the elite of jblogging. Give it a try!

Starting The Week With A Bissel Visiting

I haven't done this sort of post for a long, long time. It's a round up of links to other blogs. Please visit and send my regards.

Veteran jbloggers must remember the great jblogging couple, the bagelblogger and his baleboosteh. Well, they have news. They began JPIX, after I mused how it would be nice to have a jpblog picture carnival. Consider this a reminder to send in your posts. I'm, G-d willing, hosting the next one.

A new jblogger on the block, the creative Jewish mom shows us how she celebrated her daughter's 7th birthday. Mazal Tov!

Leora blogs about famous farewells. It's not about Rhett Butler. Read the comments.

RivkA prefers shaving it off, rather than "extreme thinning." Refuah shleimah RivkA bat Tzirrel, and while you're praying, please add another few names, Tinok ben Liba Faiga, Neomi Rivka bat Bluma, Pnina bat Sofia Zlata. AMEN!

Irina's in Solitary Confinement studying for the Bar. Good luck!

Jacob Da Jew wonders if he should censor his kids' music.

Aussie Dave posts Reel Life in Gaza, not your usual Gaza story. It reminds me of a fact few people remember or know. Until the time of the Hebron riots/massacre in 1929, there was a Jewish community in Gaza. Gaza's history includes Jews; it wasn't a totally Arab city until very recently.

Harry Potter fans should enjoy Ya'aqov's post.

I prefer real life, like in Baka Diary.

This proposal to supplement the budget of a home for the severely retarded in Israel is worth reading.

Although this isn't Seraphic Secret's most recent post, it leads into one I really like.

Ricki's Mom is also a "A “Real” Grandmother," a fact she rarely blogs about.

Last week was pretty busy in Shiloh. We had a very special guest, and I had a nice group for Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh.

Shavua Tov
Have a Great Week

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Naturally Not Natural

Sometimes it gets rather awkward when I give my opinions. I'm not very subtle.

A recent pet peeve concerns the use of the term "natural" for things which don't seem natural to me.

I know people who "juice" their foods, rather just cutting, biting, chewing and cooking them. They claim they eat "natural." I consider "juicing" to be unnatural, a way of processing food. Extracting the juice and throwing out the fiber, the roughage isn't natural.

They need enormous quantities of fruits and vegetables and sprouts etc to make a cup of juice. Naturally, that's a waste of good food.

Some of those same people do that colon cleaning. I don't think it's natural to do repeated regular enemas.

Maybe if they ate naturally whole foods, instead of juicing, they wouldn't need artificial methods to empty their colons...

So naturally, I realized that my friend was getting rather upset, so I told her that I'm stupid and I see this very simplistically, naturally....

Miserably Hot

I am so miserably hot. I feel like my skin is coated with slimy glue. For years we had neither shades nor fans, and I was perfectly comfortable.

I am so miserably hot. I hate to complain,but my clothes are stuck to me.

I know that there are climates much hotter and much, much more humid.

So, please forgive my complaints.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Nine Days, No Swimming!

I could certainly use a good swim, even if the water's cold. But it's the "nine days" and swimming isn't on the menu.

All the clothes have been laundered before Rosh Chodesh, the first of the month of Av.

I feel like I'm swimming in sweat, all wet. Not pleasant. No, the house isn't air conditioned, just a fan and the shades are down. And the ceiling fan doesn't work. And I think that a mosquito attacked me last night. And my head is wet, although I just had my hair cut pretty short before the Three Weeks.

I'm wondering if I should just let the strawberries die, dry up. So much water and I can't remember the last time we actually had some to harvest...

Sorry for the summer kvetches and rants...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Good News - Bad News Scenario

The good news is that they (we/the shul members) are renovating and enlarging the neighborhood synagogue. The bad news is... well... yeah, that's right... They opened up the wall to make (too many) windows, and Shabbat is less than 24 hours away and there aren't any windows.

I have a couple of shawls in my "box" along with the Holy Books I use for praying. I hope I'll be warm enough. If not, it's a short walk home.

Since they began the renovations and took out the toilets, our home has one of the closest.

After years of complaining that there aren't enough seats, I can't complain that there's building going on.

The "Nine Days" Cooking

This is the time on the Jewish Calendar when vegetarians lord it over, not having to make any changes nor adjustments to their menus and ingredients. During the days leading up to Tisha B'Av, the 9th of the Jewish Month of Av, meat and poultry are eliminated from the menu as a sign of mourning for the destruction of our Holy Temples.

Shabbat is the exception, meaning that either we have to cook meat and poultry in exact quantities or foods which can be easily frozen. An additional tip would be to make sure that all the side dishes are totally parve, so the left-overs can be served with dairy meals during the days leading up to Tisha B'Av.

Considering that more and more people are discovering that they're allergic to dairy/milk and/or lactose intolerant, lots of cheese dishes aren't the solution to "what to serve during the nine days." Celiac, a wheat allergy, is also becoming more well-known, so not everyone can fill up on breads, pastas and dough-based recipes.

That leaves us with lentils, rice etc, unless you're on a low carb diet like I am. Don't forget the fish and tofu. But tofu, and other soy proteins, aren't recommended for all. They mimic female hormones, so males, especially young boys shouldn't eat it too often, and little girls shouldn't either, since it may contribute to early puberty. I find that I can only handle very small portions, or I get stomach pain.

Fish, vegetables and salad are looking better and better. So are eggs. Recently, I've come across more and more articles contradicting what has been popular diet/health theories of the last fifty years. Eggs and full-fat dairy are now recommended. Eggs are the perfect complete protein. They're filling, nutritious and have iron, too. Yes, you must eat the complete egg to enjoy its health benefits.

Experts are now realizing that low and zero fat dairy aren't really good for you. They leave an aching hunger causing binging, and if you don't eat enough cholesterol, your body will over-produce it. We're satisfied eating much less, when there's fat as an integral part of the food.

Fatty fish are credited with reducing the chances of dementia. A small portion is very filling.

There's plenty to eat during the Nine Days. There's no need to fill up on breads and other carbohydrates. Base your meals on fish, eggs and full-fat dairy. Full-fat dairy is less irritating to those who are sensitive to milk products.

Remember, there's nothing natural about skimmed milk and zero percent yogurt. Many of the fat reduced products have more sugars, like from corn syrup.

Read ingredients carefully. Most yogurts aren't just fermented milk. The fewer ingredients the better!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


There's a certain type of flower, as soon as I sense one whiff of its fragrance, my mind wanders.

Yes, that's the flower. I remember it in all different colors. And it wasn't surrounded by the stones you see in this picture.


There was lots of sand. When I was growing up, Jones Beach, the enormous complex/series of beaches in eastern Long Island, New York, was full of those flowers. Even today, I smell those flowers, my body expects the odor of a sea breeze to join the sweetness. When only dust joins, my body is disappointed. It is such a physical memory.

KCC, Illustrated to Perfection

A very tasteful Kosher Cooking Carnival has been posted in HP, NJ, by Leora.

There are lots of delicious dishes, perfectly presented.
The Kosher Cooking Carnival is a monthy kosher food carnival, which floats around the jblogs. We serve a lot more than just recipes. You can find (and submit) posts about Jewish Law (hilchot kashrut,) kosher restaurant and cookbook reviews, traditions, menus etc.
Next month Chana is hosting KCC. Since it'll be posted a couple of weeks before Rosh Hashannah, it would be a good idea to send in holiday food and traditions, especially the growing tradion of the edible "Yihi ratzon" play on words.
If you're interested in hosting a future edition, please write to me:
Chodesh Tov
Have A Great Month!

Another Birthday Dinner

Sixty sure is fun! My cousin and her husband took us out to celebrate at Olive & Fish, a Jerusalem restaurant.

Jerusalem Israel


Next year we'll both have our 40th anniversaries, five days apart. We ought to start planning how to celebrate forty years of marriage.

Multi-Lingual, What Happened To Our Brains?

There was a time when being multi-lingual was the norm for many, especially Jews. That's why there were always some Jews in the ships that explored the great oceans, like in Columbus's crew.

The more languages a person knows, the easier it is to understand and learn newer ones. And the younger a person is when he/she learns, the easier it is.

When a child is exposed to multiple languages from day one, they are part of his/her speech, basic linguistic development, not "extra" languages.

Just like the medical experts who interfered so in infant feeding that few babies since the twentieth century are given mother's milk until old enough to eat regular food, modern educators and speech therapists made all sorts of rules and charts and insisted that it's "too difficult" for a baby or young child to absorb multiple languages, creating a mono-lingual society.

Suddenly, multilingualism became a rarity. The children of multilingual parents who grew up hearing only one language only found learning a second language in school impossibly difficult.

When I was growing up in mid-twentieth century U.S.A., learning a foreign language was considered "only for the brightest." It was rare to be exposed to a foreign language until high school. When that's the case, it is hard to learn a second language.

It's easiest and best to make sure children grow up on more than one language. It's a painless way of learning. The brain develops in a more flexible way, making it easier to learn more and more languages.

Don't listen to the "experts" who claim that it's best to perfect one before learning another. They're wrong. Even children of lower than average intelligence can be bilingual if that's what they're exposed to.

My five kids all had different patterns in their early speech development. My oldest kids heard mostly English and just a bit of Hebrew when we were out. The younger ones heard mostly Hebrew, except from me. At times they "stopped" using English and only spoke Hebrew to me, but by adolescence they were all bilingual.

A Health "How To..."

One of my articles is included in the listing of "Health Fitness How to..." There are quite a few other interesting ones.

You never know where you can pick up good ideas and information. So, take a look.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sparkling Minestrone Vegetable Soup

According to Jewish Law and Lore there are two fast days in the summer, and I love to break my fast on vegetable soup.

Usually, I make a split pea soup, but I didn't have any peas on hand. Instead I found a package of mixed beans, which, as you can see, included:
kidney beans
lima beans

I checked them for bugs and stones and then left them to soak in hot, boiling water. After it cooled, I poured out the water and added more. I've read that beans are digested better if you change the water. Whether it's true or not, I don't know.

Since the beans began to get soft, it was time for stage two of the cooking. I added more boiling water to the beans and began cooking them for real, not just soaking.

In a larger pot, I put sliced onions, carrots and squash and sauteed them in vegetable oil.

Once the vegetables were partially cooked, I poured in the beans, plus the bean liquid and cooked everything together.

Since I'm trying to cut the carbs, I added some tomato paste for extra flavor. That gave me a low carbohydrate Minestrone style vegetable soup. I added whatever seasonings smelled right to me, like salt, pepper, garlic, parsley. These are all standards I keep in my pantry.

It's funny how the soup sparkles. I guess the flash played on the oil. It really tasted good, and my husband even complimented me on it.

The best thing is that it is very easy to make.

I Hope I Fixed My Washing Machine

Last week, one night, as is my custom, I put a "heavy wash," (one that needs the full pre-wash cycle) in my washing machine and went to sleep. In the morning, I turned it off, opened the door and water began pouring out.

Bad news. I quickly closed the door and tried to get it in the drain and spin cycle, but it was too heavy to spin and no water came out of the hose.

Over the next few hours, I "wagged" the hose in a threatening way and kept spinning the dial, urging it to behave, expel the water, rinse and spin away. In addition I opened and cleaned out the filter, while tons of dirty, soapy, smelly water flooded the house.

Eventually, I was satisfied that the wash was laundered to a level of cleanliness to be safely hung in the sun.

Then, I let the machine convalesce a few days before attempting another wash. This was easier. The hose only needed a bit of wagging until it filled with dirty water, sort of like neurological "patterning."

So, I didn't call a repairman. The past few washes were uneventful, thank G-d. Today, I have a lot of laundry to do. It's the last laundry day for almost two weeks. According to the Jewish Calendar, tonight heralds Rosh Chodesh Av, the beginning of the nine days leading up to our most serious day of mourning, Tisha (the 9th of) B'Av. The Ashkenaz (European) Jewish custom is not to launder until noontime on the 10th of Av. Our local swimming pool will also be closed for regular swimming for those ten days.

Refuah Shleimah for A Baby and...

Please pray to G-d for:
a refuah shleimah
a complete recovery
for a special baby
Tinok ben Leebah Feigah
G-d willing, surgery will be successful and baby healthy
and also for may friends
Nomy Rivka bat Bluma
Pnina bat Sofia Zlatta

Monday, July 20, 2009

Better Food Pyramid

Not everyone does well, keeps a healthy weight, on the classic which is based on carbohydrates. This food pyramid is based on low carbs, on vegetables.

Eating Disorders, Not For Me!

I've been rather amused at the concern of many of my neighbors since I've been losing weight. I'm not suffering from an illness or eating disorder. Read here about one man's long term eating problem.

I've been overweight for about fifteen years, if not longer. Even after giving birth to five kids, full nine month plus pregnancies and normal sized babies, I had a very small waist. Then, suddenly it seemed, my waist was gone and my clothes didn't fit properly.

I had always prided myself on being able to belt my dresses within a week of giving birth, and suddenly something was wrong.

People began telling me that it would be more flattering to hide my waist under long, full tops. Soon after I discovered the "fat lady stores" where I could buy clothes so large I didn't have to worry that I'd stretch them or outgrow them. That was the beginning of my "acceptance" of the new me. I have no idea why I didn't fight the bulge.

Over the years I tried various exercises and fitness routines, but I didn't try diet.

Even last winter, when I was offered the free diet, I wasn't willing to admit that it's all in what we eat.

In a sense I don't consider myself "on a diet," because as I've said before:
"Dieting is a temporary solution to a permanent problem."

  • I don't eat diet food.
  • I still have sugar with my coffee.
  • I eat regular yogurt and drink regular milk.
  • I eat chicken with its skin.
  • I eat frequently and don't allow myself to get hungry.
  • I do limit my protein, fats and fruit each day.
  • But I have enough fruit, generally three servings, so that my body has plenty of sugar in it.
  • I've eliminated high glycemic carbohydrates.
  • I get my carbs from cooked vegetables and fruit.
  • I eat lots of cooked vegetables and raw salads.
  • I'm not hungry, nor do I feel "deprived."
  • I enjoy my food!

I've been counseling people who want to lose weight. Contact me at shilohmuse at gmail dot com

Some people don't like my method, because it's "too easy." I like it, because I can live on it. All those strict, painful diets cause people to flee and go off it. What's the point?

Israeli Restaurant Site

We were looking for a place to go for dinner with my cousin and her husband. It's part of my expanded 60th birthday celebrations.

As part of the search, my husband found this site on the internet. It's a general site/source, and not all the featured restaurants are kosher. But they do indicate which are and what sort of kashrut standards. You can also check out the menu and specials etc.

The listing is pretty complete, unlike eluna which demands payment from the restaurants. I was also searching the internet and discovered other sites, but they hadn't been updated for years. A lot of information was out of date.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Friends Need Your Prayers

Please pray
Refuah Shleimah
A complete recovery
Nomy Rivah bat Bluma
and also for
Pnina bat Sofia Zlatta
Thank You,
Tizku L'Mitzvot
May you be blessed with more mitzvot

You don't have like Harry Potter to...

... read Jack's latest Havel Havelim!

Sometimes I think I'm one of the only people in the world who hasn't even read a paragraph of it. But... I always read Havel Havelim! You should, too!

There's Nothing Like Dieting To Make People Gain Weight!

I used to refuse to even think of dieting for just that reason. Say the word, and I was hungry!

Then I learned the trick, adjusted the diet I got from Start Fresh and I began to lose weight. I sure don't feel like I'm dieting. Of course, there are things I don't eat, but I don't feel deprived refusing them. I eat so many other foods which fill me up and keep me satisfied.

I'm not the only person touting the method. I find more and more articles refuting the old mantra which proclaimed:

"The best way to lose weight is to keep your mouth shut. Don't eat."

Now, it's:

"Eat, and eat frequently! Just eat the right foods in the right proportions."

Veteran dieters have trouble with the idea that they shouldn't suffer. I see that among the women I counsel. That's what makes diet coaching so challenging.

You must eat enough proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates to lose weight. And you must eat every few hours, like a newborn baby. And newborns should eat every two hours most of the time, like many babies demand. The four hour schedule which many of us were forced on may have set us up for our present weight problems. Even three hours, for many infants, isn't frequent enough.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

About Those Google Ads...?

I'm just wondering. Is it worth signing up for an AdSense Account? I'd like to know if people actually make money from the google ads.


Friday, July 17, 2009

I Can't Divide Myself In Thirds

This Shabbat any good social Shiloh citizen must be in three places at the same time.

In the main Mishkan Tabernacle Synagogue, one of the youngest (or the youngest) of a large family will be Bar Mitzvah. In the Hesder Yeshiva, there will be another Bar Mitzvah. This one will read in his traditional Yemenite way, even though on ordinary Shabbatot they doven with us in the very Askenazi shul. And in our small neighborhood shul in my backyard, there will be the Bar Mitzvah, delayed by seventy years, of a neighbor who's the patriarch of a three generation Shiloh clan. If I have the story right, he grew up in Scotland. He prepared for his Bar Mitzvah on time, but just before the special date the Germans began bombing, and all the children were evacuated to safety. Better late than never, even seventy years.

So, besides all the Torah reading, each family is making a Kiddush, a special snack/meal afterwards. There's no way we can get to all of them.

Mazal Tov!
Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have A Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

I Don't Croc

You'll never find Crocs on my feet. I never bought them when they were the rage, and now it looks like the company is doing badly.

They were highly recommended, and I did try a pair on, but they suit neither my feet nor my walk.

They've been all the rage in Israel, the genuine and the copies. I need a shoe which stays on my feet, no dragging and no "flip flops."

My dancing career was in bare feet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shopping In My Closet

Losing weight is a way of decluttering the body, but sometimes it causes the house to get fuller, especially the closets. It's so exciting to be forced to buy new clothes, because the old ones look wonderfully gigantic.

But what can we do with the clothes? What can we do with the gorgeous clothes, the clothes that made being obese almost fun?

Luckily, I have a friend who has been shopping from my closet. Today she and her husband popped in for some coffee and brunch (for her and me.) I gave her a bag of tops. There's no need for me to keep them. It would be best to start replacing all the big clothes. G-d willing, when my weight stops dropping and stabilizes. Maybe by then I'll have more money.

It's so nice to give presents!


Lately, the past few years, some friends of my generation are beginning to move into smaller homes. In one case, a youngish widow made her house into two apartments and rents out one for added income and reduced upkeep.

Others are talking about doing similar things. Neighbors a bit older than us just moved to Jerusalem and are looking to sell their house in Shiloh. Their rented apartment is a fraction of the size of the house, but the house had become a burden.

Yesterday I visited a friend who sold her enormous Jerusalem apartment for a smaller one, but one that has a garden, and she is very happy in her new home.

Other friends have been enlarging their home to make it comfortable for all the married kids and the grandkids to visit. And other friends wonder if they should just start visiting more, since it's hard to fit the next generation in the house.

Life goes on...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

JPIX and KCC Reminder, Two For The Price of One!


If anyone's interested in hosting a Kosher Cooking Carnival, please email me shilohmuse at yahoo dot com --thanks!

And while we're at it, don't forget to submit posts to HH

Nurture vs Nature. Are Boys Born Boys and Girls Born Girls?

In the 1960's the rise of Feminism pushed the question:

Are we brainwashing girls to be feminine and boys to be masculine?

It became very poplar and politically correct to give boys dolls and girls trucks or at least have both types of toys available for children.

A friend of mine, raised in very PC California, worked in an infant to three years old day care center. She religiously made sure that both types of toys were available for all the kids. Inevitably the boys played with the trucks and tools and the girls played with the dolls and kitchen equipment.

My grandson has two, not all that much, older big sisters, so there are plenty of dolls and all the feminine paraphernalia and accessories available. He loves cars, trucks and trains. He'll break a crayon, put one piece in front of the other and shout:

"Too- too!"

And he'll push his little "train" around the room. Today when we were out, he was overjoyed to see a bus, pointed and shouted:
"Autobus! Autobus!" the Hebrew for bus.

His sisters had different interests at that age.

Maybe It's The Coaching?

Last night I had a very strange dream. It's the sort of dream that, in the past, would have caused my day to begin in a total physical panic.

I dreamt that I was in New York and going to a Broadway show. Tickets to these shows are very expensive; heavily discounted they can still cost $60 or more.

In the dream, I got to the theater and couldn't find my ticket. I remembered having it in my hand, but suddenly it was gone. I checked my pockets and bag and pockets in the bag, but I was somehow calm.

"It's only money. It's not the end of the world."

And then I woke up, calm, but curious about why I kept my cool and didn't go into anxiety panic mode.

For the past few months, Yehudit has been coaching me through my anxieties. I still have this week's assignments to do. I hope the dream is a sign that I'm on my way...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nu, So Call Me: Yenta, The Matchmaker

I've only gotten one great success as a "shadchan," matchmaker. I fixed up my cousin with a good friend of ours. Then I wasn't really trying, nor did I expect any great success.

Now, I've promised to help a friend find a wife.

He's a youthful, energetic and physically active blue-eyed 83 year old, bilingual (English and Hebrew,) veteran Israeli. He's a traditional Jew, devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He's the neighbor who fixed our television. He's a retired scientist, so he's not afraid of modern technology.

Please pass the information around. If you have any ideas or want to know more, please email me shilohmuse at gmail dot com


Let's make two people very happy, ad me'ah v'esrim!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
Catch me a catch,
Night after night in the dark I'm alone
So find me match,
Of my own.

Tizku l'Mitzvot; may you be rewarded with more mitzvot.

Separation Anxiety and The Cell Phone

Old time social mores and manners articles and columns used to discuss the quantity of forks at a formal meal or how to calculate the value of a required gift. Today it's texting and other cell phone usage.

Last month, was it only a month plus ago?, when I was visiting family in the states, a New Jersey bus driver berated me for talking on my cell phone. I had been told to call my host as soon as I took off, so he'd know when to pick me up. I hadn't noticed the sign about "no smoking, no eating and no talking on the cell phone."

In Israel, besides smoking, there aren't too many forbiddens on buses. In the society I'm in, in which it's common to give and hitch rides, cell phone taking is barely accepted. Texting and a quick verbal message, along with apologies to the driver, are generally alright. Just make sure you have a silent keyboard.

I think that cell phones must be off, not on silent/vibrate, in the classroom. My students' attention spans and power of concentration were weak enough without a certain percentage eagerly awaiting a call. And that's besides using the phone as a cheating tool.

And at social events. It's antisocial to be busy with someone else on the phone while sitting around the table. If you'd rather talk to that someone else, why'd you show up?

Did I, Or Didn't I?

The question concerns my washing machine. Yesterday morning, after it laundered a "heavy wash" (including pre-wash) at night, I turned off the switch, opened it and was flooded by water so smelly it was clear that none of the water had drained out at all.

So, I quickly closed the door and tried to get it going. The motor made noise, so I knew it was "alive," but the drum didn't spin and the exit hose didn't fill.

Next I tried cleaning the filter, and tons of stinky water flooded the house. I pushed the water out the doors, cleaning the tile floors at the same time. No wooden or pvc or lenolium floors here in my house, thank G-d.

I kept fooling with the dials and shaking the hose and clearing the filter and running the machine until the wash seemed clean enough to hang in the sun.

Then I gave it, and myself, a rest. I also queried my yishuv (community) yahoo list about washer repairmen. Today, I'll try laundering again. Let's see if the machine works. If not... I'll call in a washing machine doctor.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Dream Job!

Wouldn't it be nice to be paid to blog? If I had a day job, I'd gladly give it up to blog. The situation is that I don't have a day job, not any more. Lots of talents, skills, experience etc, but I'm not making a living from it.

Last year I heard about people who are paid to blog. I wonder how I could get into the field. It's a new type of public relations. I used to work in public relations, over twenty-five years ago. I've also worked in all sorts of sales positions. I have to stop dreaming and find out how to really get a job like this.

We've All Heard Of Wedding Consultants, Event Consultants, But Did You Ever Hear Of A....

....prison consultant?

For the rich criminals in the know, you just can't serve your term without one. Gevalt!

Even in the United States of America, there's no real equality in the justice system.

It Has Returned!

A couple of months ago, when construction was begun on the latest addition to our ever-growing, over-crowded school complex, we discovered that the bus rest-tremp stop across from the supermarket and around the corner from the main bus stop had disappeared.

The powers that be had just lifted it up and "carried" it to the temporary school bus stop. We were livid. That little structure had been our protector and rest stop from sun, wind, rain and exhaustion. Especially after our bus service was reduced, meaning that the buses no longer went up to our neighborhood, we needed a place to safely wait, sheltered from the elements.

When the powers replied to our complaints with:

"Be patient. A parking lot is being prepared."

All I could say and think of was that French Queen, Marie Antoinette's:

"Let them eat cake!"

A parking lot services those with cars, not us the "carless." Yesterday, I was overjoyed to see that we again have some shelter.

Thank you...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How To... Havel Havelim

Here's the ultimate "How to..." from our "How to..." Maya. Yes, it's Maya's debut Havel Havelim.

Well, Maya, this certainly makes you a veteran Israeli jblogger!

She did a great job. Take a look.

If I Get So Many Compliments Now, Why...

If I Get So Many Compliments Now, Why...
...Why was I considered overweight years ago when I weighed twenty pounds (8 kilo) less?

This peculiar situation has been troubling me a lot. I was considered "too heavy" all my life. It certainly didn't help that I was a teenager when Twiggy was the idealized figure.

My self-image, even when I was thirty and forty pounds less than my present weight, has always been that of a fat person. I truly wonder if that contributed to my obesity. It became a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I felt comfortable even at my fattest. That's bad. And I was in no rush to get the weight off. I was on the obese charts for about fifteen years. That's a long time.

Don't call it diet... Since I've changed my way of eating, I've been losing weight. I can't predict how much more I'll lose, and I tell people I counsel/coach that they shouldn't make strict goals. Just find a healthier way to eat and accept the results. Temporary diets are the worst, because the resulting weight loss will also be temporary.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Strange Coincidences

Just before Shabbat I found the time to glance at a few blogs, among them Seraphic Secret. There I read a post about the most amazing young artist, Moshe Hammer, Z"L, of California, who had been killed in a tragic accident a few years ago.

I was so impressed by the examples of his work which illustrated the post and Robert J. Avrech's more complete article in the Jewish Press. Davka, on Shabbat our guests' last name was also Hammer, but they don't know of any relationship.

And a different sort of coincidence...

After Shabbat I came across an op-ed piece by someone who also does sketches, granted a totally different style and subject.

Michael Arthur wrote for the New York Times about how he became an artist.

The pen and ink drawings of Hammer and Arthur are very different. Arthur's focus on the people and leave lots of empty space. Hammer's are to illustrate religious texts and blessing. The pictures are complex and the space is full of Hebrew prayers and text.

I enjoy them both.

Shavua Tov U'Mevorach

Have a Good and Blessed Week

Friday, July 10, 2009

Losing A Different Sort of Weight

It's no secret that I've been losing weight and blog about it a lot. My neighbors have been greeting me with:

"Nice to see you, at least what's left of you."

I'm glad that they notice, and I know that there's lots more to lose. My daily eating has changed, and I don't know what weight will become "my weight."

But there's something else that's lightening, and it's because I'm being coached by Yehudit. I don't want to go into any details, but let's suffice that the blogging me is just one (OK, considering my varied blogs) or a few of the various aspects of my personality.

There are things I must change, and it's not just my figure. Yehudit is helping!

They Asked For Chulent

Very rarely do I make chulent, that slow-cooking stew, a lot of people eat as part of, or the main part of, their Shabbat day meal.

My family doesn't like it, or they don't like what I used to make, so I don't cook it.

But yesterday my neighbor who arranges meals for those who need them asked me to make someone chulent. If that's what they want, that's what they'll get. Here's the new version:
  • A couple of handfuls of mixed dry beans (lima, kindney and chickpeas.) Presoak, rinse and soak again for quite a while to soften.
  • A package of turkey wings, better ratio of meat to bones than turkey drumsticks.
  • Potatoes
  • spices, peppercorns, ketchup and whatever

After the beans have gotten soft, cook them up with the turkey and water. Then add the potatoes and ketchup and more water. If my pot hadn't been so full, I would have added carrots and onions.

It smells good!

"Retraining" My Yahoo

Yesterday, sans food and water, because I was fasting, I must have clicked spam instead of delete, because I discovered all the blogger comments in the spam box. I check my spam box before deleting messages, because for some peculiar reason yahoo takes an irrational dislike to some senders. For a while, it was sorting my very own mail, sent from the same address, into the spam box.

It took a few weeks of rescuing the letters, moving them to the inbox and then opening them for yahoo to recategorize them as legitimate mail.

So, now I have to do this all over again with my blogger comments. It doesn't matter who is listed as "sender," they all go to spam.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

TV Kashrut Problem

There's a very popular cooking program on Israel's Chanel 1, Chaim Cohen's "Shum, Pilpel v'Zayit," "Garlic, Pepper and Olives." I have no idea if their studio kitchen is actually kosher, or sort of kosher or doesn't even pretend to be kosher.

I never saw him demonstrate a recipe combining meat and milk or some traif ingredient.

The problem is something that someone who only knows "the basics" of kashrut can get caught in. He used liver in a recipe as if if was regular meat. Liver requires a special kashering process, burning over a flame, so the blood will be burnt, destroyed. Other meat and poultry (poultry livers are kashered as beef livers) are soaked and salted.

Especially nowadays when we buy our meat and poultry, all kashered, cut and frequently frozen, ready for cooking, or even cooked and ready to eat, many people are unaware that liver demands special care. I've been married almost forty years, and I only kashered liver once. We buy chopped liver ready-made, and that's a rare week.

Liver is sold frozen next to all the other meat parts, which are already kashered. So I wonder if all the consumers realize that they have to treat liver differently.