Friday, November 30, 2012

Time for A New Watch

A couple of years ago, I went to my favorite old-style real watch repair place on Betzalel Street, Jerusalem to get my Speedo watch repaired or battery changed.  I was given bad news.  It was irreparable, all rusted inside.  That was his proof, again, that there's no such thing as a fully waterproof watch.  Once you open it for the first battery to be replaced it can't be considered waterproof.

So, I bought a simple, cheap watch for ns70.  It lasted almost two full years.  The past few weeks I began to notice that the watch was losing time, so this week when in Jerusalem I stopped by again and picked out a new one. 

The price of his simple watches had gone up to all of ns80- with a year's guarantee.

At my age, a watch must be easy to read.  That's the only "style" I care about. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

And What Can You Say About This One?

I'm sure that anyone who has dealt with a two year old can easily relate.  Fill in the blanks and caption it if you wish in the comments.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Upgrading for Chanukah

Since I keep hearing that the real way to light the Hanukkah menorah aka chanukiya is outside the house, maybe I should buy myself a present.

Where do you light yours and how many does your family light?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's How You Look at It

The sun does rise every day, even when we can't see it. And the sun shines every day all the time, too.  Sometimes it's just all hidden away.

On a winter's morning like this one pictured here, it's hard to predict whether the sun or clouds will dominate the day.  We need both.  Without those clouds there won't be rain and without the rain we'll all die.  So, when it's winter here in Israel, we must remember that a rainy, wet day is a glorious beautiful one.

I really appreciate and agree with the Bima Ima's post about taking a new path.  We shouldn't let ourselves get into a rut of "this is the only way..."  There are many ways to do things, and it's good to shake ourselves up periodically.

It's good to reflect on life.  That's the key to תשובה Teshuva, Repentance a cornerstone of Judaism.

The front door of our synagogue, NoamYonatan, Ramat Shmuel, Shiloh

Monday, November 26, 2012

Returning to Work

Yesterday I jumped back in, full schedule and all after being home a week to try to recover from a pulled painful shoulder injury.  It's not that I'm 100% recovered, but if I wait for that I'll never ever work again.

Luckily they like me enough at work to make life as bearable as possible. We all have our weaknesses and try to compensate for each others'. Best of all there is a new worker who seemed fitter than all of us, B"H.  That was a nice surprise.

I'm glad that I had a good reason/excuse to get out of the house in the morning before my night shift.  I had to vote in Likud Primaries.  For my report on that "experience" you can read CLICK this post.  Politics in Israel is always entertaining, sort of theatre of the absurd, grand farce and all that.

There was a real carnival feeling as I approached the polling station.  Too bad they hadn't offered space to craftsmen selling jewelry, scarves etc.  It would have been more worthwhile than the kids trying to recite the spiels promoting various candidates they had memorized.  Considering the long wait before voting, they could have done good business selling hot dogs and cotton candy.

At Yafiz some of the customers said that they had gone to Sha'ar Binyamin to vote.  I guess I'm lucky that we had our own polling station in Shiloh.  With everything so computerized, we could choose voting stations and weren't assigned to one specific one.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Bibi and crew could also see exactly how the vote was going....

Enough politics, this is supposed to be my "fun blog."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving for Havel Havelim

Rickismom is the host of this week's very grateful Havel Havelim, the weekly Jewish  blog post round-up.  Most of the posts are from Israel concerning the aborted war.  Take a look, read, comment and share them all, thanks.  If you'd like to host an HH or want more information, please join our facebook page, thanks.

And just to remind you, I'll be hosting the Tevet Kosher Cooking Carnival in a couple of weeks.  Is Chanukah really that soon!!??!  Submit your post, or any relevant post you may spot, via blog carnival.  You have to sign up with them to do it. It's painless.  If you have any problems or want to volunteer to host a KCC, please contact me directly.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simply Delicious

A few weeks ago I bought a "mini-pumpkin," or dalorit as it's called in Hebrew.  I kept visioning  myself stuffing it with chopped meat.  For some strange reason, I was craving a meal based on this idea.

I figured that it's a bit risky to serve something like that to most guests, because it's pretty much an entire meal, and another problem was that we only had one, which would make just two servings.  Finally on Thursday I bought some ground chicken and didn't have guests lined up for Friday night.  In a sense you can say that eating half a mini-pumpkin was the closest we had to a Thanksgiving meal.

I cut the dalorit in half, as you can see here, cleaned out the seeds and put it in a pretty baking pan.
Then I mixed the ground poultry (you can use chicken, turkey, beef or any combination) with tomato past, onion, an egg and spices.
I had about 2/3 a kilo, just under 3 lbs of ground chicken.  It was about double the amount I needed for the two servings.
Then I stuffed the two halves with the chopped meat.
I used the leftover meat mixture to make a meatloaf, which conveniently fit in my oven to bake at the same time.
I baked them until they seemed ready. Every oven is different, so I can't tell you what temperature and for how long.  Sorry

The stuffed mini-pumpkin looked pretty good when it came out of the oven.

And then we had to wait until Friday night to eat it.  I was pretty nervous, because I usually serve a pretty standard meal, animal protein, a starch for my husband, salad and at least two vegetables.  That's a standard meal.  On Friday nights, my husband has soup and sometimes some corn on the cob, too.

You can't get a full idea of the size from the picture, but they were each a meal.  I had also baked two tiny sweet potatoes.  All I ate was my salad, the sweet potato, which I really didn't need and my serving of stuffed mini-pumpkin.  My husband had the same, plus rice, soup and corn.  I felt stuffed!  And I'm a big eater.

You can do the same with any similar type of vegetable.  The advantage of this size is that there really isn't any need to serve anything else besides the salad.

I could have flavored the chopped meat differently and probably will next time.

If you give this a try, please let me know how it comes out and other suggestions, thanks.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jerusalem Bus Routes Change Again

They say that being forced to learn new thing keeps the mind young and fresh, so I guess we must thank Egged, the Jerusalem bus company for their efforts to prevent massive senility.

And this time, they hired all these sweet young people to try to prepare us for what we have no control over.  On Wednesday, while I was waiting on Shlomzion Hamalka Street for the 18 (or 49 or 13) to get to Matan, this lovely young man came over to ask me if I was aware that the days of this bus stop are numbered.

As of today there will no longer be any bus stop on Shlomzion Hamalka Street.  The 18 will go to King George and then do the #4/4א detour on Rachel Imenu, while the #4/4א will go straight on Emek Refaim.

I'll have two options if I must take a "pit stop*" at the Jerusalem Municipality.  I can walk to the King David Street bus stop for the 49 and 13 which get near Matan but not as close as the 18.  And if I can live/travel without a "pit stop" I can take the train one more stop, to King George and pick up the 18 or 4/4א or 21 there.

*There are other "pit stop" options on the way, such as Horse Park (though the last time I tried that it was being renovated/closed,) the Begin Center, Gan Haatzma'ut or Gan Hapa'amon.  I once popped into the Israel Center which was B"H open early because of a bus trip.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Renewal, Another Chance

Considering how miserable Bibi and politics and war have been making me, I need to blog something good and encouraging this morning.

Just a few short days ago, it was all brown and dry here.  A few inches of rain and we see the sproutings of green.  OK, maybe some of those sprouts, leaves are just weeds.  But weeds are related to the wild flowers, G-d's favorite way to decorate the Land.

Rain is a blessing, a gift from G-d.  It's the key to life.  And no matter how much we sin, G-d keeps on giving us more chances to repent.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Such a Simple Vegetable Soup

Here's the soup I made for myself when I could barely hold a knife, and even harder was cutting with one.  I needed a good hearty meal, and while at the job of cooking, of course I made a quantity enough for a few meals.

To cut down on the stress to my injured shoulder/arm, as you can see, I didn't cut the vegetables much.  The brown lentils needed plenty of cooking, so that suits the timing for large carrots.  I just cut them with the spoon when eating.  They were very soft.

Exact quantities aer not important.  The most important thing is a good pot with a lid. 

Here are the instructions:
  • check your lentils, peas or any combo for small stones or bugs
  • put them in a pot and more than cover with boiling water
  • cover and leave for at least an hour
  • add more boiling water and put on a low flame
  • add onion, carrot and any other vegetable you want, such as squash, pumpkin or sweet potato
  • add a spoon or more of cooking oil
  • leave to cook on a low flame for an hour or so
  • if you see the water being absorbed add more boiling water
  • add your salt and seasoning only when it's almost ready
  • when everything is soft, turn off the flame, leave it for a few minutes and it's ready to eat

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reiki, Acupuncture, No PT, Dawn of New World

We're only human, aren't we. And we, including me, have to remember to take care of ourselves.  I guess I wasn't careful enough last week, because I found myself in awful pain in my shoulder and upper arm.  At least G-d was good and had me with some dear friends and family when the pain became unbearable.

One of the friends is an expert in Reiki and gave me a "first aid" treatment.  No doubt that Rav Kook's presence on the wall contributed to its effectiveness and helped me relax a bit and me get home safely.

Once it became clear, the very next morning, that this wasn't going to just clear up (get all better) all by itself in a day or so that I'd have to take additional action.  I actually went to the local doctor on Sunday morning. 

We have this lovely clinic, Kupat Cholim Le'umit in Shiloh, and I'm happy to say that I'm pretty much a stranger there even though I pay all sorts of extra fees for special treatments and discounts.  But in all honesty I'd rather subsidize others than be sick or injured.  But regardless, my turn came to be an actual patient.

Everyone was rather surprised to see me, and some of the staff and I are total strangers. That is everyone besides the secretary who is a close friend and the doctor who hasn't met me enough to remember who I am.

After looking at my file and hearing my story, the doctor recommended physical therapy, which I rejected, or one of the alternative/complementary/holistic medical options.  I refused the PT, because my body (the injured soft tissue) isn't ready to be stressed and retrained.  First everything must be totally healed before enduring such a treatment, and he agreed when I explained my refusal. 

I was sent to the secretary to hear my other treatment options.  As a "gold member" I had a choice of various alternative treatments.  I decided on acupuncture.  One of the reasons is that there is a specialist on Shiloh who even has clinic hours in his home.  I have very fond memories of Shabbat meals and Torah classes in that house from when it had been owned by close friends who no longer live in Shiloh.  And I was able to make an appointment for that evening.  He uses the Japanese method of acupuncture, and since then, thank G-d, I've had felt/seen steady improvement.

It's amazing how wonderful it feels to be flossing my teeth or washing dishes or managing to get a shirt over my head after a few days when pain had made those simple mundane acts impossible.

And now my lessons are:
  • I'm not immune to injury.
  • I must get enough sleep.
  • I must pace myself better.
  • I can't work a morning shift immediately after a night one.
  • I can't count on my body healing quickly or without some sort of help.
  • I must get myself back into shape, especially in the winter when I can't go swimming.
  • I shouldn't wait until I'm in serious pain to get help.
  • I have wonderful friends and neighbors!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back at The Ranch... Praying for Israel's Victory

Here in Shiloh, thankfully far from the targets, we are trying to do our best for the war efforts.  One of the young women has been inviting the women for T'hillim, Psalms daily.
Most of those who attend come with very young children who play with our hostesses' kids.
The saying is:
תהילים נגד טילים
T'hillim negged teelim
Psalms  against missiles

Lots of Jblog Carnivals, HH and KCC, The War and the Home Front

Design by Paula
Esser Agaroth named Havel Havelim #386 the Rocket Edition because of Israel's latest war, which has so far been a rocket shooting competition.  Many of the posts are about  Pillar of Defense.  I'm sure you'll find lots to read there.  Next week's Havel Havelim will be hosted on   Beneath The Wings .  For more information about Havel Havelim, check our facebook page.

Design by Pesky
Yosef Silver of This American Bite is host of the Rosh Chodesh Kislev Kosher Cooking Carnival.  Due to some technical problems, it can be found on storify.  It's full of delicious posts to check out about kosher foods and cooking.  I'll be hosting the next one, Rosh Chodesh Tevet, on Dec. 14 here.  Send in your posts via blog carnival.  If you'd like to host an edition, please contact me.  We also have a facebook page which you can join.

Jewish bloggers from all over the world give a perspective you won't find in the conventional media.  It's definitely worth your while to read our posts.  Thanks

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yes. Life Goes On

I posted a variety of links about the war on Shiloh Musings which you're invited to read and share.  Of course, if you don't I've just wasted an hour or more of my day.

I'm in  a bit of a rush right now, so please enjoy my fruit bowl.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset -- War



Israel is at war.  I hope we will destroy the enemy, since that's what the want to do to us. 

We've been in Israel since 1970.  So we remember when these graves were freshly dug.

Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery, graves from 1973 Yom Kippur War

Friday, November 16, 2012

Month of Kislev, Chanukah is On The Way

I spotted this on sale already in Machane Yehuda, just the day before Rosh Chodesh Kislev.  Everything you need for Chanukah.

And the next day I was at Tel Shiloh for Rosh Chodesh Prayers.

Next month, Rosh Chodesh will be Tevet.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Tevet
Friday, December 14, 2012
1 Tevet 5773 8:30am
Tour of Tel & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש טבת בתל שילה

יום ו' 14-12 א' טבת תשע"ג 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

Tel Shiloh, Shiloh HaKedumah is open for visitors every day except Shabbat. Call 02-994-4019.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rosh Chodesh Kislev. Month of Chanukah

Today my plan is to go to Tel Shiloh to pray.  Considering that there's a war going on here in Israel, that's the most productive and useful thing I can do.

My friends and I come to Tel Shiloh for prayers every Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish Month.

In another few weeks we'll be celebrating Chanukah, the Holiday of Heroism.  Call it "matching funds."  If we fight properly in the name of G-d, then G-d will guarantee us victory regardless to the quality and quantity of our weapons.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Taking Homework Seriously, At Two

Ahh the grandchildren...

Yesterday I babysat the grandkids.  The little one considers herself no different from her elder siblings, so Miss tagalong  also does homework.

I hope she enjoys it as much when she gets assignments for real.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

That Second Wind

Last night at work, my body and the clock had a slight disagreement. 

My boss had told us to close later than usual, ten instead of 9:30, and at one point I was certain that ten was rapidly approaching.  I even found myself a neighbor in the supermarket who could take me home.  But then I looked up at the wall by the cash registers and saw a clock and realized that it was barely nine.

My body had the time totally off.  I was exhausted.  I couldn't go with the neighbor.

I forced myself back into WORK WORK mode and suddenly I had energy.  In the end, the store was pretty empty by 9:15 and we closed at our usual 9:30.

Three tremps (rides) later I was safely home and wide awake.

Not even a nice cup of chamomile tea helped to calm me down.  It took much too long to fall asleep and here I am, starting the next day totally wiped out, and the week isn't over yet and I have lots to do...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Havel Havelim Debut on

I'm always glad to welcome bloggers to the ranks of Havel Havelim hosts, and this week we have a new one, Naomi of She has done a fine job.  Please be sure to visit, read the posts, comment and share.

Havel Havelim is a joint project by Jewish bloggers all over the world.  We communicate by email and facebook.  Havel Havelim is a blog carnival, which is like an internet magazine, which has blog posts for articles.  There are all sorts of blog carnivals. 

In a couple of days another Jewish blog carnival will be posted, the Kosher Cooking Carnival.  It's a monthly, which  appears on the first of the Jewish Month aka Rosh Chodesh.  this American Bite is hosting Rosh Chodesh Kislev.  You can send your post/link via the blog carnival site.  More information plus alternate ways of sending links can be found on our KCC facebook page.  If you'd like to host an edition please contact me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winter Rains for Real, THANK G-D!!

Yes, Baruch HaShem, may the Good Lord be Praised, we had some serious rain on Shabbat, and it hasn't fully ended.

Remember that a "nice day" during the Israeli winter is a wet one.  So, no complaints, please.  Just take out your boots, raincoats and umbrellas.  Oops! All of my umbrellas were destroyed by heavy winds last winter.  I must buy a new one, or more.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Recycling, In Shiloh, Too

I feel like rewriting "Everything's up to date in Kansas City" as "Everything's up to date in Shiloh, Israel."

The recycling bins and cages get full more and more quickly.

I think that the company/organizations which are supposed to pick the various stuff up, paper, plastic, cardboard and metal should speed up their service.

Here we have neighborhood and street locations for garbage and recycling.  I don't know how many locations there are for the recycling in Shiloh, but we have large garbage cans on every street.  It's much easier than what my parents had to deal with on Long Island.  There, they had a variety of home garbage cans, color-coded for various types of garbage.  They had to put the correct one out by the street on certain days or they'd be stuck with the garbage for another week.

I like our system better.  There are regular pickups twice a week and more before holidays.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Getting on With Life, Go Forward

Just don't look back.  One of the things I'll never forget and I try to implement in my life from the "life coaching" course I took a number of years ago, was to let go of the past.  Don't hold onto the past. Keep going forward.

We were taught a visualization technique to help our clients and ourselves.

There's something we didn't learn in the coaching course, but it's important, too, is to know how and when to lean on, depend on or trust others.

No doubt that someone with a successful coaching or counseling business is successful in generating that sort of relationship with clients.  The client feels the need for the help of the coach and is willing to continue paying.

In real life most of us don't have coaches.  If we're lucky we have family and friends we can trust.  That's certainly something to pray for and thank G-d for.

Decisions and implementing them are up to us, our responsibility and we must take responsibility...

Take a deep breath, let go and go forward...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Lost Potential

Take a good look:

It breaks my heart to see all that lost potential.  G-d gave us so many rich grapes and we didn't harvest them.  We didn't eat them.  We didn't make them into juice nor wine.  This year our neighbors didn't ask for them.

G-d gives us so much.

Do we use all of the gifts, talents, opportunities?

I must admit that I don't.  One of the hardest things I've had to realize after reaching half (plus now) of the "ad me'ah v'esrim" (to 120) blessing is that I've used up, frequently wasted much to much of my life.

Unlike the grapes, which grow annually, we don't start over anew bigger and better every year.  We have to take each day, minute, hour and try to milk  the best of it. 

We can't count on becoming a great new success at an elderly age like Grandma Moses.  I guess I ought to take my own instructions to heart and try to use my life better and live my dreams.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Turning "Meatloaf" Mixture Into Something Special

Most cooks get bored with the same recipes, even when the audience loves them.  Or is it the opposite?  Sometimes it's worth making something that looks special, but you don't have the time or money to use expensive ingredients.

A favorite of mine is taking the same "meatloaf*," chopped/ground meat/poultry that could be in a meatloaf or hamburger and layer it with vegetables.

For a lower calorie protein main course, layer with sliced eggplant. It's bulk that fills people up.   I like using eggplant when it's in season.  I don't bother doing any of the "eggplant preparation" methods, like parboiling or salting.  There's no need.  The eggplants here in Israel are delicious.  If yours aren't, then substitute squash, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes whatever.

*what to add to the chopped/ground meat/poultry per pound or half kilo
  • diced onion small
  • tomato paste 2T
  • raw egg
  • garlic, oregano whatever spices you want
I bake it in a nice bake serve dish or aluminum pan for freezing or bringing to neighbors for potluck etc.  Yes, it does freeze well.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

And A Double Surprise That Fits

Here in Israel, we've been murmuring and worrying about the dry winter weather.  In terms of Jewish weather seasons, there's either summer or winter.  It's either supposed to be wet and rainy, or it's supposed to be dry and sunny.  Spring sort of exists, because isn't Pesach Passover חג האביב Chag He'Aviv, The Spring Holiday
Passover "The holiday is also referred to as Chag he-Aviv Chag he-Aviv (in Hebrew), (the Spring Festival)..."

But "fall" or "autumn" doesn't appear as a Jewish concept.  At the end of Succot, Simchat Torah, we already start asking G-d to change the weather and two weeks later we begin praying for rain in earnest by adding ותן טל ומטר לברכה v’tein tal u’matar livracha, Deliver Dew and Rain as a Blessing to our prayers.
In Israel, we should ask for rain right after Succot, but we wait the two weeks until 7 Cheshvan to allow the last Jew (who came to Yerushalayim for the chag) to return to his home near n’har P’rat. This applies even in our time when we don’t have real aliyah l’regel, and when modern methods of transportation and conditions would remove the necessity of the two-week postponement. We still learn much from the message of the reason for the two-week “delay”.
Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin
Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin
Is it an "only in Israel" where umbrellas are suddenly on sale the same week we begin praying for rain?

But being Jews, I keep hearing this complaint:

"It hasn't rained yet!" 
That's strange, since I remember that it had rained the other Friday, because we suddenly had to rush out and rescue the almost dry clothes which had been hanging on the clothesline.  There was another day when at work, suddenly all the boxes of unopened stock had to be rushed under cover because of rain.  It definitely has rained.

And I discovered a secret.  G-d sometimes sends us rain in when we're asleep.  Last night, just as I was getting ready for bed neighbors got back to me that they needed the dog food (table scraps I collect for them) ASAP, so I told them to run over immediately.  I brought it to the door and figured I'd meet them half way, but I couldn't.  I had already kicked off my shoes and it was raining.  Yes, a very silent gentle rain, like the touch of a loving parent.  If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have had a clue that it had rained at all.

And for another surprise, one of a more personal nature.  No, sorry, not that at all.  Among the clothes my children rescued from the attic a couple of weeks ago, was this raincoat I wore in the late 1960's.  Yes, it still fits.  I guess it was very large then.  Another raincoat didn't fit.