Monday, November 30, 2009

Surprised and Disappointed

I blogged about it and sent notices to my jblogger lists about the problems with blog carnival.  I don't know how I'll get a decent Havel Havelim put together.  So far, I've gotten all of one post.

If you've written something that should be in it, or seen something that you think should be, then please email the link to shilohmuse at gmail dot com subject: hh  Deadline: Friday

And please blog about it.  I don't have much time for searches.  Certainly not in the next day.


Bad News in Blog Carnival Land

For the past few years, we blog carnival hosts have become very dependent on blog carnival, at least once I got used to it after a previous service closed down.

Your ordinary blogger chooses a post to contribute to a blog carnival, clicks the appropriate bc form, fills it out in two easy steps, and then bc sends a receipt to the blogger and all the info to the carnival host, including a html sentence which can be copied straight into the blog carnival.  One the predetermined deadline passes, a link to its "instacarnival" is sent to the carnival owner and host.  With some minor editing, it's possible to turn the "instacarnival" into a respectable blog carnival.  I've done it myself.  It's so easy, that it has made me a very lazy blog carnival host.

In the olden days I would get links in the mail and have to check out and embed them myself.  That's why I feel that instacarnival is like cheating.

Well, there's a problem.  Blog Carnival hasn't been fully functioning as of late.  I sent out a "send your links to Havel Havelim and the Kosher Cooking Carnival" notice yesterday to my mailing list.  Generally I start receiving them by Sunday night.  some Havel Havelim contributors do their best writing on Sundays.  Nothing came. So I experimented.  I sent one of my posts to myself.  No receipt and no bc notice.  I should have gotten two, as both the sender and host.  I tried again, and again zero.  I contacted Jack who said that the address is right, but if he had put up the  wrong address, I still would have gotten my receipt.  I sent a post to KCC, and still nothing. I sent a query to bc and still haven't heard from them. I asked my husband who's also a blogger to send in a post... nothing came to me, nor the receipt to him.

The bottom line:

Please send this week's deadline Friday Havel Havelim links to shilohmuse at gmail dot com  and please blog about it so more people will know.

Thank you!!

New Menu at Anna Ticho

A couple of weeks ago, I ended up having a wonderful meal in Jerusalem with good friends, Rosaly Evnine, Helen Freedman (AFSI), her daughter and Mina Fenton.
That combination was pure chance, as the best planning G-d could do for us.I hadn't eaten recently at the restaurant in the Anna Ticho House.  For the longest time it seemed to have the same boring menu, but no longer.There were lots of new things.  I can't remember exactly what we all ate, but we were all happy with the food.  I had a "root salad."  It was based on strips of raw root vegetables like carrots and beets.  Someone else had stuffed vegetables with quinoa.

Portions were very large, and many doggy bags were taken home.  A good idea for two people eating out together is for each to order soup and then share a main course.  I didn't touch the bread, but the reports were very favorable.

Downtown Jerusalem isn't the easiest place to navigate nowadays with all the lightrail construction, but if you're there, and want a treat, you can have a nice meal at Anna Ticho.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting Complicated, and...

...I don't like writing about it.  There are blogs which get intimate and personal, but I just don't go there.  I have my walls/barriers.

I used to yell a lot, and it was a good release.  Now I don't have one.  I don't even get much exercise.  today I was going to take an early walk, when someone came over to watch a movie with my father, but I had a few things to do first, then just when I was almost ready to go out, someone else came to see me.  And that was it.  So, now my husband is home.

I'll post this and then brush my teeth, yes I brush my teeth before leaving the house and so does my sister though we have no idea how we got into the habit, and get out to walk finally.

A Category Almost All My Own

Shmuel Sokol's תורת ישראל Torat Yisrael is hosting it's debut Havel Havelim.  He opened it a bit differently than most by mentioning that my husband and I had sent in so many posts that he's giving us our very own category/section.  Please don't get the wrong idea. There are many other posts included, not just from the Medad blogging couple.  And you should know that my husband and I blog about different things and different viewpoints.

Yes, there's plenty to read in this latest #245 Havel Havelim!  Please send the link around and remind everyone to take a look.

And by the way, I'll be hosting next week's, so please remember to send in your posts.  If you'd like to host one, contact Jack.  And if you'd like to host a Kosher Cooking Carnival, please let me know shilohmuse at gmail dot com .

Have a truly great week!
שבוע טוב
Shavua Tov

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Busy Friday and Nice Shabbat

We had a full house Friday afternoon, all to see my father.  I worked hard in the morning, cooking the side dishes.  I only had one more thing to prepare after they left, and I only forgot to make one thing, nothing seriously important, my dessert, the compote, but I had lots of fresh fruit.

I got the floor washed and was no later nor more rushed than usual.  But I didn't go near the computer, or not more than a second to check something.

Shabbat we had two friends over Friday night and two more for Se'udat Shlishit, the third meal.

There wasn't enough rain this week, otherwise, no complaints.

Shavua Tov!  Have a Great Week!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Special Wedding

G-d willing the pictures will be posted next week.  It's Friday and I have lots to do.

Last night we went to a "second wedding."  The couple had married many years before in FSU.  Then they moved to the states, had kids, became religious and now they live in Shiloh.  Our local rabbi discovered that they had never had a proper Jewish wedding, so one was organized here in Shiloh, at Tel Shiloh.

It was a beautiful wedding, great music and food.


A Mother’s Tehillim Project / A Single’s Tehillim Project

A Mother’s Tehillim project / A Single’s Tehillim project

Rosh Chodesh Tevet – Friday, December 18th

... people around the world will join together and pray for their childrens', relatives', or friends' soul-mates PROJECT 1.

…single people around the world will pray together for their destined soul-mates PROJECT 2.

Please go to and fill out the respective form. After December 7th, I will send you your portion of tehillim to recite along with the names of the rest of your group and further instructions. Your allotted tehillim should be recited once on Rosh Chodesh day. Check your spam if you don’t hear back from me.


At the request of many, I have setup a Google form where people can write a short description of their single friends/family. All information will be posted so give some thought before posting. You can also scroll through other entries and contact the person who posted directly. More information on the website.

Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Lazeh. All of Israel is responsible for one another - pass this email on to others who may be interested in participating. Please also help me advertise for this project by posting on any email group you may be on.

May our prayers be answered sweetly and speedily,

Chanukah Sameach !!!!!!!!

* Your email address will NOT be distributed or displayed. No last names will be displayed. Questions can still be sent to, but it may take time to respond.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I've Been Wasting Time

Procrastinator is my "middle name."
I must do a few things, take a walk and then go to a wedding.
At least I cooked the turkey wings, good deal here.  And I made the chicken.  No, we don't "do" thanksgiving.

No Hoo Yahoo

I don't know what the cause is, but my yahoo mail is going no hoo wacko and refusing to send my letters without my typing in security codes and even then sometimes just freezing up like a wayward kid.
Your message was not sent

Suspicious activity has been detected on your account. To protect your account and our users, your message has not been sent.

If this error continues, please contact Yahoo! Customer Care for further help.

We apologize for the inconvenience.


The Yahoo! Mail Team
All of my important stuff is on the yahoo, and I just don't like gmail's set up, the way the screen looks when I use it.

G-d willing it'll calm down soon and behave again.

The Thanksgiving KCC Bright and Early From "Pesky"

Pesky Settler has served up a great Thanksgiving treat, the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival.

Pay a visit and sample from all the yummy posts she's serving. To contribute a post, or two or even more to the next edition, send via blog carnival

And if you'd like to host one, please let me know by writing shilohmuse at yahoo dot com

Yesterday, The Devil Wore Prada

Yes, you guessed it.  Yesterday the Shiloh Movie Club watched Meryl Streep playing the boss from hell in The Devil Wears Prada.

Being Meryl Streep, she probably humanized Miranda Priestly more than any other actress could have.  As a former teacher, whose failure was controling the students in the classroom, I find the persona amazing, because she never raises her voice but has total control.  And the staff is terrified of her.  She just has to purse her lips and a top designer designer will redo his entire collection.  She gives "a look" and the entire staff goes scurrying hysterically in panic.

I usually show older more obscure* movies, and one of the regular viewers didn't come, because she has seen it many times.  So, I was a bit nervous about the reactions. But everyone enjoyed it, or at least said that they did.

Next week I want to show a real comedy.

*unknown aka less popular

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Need a Little Vitamin HH; Vitamin KCC is Available

I began noticing a lowering of numbers, no, not my weight unfortunately,  other numbers, visitors to my blogs.  So I decided that it was time for an energy boost.  I gave Jack a "call" asking if he needs a hostess for Havel Havelim.  I figured he'd give me a date in a month or more, but surprise, I have it the week after this upcoming one.  If you'd like some Vitamin KCC, please let me know.

And while I'm mentioning blog carnivals, how could I ignore the Kosher Cooking Carnival which will be by Pesky, any time now.

Hate To Complain, Not Enough Rain

Yesterday I met with my multi-talented buddy, Sharon Katz, newbie blogger, the power behind Voices Magazine, which now comes out both hard copy and internet version.  Oops!  That reminds me that I'm due with another column.

Yesterday we focused on Ramat Eshkol, which I remember under construction.  It and French Hill were the first post-Six Days War neighborhoods in Jerusalem.  One point I forgot to mention in my Voices TV interview (this links to a previous one) was why davka that location was chosen to be the first humongously major building project.  Ramat Eshkol/French Hill unites the city with Mount Scopus, which was technically Israeli during the 19 years the city was divided.  Special convoys preserved the Israeli presence there when Jordan was the power, but it was a priority for Israel to return to the Hebrew University Campus there and Hadassa Hospital.  By making that area an enormous residential area, Mount Scopus was returned to Jewish Life.

Hmmm... the title doesn't yet connect to this post.  OK, here goes:

Originally, we had planned to meet last week, but then Sharon asked for a rain checkMy replacement plans for last week were better than planned.  And funnily, this week we had to change our originally planned venue, the Old City of Jerusalem, because of the rain.  The rain drizzled and fizzled.  Too much for the outdoor plans we had, but not enough rain to fill our Land's needs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Changing of the Guard"

You've been reading that I've left teaching, so I think it's a good thing to read Shifra Shomron's Ink and Quill  about her entry to the profession.  Yes, that's the same Shifra who wrote Grains of Sand, while still in her teens, about her and her family's experiences during the last months of Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif, before Disenagagement.

I'm glad that there's a young talented generation entering the teaching profession here in Israel.  Her students are very lucky.  And we're lucky to be able to read more from Shifra.

G-d willing, she'll encourage more young writers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Out of The Classroom, Yes, Again

About a year and a half ago, I was glad to be officially fired from my teaching job.  I never expected to enter the classroom ever again as a teacher, but this past September I did.  I was asked to substitute in a different school.

In one of those "great timings" my mother fell and fractured her pelvis just as the school year began.  So, during Succot (early October) I traveled/flew to New York and brought my father back home to Shiloh.  Then after trying to teach and care for him, I admitted that it just wasn't going to work, so I left the classroom yet, again.  And this time it should be for good.  I don't belong in today's classroom.  Today's kids aren't the students for me.  And I'm not the teacher for them either.

One of the reasons has common roots to this New York Times article about... would you believe dog training?  Nothing in the article mentions high school students, but the advice to parents and dog owners is to make sure it's clear "who's the boss."

One of the classes I taught was filled with students who considered themselves my boss and constantly criticized me.  The other classes were much nicer, but the school allows and encourages the students to report their complaints about the teachers.  And the complaints are taken very seriously, without allowing the teachers the right to defend themselves.

I wasn't going to blog about this, but after reading the article, I began feeling better about myself.  I think that part of respect for a teacher should be that the students accept the fact that  there's a hierarchy.  Students are not their teachers' superiors, nor their equals.

With all that I was going through, I did not have the physical nor emotional strength to devote to strengthening my teaching persona.  When we're tired and stressed out, charisma is weak.  I was not going to endanger my health by pushing myself too much.  As much as we need the money, I need my health, too.

Menu Conversion, Or What to Serve for Special Meals, Like Thanksgiving

This morning I woke up to find a letter from someone asking help in converting some traditional Thanksgiving recipes to kosher parve (no dairy products.)

I don't think she liked my general approach, which is to ignore tradition.  First of all, I like simple foods and menus.  I don't think it's healthy to have all sorts of animal proteins (meat, fish, poultry, dairy) at one meal.  Kashrut, the Jewish Dietary Laws, forbids meat/poultry with dairy.  Also, fish isn't cooked with meat/poultry, though they can be served separately.  As far as I'm concerned, it's enough for our bodies to have either meat/poultry or fish.  You don't need both, certainly not all at once.

I like my vegetables to be just vegetables and not full of fats and animal proteins.  For over a year now, I eat very few starches (carbohydrates,) and due to that diet change, I've lost over 35 pounds or 15 kilo.

My meals include a serving of animal protein, or tofu, plus lots of low starch vegetables and salad.  I find these meals filling and satisfying.  My vegetables are baked, roasted, sauteed and stir-fried. They're attractive and delicious when cooked those ways.  In addition, it's very easy to prepare vegetables like that.

Most studies show that overeating proteins is the cause of illness, high cholesterol etc, so if you only serve one animal protein, the chances are that you'll eat less than if there's a choice.  Make a variety of vegetables, and you'll find yourself healthier and slimmer.  Limit the carbohydrates to one starchy vegetable and one grain at most.  Don't sweeten vegetables.  Properly cooked, they're sweet enough.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weight Loss Momentum Lost

Actually, the situation is worse than that.  I've gained back a bit in the last month since I stopped working.  So now, I have to get back on track, change gears and figure out how to at least keep status quo, the weight off.

I'm trying to exercise more, even though it must be at night when my husband is home.  I'm trying to restrict fruit to three a day, like the Start Fresh Diet Plan requires.  I have to focus on what's best for me, while I care for my elderly father.

At least  I can get out once a week or even more.  And my father is doing well here.  Next we have to arrange to bring my mother.  I wish there was a reasonably priced senior citizens home, which provides all meals in Jerusalem with some activities in English.

No Protexia Needed!

Anyone can click here for the latest Havel Havelim hosted by A Mother in Israel!

So pay her a visit and enjoy all the great posts.

A Good Time At The Movies

With today's DVD's and VCR's there's no need to travel to see a good movie.  Last night  my father and I walked around the corner to a neighbor's place for a movie and social event.  My father has a bigger social life here in Shiloh than he has had the past few years home in Great Neck.  We have guests, and people invite us, too.  Socializing is less formal, and even waiting in the clinic is fun, considering that we're a very friendly community.

What movie did we see? Mirror Has Two Faces with/by Barbra Streisand, co-starring  Jeff Bridges.  It's funny, but no real suspense, especially since the publicity photos are from the last scene.  I'm pretty sure that we had already seen the movie as a group, but nobody walked out in protest.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Addition" To The Clan

My daughter and her husband decided that the kids need a dog, and yes, that's her.  The kids are getting used to her. 

When I was young I was totally phobic about animals, but I trained myself out of it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Keeping Busy and What's Next

As I've written, I've been told to get out as much as I can.  I must prevent "burn-out."

So, this week has been very busy.

On Rosh Chodesh Kislev, the 30th of Marcheshvan, I treated myself to a day off. My husband stayed with my father and I went off and out of Shiloh.

First I went down to Tel Shiloh for Rosh Chodesh Prayers. I was joined by the fresh greenery, the gifts from G-d after our early rains.

Then I traveled to Jerusalem to meet a friend for lunch. As I stood on Rechov Yaffo, I was surprised to see Helen Freedman of AFSI. When I had last met her, in August, she had mentioned that she'd be here in November, but we never followed up on it. But there she was. She told me that she was on the way for lunch at the Anna Ticho House (I'll blog about the food at a later time) with her daughter and I should join them. So I told my friend Rosaly to meet me there. We were also joined by Mina Fenton, who had been a neighbor of mine in Bayit V'Gan thirty years ago, before we moved to Shiloh.

After a most delicious lunch (they've changed the menu,) we paid a visit to the T'hillim (Psalms) Museum in the same courtyard. We were lucky that the artist was there and Mina had him talk to us.

Jewish Tradition is that Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month, is supposed to be a special "women's holiday." And this month I did celebrate very joyfully!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Playing Cards With "Grandpa"

All the bedrooms were full last night. Two of my kids, the oldest and youngest, are over for a visit with their grandpa.  Having my father living with us has brought my kids home for more visits than ever, at least since the nest emptied.

I'm doing more cooking and cleaning than I've done for years. That's my "job" now.

According to family legend, my grandfather, my father's father, was a great and dedicated card player. That was his "hobby."  And my father was a good student, mentored by the best.  So, the legend also says that my father played cards in the U.S. Navy on the ships, and a lot of people owed him money.  He was transferred off the USS Indianapolis right before it was torpedoed.

Last night the kids tried to get him to teach them poker tricks/skills, but that seemed beyond his present abilities.  Then they tried Blackjack and discovered that he could still play that like a pro.  He had qualified and worked as a CPA for decades and can still calculate sums, at least well enough for the game.  As he played, he seemed sharper and more alert.  They played for money; something I had never done.  I used to just play for fun.

It's amazing what can stimulate the aged.

Has Youtube Joined With Google-Blogger?

When I clicked "sign in" on youtube before it said that I was signed in already.  It seemed very strange, since I hadn't done youtube for weeks.  I added the Sarah Palin-Barbara Walters interview, then I signed out, and now, I was asked to sign in again on blogger.  So does that mean that they're all connected?  Yes, I'm shilohmuse on many different internet sites/whatevers.

This is getting rather confusing.  I use the same name, shilohmuse, to make life less complicated, but...

OK, as long as they don't ask for money.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Hard to Predict the Weather

I really ought to do some laundry today, so I checked the sky through the window.  From the east it looked pretty clear.

Then I looked to the west, and it was dark and cloudy.

To the south it seemed mixed.

I decided to risk it and loaded the washing machine.  I don't think that I did any or much laundry this week.  Yesterday was rainy, and I went to Jerusalem.  I'll blog about that in a few posts, since there are a number of topics to cover.  I had a wonderful day!

Today we're home; that means me and my father.  I'm expecting lots of guests and hope that the timing works out well.  I also hope that the movie club won't mind that I'll be cooking dinner while showing the film.  I have an "open plan" livingroom diningroom and kitchen in an "L" shape.  Usually I enjoy that flexible open space.  Being in the kitchen isn't being isolated from what's going on in the house.  I hope that my kids won't mind that there will be a movie club here in the afternoon.

So far, from the southern window (the den) I see the sky clearing.  I need a strong sun, not blocked by clouds today.  I still hang out the wash outdoors.  I always have.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shopping in Jerusalem, Something For Every Taste

 I always get a kick out of the store window reflections, even when there's nothing I would buy.
I've never liked snoods. I think of them as colored undershirts with spikes.

This is my kind of food, though I'm not quite sure what they are. Hint! Does anybody know?
I ought to stay away from all this delicious food. For this, I'd go off my diet for a bit. But if I had to choose between the baklava and Hagen Dasz Mint Chip or 5 Mint.... I'll take the ice cream!

Turning Wintery

Nothing's more beautiful than the wintery sky here in Shiloh.  The summer sky is boring, all blue, but as winter approaches, the humidity and clouds make it a visual wonderland. 

May G-d bless us with plentiful rain.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Question, Re: Crocheting a Beret

I've been crocheting a beret, and like all my crochet projects, I don't use a pattern. I can't use one, for a very simple reason.  I don't really know what I'm doing when I crochet; my work is intuitive.

The beret is designed "in my head."  My big question is the diameter.  I don't have any berets in my hat collection, so I'm not sure how large it should be before I either continue a few rows at maximum or start decreasing.

I'd appreciate some advice about diameters.  Thanks

A Dumb Question

cross-posted on Shiloh Musings
There are a number of programs for the elderly here in Israel, not far from us, in Eli, Beit El, Ofra, Jerusalem.  I would love to take my father to them.  There's even a possiblity of organized transportation, which is no problem for him physically.

Unfortunately there's another problem.  The programs are in the morning.  My father needs a lot of sleep and it would be terribly stressful to try to get him up and out so early in the morning. 

I know that his schedule isn't unique, especially among those who are on all sorts of medications.  He would really enjoy the programs and socializing, even though not everyone speaks English.  But he can't participate.  What a shame.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

HH #243 From The Bima Ima

There's no havel in this Havel Havelim by the Bima Ima.  It's not "norishkeit."  She did a great job, and I highly recommend checking it out and visiting all the posts she linked.

Shavua Tov
Have a Great Week

PS I was just interviewed by an AP journalist, so if you see me mentioned in print or TV spot, please let me know, including the link, of course.  Thanks!

Easy Stove-Top Steak

A few months ago, we got one of those heavy cast-iron grilling pans.  I finally used it to grill "turkey steaks."  The Jerusalem's most handsome bachelors used one when they grilled beef steaks for me last year. 

First I put some garlic and onion and oil in the pan and heated it up.

Then I placed the steaks, turned them over a few times, and they were delicious!

There was no need to do more.

The only "tricky" part is caring for the pan.  After washing, it must be dried well and oiled.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We've Been Invaded!

We're paying the price for leaving the door open and enjoying yesterday's warm air.  Some flies decided to stay for Shabbat, and they are very annoying.

There were other Friday afternoon guests who came to see my father, but they didn't stay very long.  I wish the flies had left and the cousins had stayed...

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Latest in Home Renovations

Do you see that shiny, new railing?  It was installed just before I brought my father to live with us.

When we built the house twenty-five years ago, the few steps leading to our front door didn't seem like too many.  But in recent years I've had to help neighbors walk up and down them and I'd get nervous about those who insisted that they could make it fine on their own.

Inside our house there aren't any stairs, making it very comfortable and safe for the elderly and crawling babies.

We're not the only people in Shiloh to have added a bannister, so people can have something to hold onto.  Ours isn't very fancy, but it's strong and matches the ones the same workman put up on the main path from the road to the synagogue.  My neighbor's father ordered them when he moved here.

Our Shiloh neighbood is now twenty-eight years old.  The first "temporary" prefabricated structures arrived August, 1981.  We moved into "ours" that September 1.  We have children older than we were then, and now we have to take into consideration the needs of the much more elderly.  Synagogue renovations are wheelchair accessible as well as for baby carriages.

Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, we're a community for all ages.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

American Teenager vs Israeli Men

So far, the attempt to send a young American basketball player to Israel's top league is proving disastrous.  Talent and potential aren't enough to make it in anything.  Jeremy Tyler should never have had been sent to Israel, certainly not without someone to supervise, guide and mentor him.

American Jewish teens get into enough trouble when on programs designed for their age and background, but an 18 year old Black basketball prodigy among Israeli men is just a recipe for disaster.

There's an enormous gap between American and Israeli youth, and frequently it can't be conquered.  We're in Israel almost forty years, and it seems that American men have a bigger problem fitting into Israeli male society than American women into female society here.  It's not a simple matter of learning Hebrew.  Women bond more easily than American men.

Generally sports help, but not when the American teenager has had it too easy.  Too much talent deprives a person of certain necessary learning and socialization skills.  Tyler's handlers made a big mistake, and his immaturity would probably keep him from succeeding wherever he goes next or if he had stayed in the states.

From Tyler's quotations in the media, his chances for success in life are pretty poor.  Of course, miracles can always happen.  What a waste of money and effort and hype on the part of  Maccabi Haifa.

So Much Better Than I Had Remembered

Yesterday I hosted my movie club.  I also chose the movie, a comedy, I had fond memories of from the one time I had seen it about twenty years ago, The Dream Team.

No, it's not a sports movie, has nothing to do with basketball and the Olympics.

It's so funny, that it's positively medicinal!  That's because laughing is good for your health.
Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

When they were leaving I spoke to one of them about the pros and cons of watching television and movies.  Considering the health benefits of a good comedy, we decided that as long as one doesn't spend one's days glued to the tube, it's good to have a set or DVD player just for great comedies, like the one we watched, considering how healthy laughter is.  You can call the movies, "pikuach nefesh," life saving.
There were about a dozen people, mostly older than me, in the living room.  My father was the oldest, and he was pleased to meet so many of my neighbors.  He knew a few of the people beforehand.  My Shiloh neighbors are an amazing bunch.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I just leaned badly on my wrist.  I hope it doesn't swell up.

I've been busy visiting other blogs this morning.  I commented on some. 

I wonder if there's a blog carnival with posts like my recent ones about taking care of elderly parents.  Am I tempted to start one?  Good question.  My blog carnival about losing weight was a waste of time.  It didn't bring me extra hits/visits.

This computer needs a "restart," since outlook refuses to show.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Milestone in My Saga, Taking Care of My Elderly Father

So far, bli eyin haraa (don't tempt the evil eye) my father can do a lot for himself.  One thing he can't do is to change the battery of his hearing aid.  That's because his eyesight isn't all that great nowadays, so he can't see it.

Last week, at my daughter's instructions, we went to "HaOzen," a hearingaid place.  I bit the bullet and told the young guy that I'm taking care of my father, and as he can see my father wears hearingaids, and I haven't a clue how to deal with them.  So, I got a lesson, how to clean and how to change batteries and know when that's necessary.  I bought the necessary supplies, brought them home and...

... I waited until a bolt from the blue would tell me when to use my new skills.  Yesterday it hit!

"It's very strange.  These hearingaids don't seem to be working."

"Hmmm... maybe it's time for me to change the batteries."

I "tested" them and they were dead.  So I got the equipment, and easier than I had ever guessed, changed the batteries, and my father was able to hear better.

All the challenges should be this easy.

Cottage Cheese Cheesecake

When our firstborn was almost a year old, my in-laws came to visit and meet their first grandchild.  They brought a gift, a blender, a Hamilton Beach one which lasted decades.  The blender came with a nice big cookbook, which I read from cover to cover.

I must admit that I cooked very few of those recipes.  The one I cooked the most was its cheesecake.  And this morning I got a facebook message from an old friend asking if I still make it and a request for the recipe.  So if she remembers it fondly from over thirty-five, yes 35, years ago, it's definitely worth blogging.

In those days we didn't have great varieties of food here in Israel.  We always had to substitute, so I used plain cookies/biscuits instead of the zweibacks, the book lists.  Honestly, to this day, I haven't the vaguest idea what zweibacks are.

It's a very easy cheesecake recipe using easy to find ingredients.  It's simple to make and make lower fat if desired.  I'm sure it'll taste fine with arificial sweetners, too.  You can add cut fruit and anything else, including chocolate.  Recipes are supposed to be "played with."  Please let me know how it comes out.

Here's the recipe, including commentary:
18 "zweiback"
2 Tablespoons sugar (could be deleted, makes the topping too sweet) 
1/3 cup melted butter (I must have used about 2 or 3 cubed inches)
1 cup milk
1 T lemon juice, which was awful, so I used vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 T flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I never add salt to cakes, so you can leave it out)
lemon rind, optional and not recommended
16 ounces of cottage cheese
  1. blend the cookies into crumbs, making 1 1/2 cups
  2. mix crumbs with the 2 T's of sugar and the melted butter
  3. press just under half of it on the bottom of a 9x9x2 or 8" round baking pan
  4. put remaining ingredients in blender, in order listed, and blend until smooth
  5. pour into baking pan
  6. spread remaining crumb mixture, actually, I used to just make less crumbs and only use them on the bottom.  You can reduce the calories enormously by eliminating the topping, or top without bottom crumbs.
  7. bake until center is firm, temperature a drop less than for a regular cake.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Few Hours To Myself

I've been told by the experts that I must give myself a few hours a week, at least, for myself, so I won't burn out.

In many ways taking care of the elderly is more difficult than taking care of babies.  Babies are portable and they grow up and become independent.  I'm more tied down taking care of my father than I was  when I was a SAHM all those decades ago, when my daughters were little.  When my sons were babies I was a working mother, part-time, but still working.

Last week we took my father to Jerusalem, and it took him a couple of days to recover.  So, unless we have no choice, we're staying here in Shiloh or Ofra, where my married daugher lives.  It's only about 15 minutes away.

Today I traveled to Jerusalem to do a bit of shopping.  I bought fabric for winter skirts.  My friend will sew them for me. 

Sometimes I wish that I had a sewing machine, so I could do my own sewing.  Actually, it would be fun, creative and very expensive.  That's because I'd be buying tons of fabric for all sorts of clothes I don't need, and I probably wouldn't end up sewing the clothes.

Actually, I used to do that with the crocheting.  I have a large collection of yarn bought and never used.  So, now when I have the yearning to crochet, I go through my old yarn.


... the computer has been working so slowly, I knew it was time to do myself a manicure.  Again my nails are apple green.  Who ever thought of nail polish in such a color?  It's far from the frosted coral of my childhood.

...before winter returns, I ought to do a lot of laundry, to be hung out to dry.

...since my husband is home, I'll go out and leave my father safely with him.

... yes, it's time to turn off the computer or at least get up and showered, dressed etc for the day's activities.

Jack Presents The Thank G-d For Blog Carnival Edition of Havel Havelim!

Fearless leader Jack takes responsibility for HH and does it himself.  Having put together more than my share of blog carnivals, I know how much work even a bare bones edition can be.

Thanks Jack.  Your work is appreciated!

And now for the rest of you, please show your appreciation and take a gander!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Changing Gears

It seems like life is just a series of gear changes.  There are times we just can't fight it.  Go with it.  That's what I'm doing now that my father is living with us.

The pace of my life is slower.  I can't speed up my father, so I find it more comfortable to adjust my pace to his.

I'm just being pragmatic, as pragmatic as I can, with G-d's help.

I've Been "Burnt;" I'm Sure You've Been, Too

Recently a total stranger sent me an angry email demanding to know why I credited him with writing an article, on an old, inactive blog, which I no longer update, he had never written.

Actually, he didn't bother to send me the link, so I had to do an internet search to find what he had referred to.  Eventually, I found the "guilty" article.  Luckily, I had thanked the person who had sent me the original information in the post.  I passed that person's email onto the person complaining and hope that they'll straighten it out between them.

So much false information floats around the internet.  I'm sure I'm not the only blogger who has deleted posts based on totally false information.  I wish people who send out emails warning us of all sorts of later proven to be false scares would check things out first.

Recently, I got something from a friend claiming something "that we all must protest and publicize."  She forwarded it with all the prior fowarded addresses.  I know one of them and asked him for verification.  He answered that he "trusted" the person who had sent it to him.  That's not good enough for me.  I asked him to verify it and am waiting for his response.

One thing that has me very suspicious is the font used in the original scare/warning letter.  It's the old dot-matrix font, which isn't popular today.  I can't imagine anyone very serious or official using it.

Today's technology makes fraud very easy.  It pays to be a bit paranoid to prevent later embarrassment.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness and Dogs

These two well-dressed dogs were spotted visiting patients in the North Shore Hospital, Long Island, NY when I was there to visit my mother in October.

I didn't quite catch onto the connection, but they were part of the big Breast Cancer Awareness events of that time.  I even bought some batteries all decorated in pink.  The profits are supposed to go to research or support for those suffering from the disease.

The dogs may be cute, but I consider it more important to humanize the illness.  Read RivkA's blog, Coffee and Chemo.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Every Day is Thanksgiving

Aren't we supposed to start the day with the Modeh Ani, "I thank you G-d" prayer?

Michael, of the Gantseh Megillah, considers this month's edition to be the Thanksgiving Gantseh Megillah, because Thanksgiving is a Jewish Holiday.

Thanks Michael for a great job!

So, There's Kosher Food, Is That Enough?

It's considered pretty easy to live kosher in America, but is that enough?  This article about the big kosher food expo is quite a binge.

Last week we read Lech Lecha as the Torah Portion of the Week.  In it G-d tells Abram to "go where I tell you."  He doesn't say to live wherever there are good kosher restaurants and large kosher food selections in the supermarket.

There's more to Jewish living than bagels.

Abram didn't call take-out delivery when his three surprise guests arrived.  He and Sarai did the cooking themselves, and they didn't even have a large freezer.

My husband and I have been in Israel for almost forty years and in Shiloh for 3/4 of it.  We've seen this wonderful country grow and develop.  Not in a million years could I ever imagine living anyplace else.

So many of our old friends are stuck in America, still trying to save that "extra money" to facilitate aliyah.  That's the big myth, that you must wait and save.

Send your kids here before they're stuck, too.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Oops! I Confess, I Gained Weight

Yes, that's bad news for a diet maven on a public diet.  Well, .700 kilo or 700 grams in a week or so.  That's under two pounds.  But, yes the but, it has been my first week home after the demise of my subbing job, not teaching.  The stress factor had me noshing more, probably more than double the fruit allowance.

I must get back on a good food schedule, which I haven't had for the past few months.

Also, it's for sure a sign that I'm in my last stage of weight loss, because my weight has been doing subtle up/downs the past couple of months.  The bottom line is less, but every couple of weeks there's a slight rise.

It's harder for me to get good exercise, since my father needs me in the house with him.  I try to take walks with him, but I need more, so I have to wait until my husband gets home at night.

I'll have to drink more 0 calorie water and teas and make more "unlimited" vegetables.  Today's today, and yesterday is over.  So, here we go back to the eating changes which helped me lose over thirty five pounds, more than 15 kilo.

Just don't call it "diet."

Referred By The New York Times

The New York Times has my recent post about the vegetarian option for kosher eaters as its top blog.
Headlines Around the Web

What's This?


November 4, 2009

Is The Veggie Option Really Kosher?

Yes, I've been there before, since I'm on their radar.

Yesterday I Cut My Hair

This post probably makes no sense to you unless you know that for religious reasons my hair is covered.  In recent years I traded in my larger hats for small crocheted ones, and when I was younger I'd wear all sorts of scarves.  Very recently, I've reintroduced scarves to my "hat wardrobe."

No grammar mistake here, because I really did cut my hair, all by myself, without the aid of a back mirror. 

When my hair was long and nobody could see the ends, it seemed totally ridiculous to waste money on professional cuts.  Then a few years ago, when I decided to wear it short, I had other people cut it, including professionals and a haircutting school.

Frequently, after getting home, I'd feel that too much hair was left and I'd "trim" it off.  Or to delay the "next cut," I'd trim ends which were sticking out of my hats.  The past few months I allowed "a curl" to stick out of my hat.  It was "cute," but I don't like hair used for that reason.  It goes against what I understand is the Halacha, Jewish Law.  The hair of a married woman should not be used as a "decoration," "attraction."

That "longish" hair also didn't work with my cap-like hats.  So, now that I'm home with my father, without having to rush out to work, I took out my special hair-cutting scissors after yesterday's shower & shampoo, and with the help of a comb, I began cutting.  The trick is the angle you hold the scissors and having special scissors.  Ordinary paper scissors aren't sharp enough which could damage the ends of your hair.

I have no idea how it looks from the back, but it feels OK.  I may have a neighbor check it out and even it if necessary.

All in all, my "head feels better," and I'm glad I finally did it.