Saturday, October 31, 2009

For Sure This Is Going To Be Made Into A Movie

It has all the necessary elements:
  • illegal alien in the USA
  • abusive marriage
  • husband hiding out in China
  • where he tricks his wife into joining him with their child
  • then he kidnaps the kid
  • and the wife, all her family risking their being deported from the states,
  • gathers an international group of helpers to reunite mother with child
Real life is always more exciting than fiction.

My Father is Watching Jack Benny

When I was in NY last June I found metal lunchboxes on sale in Waldbaum's.  They packaged the past, and I'm not referring to rotten sandwiches.  Now, I finally opened one of them which had Red Skelton on the box.  Besides a dvd of his old shows, there's one of Jack Benny and ....  lots and lots of cardboard.  There's nothing like old comedy to keep an old guy (and his 13 year old friend) entertained.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blogging About Yitzchak Rabin

Generally I'm a pretty quick blogger, only limited by the slowness of my computer, but this morning I spent hours blogging about the true legacy of Yitzchak Rabin.  No time for anything else.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wow! A Party for Me?

I was really surprised when my fellow English Teachers called me over during the food break and made me a little going away party.

Yes!  Going away!

I've left my subbing job.  There's a limit to my abilities, getting my father settled and getting ready for my mother's arrival.  The teaching, especially as a new teacher to that school, was just too much simultaneously with all that I must do for my parents.

They also gave me a present.  I was floored, so surprised.

Then after teaching I had to get home quickly to take my father to the doctor (one I had never met before.)  At the clinic, my father got his flu shot, and the doctor checked for Israeli meds which are like some of my father's.  Then the doctor said:
"I know what you're going through.  My wife's parents came to Israel.  It was so much work and stress that she quit her job."
"How did you know?  I just did that.  Today was my last day!"
Yes, that's the story.

A Dog's Life on Long Island

This humongous pet store on Northern Blvd, Long Island, New York, sells more than gold fish, cat/dog collars and dog food.  "Training pads," oh, my, what and how much equipment does one need to own a dog or cat today?

I couldn't get over the clothing they were selling.  Look at what's in the window.

And if your dog or cat is really used to wearing clothes, you can enter it in contests.

Sorry, I didn't post this in time to participate.

I'm Not Great With Stress

Some people are.  They say that it really gets them going.  It paralyzes me and makes me tired.  I must simplify what I can of life now.  Not easy.

Next week we must start with all sorts of government things for my father and aliyah for my mother.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You Don't Have To Be Chareidi To Boycott Stores With Obscene Advertising Posters

Smart move by the FOX clothing chain to take down their pornographic posters.  Are they selling clothes or sex?

FOX actually has a good product and reasonable prices, but I've boycotted their stores and many others when I have considered their advertising offensive. 

I won't walk into stores decorated by smut, and I've walked out when the music played has obscene lyrics or too loud and unpleasant for my ears.

Nobody who knows anything about me and my opinions could ever mistake me for Chareidi.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mimi's Israeli Kitchen Debuts with KCC #47!

Mimi of Israeli Kitchen  cooked up a great Kosher Cooking Carnival!  I can't wait to check out all the yummy links!

Next month, November, it will be in the middle on the right, brought to you by our very own KCC Banner/Logo artist.  If you'd like to host an edition of KCC, please contact me at shilohmuse at gmail dot com

Remember that the Kosher Cooking Carnival is more than just recipes, like kosher food is more than just food.  Send in your links via blog carnival, and tell all your friends about the carnival!

Beware: Cafe Aroma is Traif in Great Neck!!

In Israel, at least in the Jerusalem area, some of the Cafe Aroma's are now Kosher.  They have a slightly different name and logo, Cafe Kosher Aroma.  (Please correct me if I got it wrong.) 

But there's a "Cafe Aroma" in Great Neck, NY, which isn't kosher at all.  Check the posted menu.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Laundry Question

The New York Times is "rethinking laundry."  Apparently, my drying method doesn't jive with most of my peers in the 21st Century.  Very rarely do I use a clothes dryer.  I have five meters (over 16 feet) times four clothes lines.  They're on the southern side of my home.  If it's raining, I set up a few folding lines in my house.  Actually, my biggest problem is that some clothes fade.  So, that, too, means that I'll sometimes need to hang them indoors.  Of course, there's always the backup of the electric dryer.

Also, in my Shiloh, Israel, neighborhood, drying the clothes outside, in full view, is normal and accepted.  A few months after we first moved in, some foreign busybodies were here on a tour and tried to tell me that the laundry should be hidden.  I told them that laundry doesn't dry well if not exposed to the sun and air.  Anyway, I think that drying clothes are beautiful.  If anything was in bad taste or inappropriate, it was that uncalled for criticism. 

As My Father Settles In

Yesterday, my daughter and I took my father to the local Kupat Cholim Clalit clinic.  It's just around the corner from my house, a very easy walk for him.

Everyone there was welcoming and nice.  We are beginning to run out of some of the medications, so the time had come to arrange his medical care here in Shiloh.  This is so much more convenient than the system he had in New York.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some Changes....

On Friday, I finally verbalized it, so changes in the making.

I'll blog about it later.  Sorry to leave you in suspense.

Artzeinu's Debut Havel Havelim

Havel Havelim is hosted by Artzeinu this week.  There's so much to check out, so don't delay.

The same goes for Artzeinu's Yisroel.  Catch the next plane to Israel.  And yes, you're certainly invited to visit us in Shiloh.

I Never Wanted to Be A Man

This is cross-posted on Shiloh Musings.  I couldn't really decided on which blog to post it, so I compromised and posted on both.

I'm a post-World War II Baby-Boomer, part of the generation which was expected to embrace Feminism as the perfect rebellion.  None if it attracted me, because I saw it as an attempt to be men, and I wanted to be a mother.  I saw a contradiction in these two goals.  Birthrate statistics prove me right. 

My very specific age group, those born (and remained in the United States) around the same time I was, had very few children.  The 1970's, which should have seen a secondary baby boom, didn't produce many kids.  My former fellow Brownies, Girl Scouts and classmates had different production goals.

On the other hand, I could and would never accept even the mildest hint that my opinions are less worthy than a male's.  I didn't and still don't consider it Feminism.  To me it's just common sense. 
  • Why should anyone think that men are smarter than women? 
  • Why should women pretend to be dumber than men?
Some how I never learned the feminine skills women have adopted to get what they wanted.

I'm inevitably attracted by articles which analyze women's success, like this one by Joanne Lipman. "Joanne Lipman, a former deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal, was the founding editor in chief of Condé Nast Portfolio magazine." It's interesting that she does have children, and she's unusually successful in what's considered a masculine field.  Maybe that's part of the reason for her success.

There are G-d given differences between males and females.  The early Feminists preached rejection of it, and that's the cause of so much failure.  For women to succeed and reach our goals, we must do it as women, not faux men.  We have different biology and different minds.  We must utilize our gifts, not imitate men and not hide away our identities in masculine-style clothes and game plans.

Everyone's different.  We all must find our own path and wear the most comfortable shoes we can find.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lucky Turn, Found The Perfect Restaurant

It must have been a day after I landed in New York, when I was still terribly jetlagged.  I was with my father and daughter visiting my mother in the hospital when I realized that I needed to get out and get a good meal.

That's not always easy.  I wasn't in Jerusalem.

I marched ok staggered out of North Shore Rehab and sort of sensed my way to Community Drive.  I asked people where to find a bus stop, and as I approached, I realized that I had just missed a bus.  So I sat and waited.

Finally the bus came.  I asked how much it cost and began searching for money.  No good.  I needed exact change in coins.  Found enough, paid, sat down and went off to the Great Neck Station.

I decided to "trust luck."  Let's see if G-d would show me a kosher restaurant.  I crossed streets according to whichever light turned green first.

On Middleneck Road, past the deli which I understand isn't really kosher,  I saw a restaurant with a letter in the window.  Curious, I stopped to read.  It said that the restaurant was kosher, Cafe Kriza.  I was hungry, thirsty, tired, jetlagged and it looked good enough for me.

The menu was very familiar, like a lot of Israeli restaurants.  I ordered salmon, salad and vegetables.  I also told the guy in charge that I was pretty dehydrated and needed to drink lots of water.

While I was waiting for the food to be prepared, I said my daily T'hillim, Psalms and also the Mincha, afternoon Prayer.

Then I enjoyed the food, just perfect.  No complaints.  Service was great, too.  I treated myself to a cup of coffee to help me get through the end of the day.

After that to the supermarket for more shopping.  And then I walked to my parents' house.  Quite a walk, but I needed it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nothing Like The Toys of My Childhood

When I was a little girl, I had these "kits" for weaving pot holders, and when my daughters were little, my mother found the same sort of kits for them.
So no surprise that during my rushed visit to New York, when I brought my father to Israel, I managed to get to my favorite toy store.  It's on Middleneck Road, Great Neck, NY in the center of town.  I've gotten some nice basic toys there over the years, since becoming a grandmother.
This time I was thinking "paper dolls," but I didn't like what they had.  It seemed rediculously expensive for something which was once so inexpensive. 
Then I noticed that old favorite, the potholder weaving kit.  Now the frame is plastic and the loops are synthetic, but my granddaughters quickly picked up the art of weaving.  The older one even managed to do the "crochet" finish.
Nothing beats these old craft projects, certainly not the computer tv etc.

As Long As They Stay Free

One of my "great escapes," besides a nightly walk when my husband can be with my father, is the internet, email, blogging, google, yahoo, facebook, twitter etc.

They're free, covered by whatever we pay to netvision, bezek and computer upkeep.  I don't really understand the deals being touted between google, twitter, facebook etc, but as long as they don't charge me money, I don't care.

Last night when I was out, my father must have asked my husband what he does on the computer, because when I returned I heard that my husband demonstrated that you can do a search.  My father's name came up empty, but my mother's was mentioned by the Great Neck Synagogue in various capacities.  He found it amazing, and he's right.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Super (InterGenerational) Sandwich: Not Easy

Honestly, I must admit that this isn't easy for me, taking care of my father.

I could never understand how some parents had trouble changing their lives to take care of their babies/children.  My entire life I just wanted to be a mother, so when the glorious event occurred, I accepted it with total joy.  And of course, children get older and more independent with time.  We just have to accept their decisions and love them.

Taking care of an elderly parent is totally different.  Maybe some people who grew up with their grandparents expect and accept it more easily.  But for most of us, I presume, the fact that we're suddenly tied down and know that the situation will only get worse, is quite an adjustment.  For some people, the parents move in when they're in a different stage in life and help raise and influence the grandchildren.  I've lived thousands of miles away from my parents all my married life. 

According to Jewish Law, respecting and caring for one's parents is a great Mitzvah (G-d given commandment.)  I know that I'm very privileged to have this opportunity.  Not everyone, actually very few people, have two live parents at the age of sixty.  My mother's parents both died when my mother was in her twenties.

I'm doing my best here and hope you don't mind my venting. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Luckily The Security Guy Didn't Force Me to Delete This

When I was in New York to bring my father here to Israel, we visited some of his doctors.  One was in a gorgeous office building.  I managed to take this shot before the security guard told me to stop taking pictures.  It's definitely a gorgeous building, and I'm sorry I couldn't have photographed more.

Israel's International Airport at Night

As my regular readers know, when I'm waiting around bored, I just whip out my camera and start shooting!  Here are pictures I took two weeks ago while waiting around Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Twitter's Feeding

It makes me feel like singing:

"Mares eat oats and does eat oats
 and little lambs eat ivy.
A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?"

I must thank Soccer Dad for setting it up for me.  I tried to do it a few weeks ago, but nothing worked.  Now that I'm back teaching and my father is living with us, I don't have time for experimenting.

If anyone is reading this because they saw it twitted, please honk and let me know!

Great Use of New Technology

I admit that I do find it peculiar when people schlepp their laptops every where, but the Amazing Sharon of Voices Magazine's story about how her son's laptop connected his injured cousin to her brother's wedding proves me wrong again.

Big Mistake

Last night, just before Law & Order went on, I started working on Thursday's test for the 10th grade.  After the show was over, I went back to it, and somehow I just couldn't stop... until it was complete, including the points.  Very good, since I had promised my students that I'd tell them what to study.  Yes, today I can tell them what will be in the test. 

The only problem is that I went to bed around three.  Yes, 3am.  I feel totally whacked.  This is the second time this week that I didn't sleep enough.  Only a couple of hours.  I can feel the lack.  Today is my longest workday.

Another problem is that there were some technical problems with the photocopying department in the school, and I have to change today's lesson for the 12th grade, since there won't be any photocopies ready.  I wasted so much time planning the lesson.  Now I have to plan something else.

Never dull...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Food Changes on El Al

A few months ago, I was shocked to hear that even on coast to coast flights in the United States there aren't proper kosher meals available.  I was helping a friend to figure out what to eat on that long leg to her flight from Israel to California.  For people like me who live on a reduced carbohydrate diet, it's a real problem.  According to American Law, it's forbidden to bring fruit and nuts from a foreign country into the states, and security also bans yogurt.

I didn't expect any changes when I boarded my after midnight flight to New York a couple of weeks ago, but I was unpleasantly surprised by the sandwiches offered for late dinner.  I explained to the stewardess that I only ate low carb.  Fortunately, she found me this fruit meal.  It was fine for me, but diabetics wouldn't have had a good time with it.

I had more fruit and nuts packed with me for the long night's flight and finished it all before we landed.  Breakfast was a regular meal, but they no longer serve lox with the bagels, nor was there a choice of main courses.

On my return flight, I ordered a low sodium meal for my father which wasn't stocked.  And afraid of another sandwich disaster, I tried to order a low starch meal for myself, but it wasn't on the menu.  I could have had a fruit meal, but then they would have brought me a fruit breakfast which I didn't want.  The dinner, which was served around nine, since our flight was 7:55pm, was a regular airline dinner.  We had a choice between pasta and rice, each with some animal protein and minimal salad.

Fearing another sandwich meal and considering that even after eight is late for me and my father to have dinner, I packed us meals to eat in the airport before boarding the plane.  We had roasted vegetables, salad and canned salmon.

Sticking to a weight loss diet when traveling requires planning.  You should never expect, take for granted, that your type of diet food will be easily available.  If you want to continue losing weight when traveling, you'll have to prepare food and bring it along.  You shouldn't be shy about asking for alternative meals.  Of course, the same goes for diabetics, food allergies and medical needs.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Ima-Bima's "Out of The Succah, Havel Havelim"

I should have blogged about the succah at the North Shore Hospital, Long Island, New York!  It would have been a perfect post for the latest Havel Havelim, happily hosted by the On/Off the Bimah Ima!

I'm glad to be back in the jblogging groove, though I did miss the picnic.

New and Better Ice Cream

When looking for my long time favorite Haagen-Dazs Mint Chip ice cream in New York, I discovered something even bettter.

It's the "five" series of Haagen-Dazs in Mint flavor.  Fewer ingredients, only five, and less calories, becase there are no chocolate chips.  Absolutely delicious of course, as are all Haagen-Dazs ice creams.

If you need to call long distance, the "Asimon" cards are a bargain.

Is It Jet Lag?

I was fine the first two nights.  I fell asleep immediately and woke up on time.

Not tonight.  It's hours past my bedtime and I finally got out of bed and planned the first lesson for tomorrow.  since I traveled to NY to bring my father and visit my mother I realized that I'd miss a day of work.  I sent lessons in to be used.  But it got more complicated.  I stayed there longer than anticipated and I missed all last week, three days of work, since we weren't supposed to start on Sunday.

I really haven't had much jet lag this year.  Now I do.  Or is it just nerves getting back in the groove of teaching and the logistics of making sure my father is cared for?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Life is Changing

Never in a million years did I ever imagine that I'd be hosting my elderly father like this.  He's now living with us, while my mother is hospitalized in New York.  My sister just returned to Arizona and will probably have to take a leave of absence from work, since there's nobody who can take charge.

Who could have ever imagined such a situation?

We landed Thursday and on Friday my married daughter came with all the family and food for Shabbat.  We made my granson a birthday party and welcomed my father.

Then my daughter and family left for their home, and my elder son came for Shabbat.  A good friend/neighbor will come over tomorrow, so I can go to work.  Besides that routine, now we have to find time in our schedules for doctors.

Shabbat went well, Baruch Hashem.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Have Returned to 888 New Letters in The Inbox

I'm back from New York.  And I brought my father here. During the week and a half I was away, I was also away from computers, email and blogging.  888, yes, eight hundred and eighty-eight new letters greeted me at the inbox, and most were either spam or not important enough to read. Four hundred and eighty-eight were in the spam box.  I've been doing my best to delete the letters and time-wasting curiosity.

There's lots to do in the house, and I must get ready to resume teaching.  And considering that my very elderly father (89 years old, bli eyin haraa) is here as an oleh chadash, new immigrant, my time will be taken by persuits with higher priority than blogging.  That means that I'll probably blog less.

Here's what I wrote this morning on Shiloh Musings.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Notice from the Sponsor

Batya is unable to post due to a visit to the US and, God willing, will return to Shiloh on Thursday, October 15.

We thank you for your patience.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009

No Pictures of Decorated Succah This Year

Would you believe that I didn't decorate it?  I packed my bags to go to NY, and I have tomorrow for that, but I just couldn't even think about the succah.  Rather pathetic, I admit.

Decorating isn't any real work.  We have an enormous box of stuff.  All I need is to bring the box and thumbtacks.

Shabbat/Chag Succot was nice.

Actually I was more relaxed knowing I was packed, because my mind stopped trying to choose what to bring.  When my mind is spinning like that, it's always best to just do whatever is being "planned."  Once it's done, I can relax and cross it off my checklist.

The other night when I couldn't sleep, I found myself, in my mind, writing the Kosher Cooking Carnival, which was due to be posted the next day.  I just couldn't turn my mind off, so I got out of bed, turned on the computer, wrote and posted the KCC and then I could fall alseep.  Sometimes it's just better to use the energy and not fight it. 

Friday, October 02, 2009

Still Life in Action

Reflecting on renovations....

Besides totally new housing, there's lots of construction going on in Shiloh.  Sometimes I pass a scene or window which appears to me as a work of art.

Reflections, like this one taken of one of our synagogue's doors, change by the second and also the angle viewed.  And of course, everyday things are moved around as the materials are used for building, fixing, renovating etc.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

What A Wedding!

Last night we were at a gorgeous wedding.  A lovely young couple, unbeatable view, nice set up.
And the musical treat was real "Rock" by someone who had played way back when with Paul McCartney of Beatles fame.

Mazal Tov!!

Looking at The House With New Eyes

Many middle-aged plus will confirm this:  We may have an "empty nest" in terms of residents in our homes.  The kids have moved out, but their possessions remain.  And not only that, whatever shelves or closets which had been emptied are now full of our additional things.  I guess that my husband and I have more clothes than we did twenty years ago when the kids were home full-time.

Now, to fit my father in the house is a challenge.  I changed things around a lot when my daughter got married and we became grandparents, so that the young family could easily visit for Shabbat and Holydays.  Now it's time to rethink and rearrange again.

About 33 years ago, when we were on shlichut (doing Jewish youth work) in London, I bought a dresser.  I really like it but over the years it found its way in one of the kids' bedrooms.  In recent years I began filling it with my things, winter sweaters, hats, tablecloths etc.  It's in the room we'll be giving to my father.  There's another closet there large enough for his needs once it's emptied out.

I'd really like use of the dresser, but there's no room in my room, nor in the other two bedrooms nor the den.  I began to look for alternatives for it, thought about the corner of the hallway, took out the measuring tape, and... yes it will fit.  OK the hall will be a bit narrower there, but it's worth it, since I need the dresser.

On with my day...