Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Havel Havelim at A Soldier's Mother

Better late than never...

Paula, A Soldier's Mother was quick to volunteer to host Havel Havelim a few weeks ago during the snow/blizzard. At that time I was sans electricity, and the official predictions were that it may take even a couple of weeks for things to return to normal in Shiloh.  And to tell the truth, there still are problems with the street lamps between the main junction and Shiloh itself, even though we have "regular" electricity at home.
 I didn't take into account an emergency trip to the hospital (he's fine, thank God). I didn't take into consideration a birth (she's fine and so is her new baby boy). I didn't take into consideration having to deliver about 100 documents rebranded (let's not talk about that one).
Paula is not only a soldier's mother, she also has other children and a business, so after a few more important things than our long-running international Jewish blog carnival, she posted it yesterday.  Read, comment and share, thanks.  THANK YOU PAULA!!

Blog Carnivaljewish-israel blog carnival aka havel ha
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Havel Havelim is the weekly blog carnival, started many, many years ago by David of Soccer Dad, which offers links to many Jewish and/or Israeli blogs. HH  floats around the internet.  We organize it on our facebook page.  Links can be sent via blog carnival.  Let me know if you'll like to host an edition.  It's not hard.  Hosts will receive the links and the "instacarnival" from them and should also include other posts of their choosing. 
I'll be hosting the next one in just a few days, and as I've done before when my HH hosting and my Rosh Chodesh Kosher Cooking Carnival coincide, I'll combine them.

Blog Carnivalkosher cooking carnival-kcc
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Just to remind you, it's not all that difficult to host a blog carnival. Try it.  Choose one or both.  If you'd like, then please email me at shilohmuse at gmail dot com.  You're invited to join our facebook pages Havel Havelim andKosher Cooking Carnival. It's best to send in your links via blog carnival,KCCHH.  Blog Carnival send the hosts not only links to posts that have been submitted but also a suggested "mock-up" sample of what could be the carnival.  They send it in two versions, embedded text and html.  You can paste an edit what they send.  In addition I suggest adding posts and pictures you've seen which fit the criteria of the carnival.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Planning Another Trip

With my father still alive in Arizona, I'll be going there again in a few weeks.  There were years I didn't travel abroad at all.  But since my parents became too old to travel to Israel I started going there once, now twice a year. My mother passed away early summer, so now it's just my very elderly father who lives near my sister.

This year I'll combine the AZ trip with visiting cousins in Miami.  I've never been to Miami, FL before.  I've always wanted to go, ever since my mother's oldest and younger sisters moved there with their families when I was little. One cousin and his family are still in Florida, and they have always been telling me that I'm invited.  They were in Israel a few years ago, and we had a wonderful time together.  This year I'm taking them up on their offer.

I have my Arizona Shabbat plans set with the people I stayed with last January, and I still have to set up the Miami, Florida end. That's what happens when you're the only strictly Torah observant Shomer Shabbat person in a large Jewish family.  But I'm not worried. G-d willing, it will all work out.  (Invitations appreciated.)

And as for the blog carnivals I coordinate, we have a debut hostess lined up for the Adar Alef Kosher Cooking Carnival,  Food Discovery, and I'm looking for a few volunteers for Havel Havelim.  If you'd like to host, please let me know, thanks.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wonderful Shiloh, Wonderful Neighbors

Last night was the annual "honoring volunteers of the year" ceremony in Shiloh.  Lots of neighbors came to celebrate the wonderful volunteerism that  exists here in Shiloh.

It started off praising those who either as volunteers or beyond the call of duty in their jobs helped others during the great blizzard of Tevet 5774, December 2013.

People were praised for finding car-owners willing to charge phones, the young and not so young who helped dig out cars, clean driveways and paths, the librarian who opened the library to even though she didn't have to, the extra hours and difficult conditions the doctor and nurses worked, the medics, ambulance drivers and tractor driver who worked non-stop, the grocers who made sure there was always something to buy, the people who ran activities for children out of school and pre-schools, the ones who delivered food to those who couldn't cook, the electric company workers who not only fixed the high tension towers but flew in emergency generators and the locals who hosted them, making sure they had hot food.  The list goes on...

In addition there were the standard, planned awards.

Photo by Miriam Feyga Bunimovich

Photo by Chaia
Photo by
 Miriam Feyga Bunimovich
I was there to present the "Volunteer of the Year-Torah Study Award" to the neighbor who has been organizing our Shabbat Women's Class, "The Shiur Nashim," שיעור נשים for at least twenty of its thirty-two years.

Yaffa Tzoref receiving her gift.
Photo by Chaia

Since I'm in the year of mourning for my mother and restricted from attending festive occasions, I was only there for the beginning during which I had a specific job to do.  Just before I left, the volunteer who has been organizing activities for seniors, social, cultural and an ulpan, also received recognition and a gift. She certainly deserves it and more. I don't know else was awarded.  But one thing for sure, we made the right decision moving to Shiloh. It is a wonderful place to live.  Chessed, giving to others is part of daily life here.

Photos not credited are my own photography.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Sky, When Will it Rain Again?

Due to some strange snafu, I somehow erased all the pictures on the camera's memory disc.  There were some that I hadn't yet copied onto the computer, so they are just plain gone.

While I was out walking this afternoon I spoke to neighbors who are worried that it hasn't rained yet, meaning since the snow which ended two weeks ago.  Yes, it's strange to think that the snow stopped falling two weeks ago, since there's still some  snow on the ground here in Shiloh. We have never, ever had snow last so long.  Two or three days was considered top, but two weeks!?!

It is pretty dry, cold but dry.  I know we need rain, but I prefer that it only rain at night.  I need sunshine to feel cheerful and be active.

There's one thing I do enjoy winter time and that's the sky.

And the sky is always the best when viewed from a nice warm home or vehicle.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Some Recent Jerusalem Pictures

I don't play tourist, unlike Adventures in Aliyaland who had a real adventure taking her sister around on a whirlwind tour of Israel recently.  It's just that when I go to Jerusalem I frequently see a lot of it and often by foot and lightrail, too.

I need to exercise more, and just plain "fitness walking" is a bore, so when I'm in the big city I do walk.  It's just that I don't get there often.  Most of the time I'm only there once a week.  Well armed with my trusty Canon 620 (rather an ancient artifact by digital camera standards) I end up taking lots of pictures.  And also being well-trained by my parents "not to waste film," I rarely shoot more than one of two of a scene.

Since I'll soon be getting myself a smartphone, does anyone have recommendations of those with decent easy to use cameras or in the negative, what not to buy?  Price is important.  Less money is certainly better for me.

PS as you can see, there was still snow in many places.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Such a Busy Day! Picture It!!

Here are a few shots from yesterday.  Yes, I was very busy.

Guess the various places I was...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Few Reasons Why I Fled In Wake of the Blizzard

Have you guessed?

The answer is my grandchildren.

When I was on the phone with my daughter and heard the kids singing, I knew I was in the wrong place.  It was so quiet and depressing and yes, dark and cold at home.

Kids make a snow day fun.

So, when my daughter not only invited me over, she also said that she'd send her husband to get me, I started packing.

And by the way, this is the most serious blizzard I've seen in my 43 years in Israel.  It's over a week since the snow stopped falling, but there's still snow here in Shiloh and in Ofra and other places.  I even moved into a warmer bedroom.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

With a Little, No, A Lot of Help From My Friends

When I finally returned to my electrically powered home last Wednesday night, I made an unpleasant discovery. Although the snow wasn't quite as high as in this picture, the addition of ice made getting up the front stoop to my door extremely dangerous.  In addition it was very dark outside, since the street lights hadn't yet started to work.

I had no choice. I had to get in the house.  I threw my bag to the door, where it landed safe and sound and out of the snow/ice. Miraculously I managed to pull myself up holding onto the railings we had put up for my father when he lived with us a few years ago.  I stuck one foot into knee deep snow, and the other would be on slippery ice.  It was quite a challenge.  As frightening as that was, I knew that it would be even more dangerous in the morning going down.

Finally, I made it up. Here's the view going down.

I sent a panicky note to the yishuv email list asking for help in digging me a path through the snow and ice.  I managed to get down it in the morning, and all day at work I dreaded coming home to the dangerous steps. Nobody called me to say that it had been taken care of.

But Baruch Hashem, I should have known that my neighbors wouldn't let me down.  I live in Shiloh!!  When I came home from work on Thursday night, I was able to easily walk up the path they made for me.

Looking down the steps a day later.

It took me a couple of days to discover who the angels, the שליחי השם Shlichei HaShem, Messengers from G-d were.  They really saved me.  Now, close to a week later, there's still snow on that side of the house, so this path is vital for my safety.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Best Hamburger in Jerusalem and Escaping the Blizzard

As I wrote in the previous post, while being a "blizzard DP bag lady gypsy," I invited myself to the home of Israel Brews and Views.  And then I suggested to Isramom that she meet me for dinner at HaGov, The Lion's Den, my favorite sports bar and grill, 5 Yoel Solomon Street, Kikar Zion, Jerusalem.

For those in the know, HaGov, isn't just a bar, it's one of the best popular priced kosher meat restaurants in Jerusalem.  The reaction I once heard from a visiting American was:
"I never thought you could get such delicious hamburgers in Israel."
with a side order of salad

with a side order of onion rings
I don't usually order hamburgers or eat them, but I do at HaGov. That's what Isramom and I ordered, one of their various hamburgers. We got the standard size, but it's possible to get giant ones, too.

Our full, filling meals cost us only ns55, which is the price of a salad in many of the dairy restaurants.  HaGov's hamburger is definitely good value for the money.  I also had beer, chosen by the bar owner, since I'm no maiven.  I trusted him and his choice was good.

We were there during "happy hour" before the crowds.  When we walked in I discovered that I wasn't the only blizzard refugee from Shiloh there.  My neighbor was enjoying a similar meal.  He came with his computer and was working while eating.  And for those who want it as a sports bar, which it really is, there are screens all over the walls showing various games.  The staff is very cooperative about showing the game you want to see whenever possible.

Drop in at 5 Yoel Solomon Street, or give them a call 052-870-9993.  They're open in the evening until very late, depending on the games and customers.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow/Blizzard Saga, Having Fun With Friends, Beer!

During my few days last week as a Blizzard of Tevet 5774, December 2013 DP, I decided to make the best of it.  Although I was having great fun with the grandkids and getting to work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin wasn't a problem, I did the chutzpadik thing and invited myself over to the Israel Brews and Views home.

The official reason was that I study in Matan early on Wednesdays and I wanted to be closer for easier traveling.  So I called them and told Mrs. Israel Brews and Views that I had a chutzpadik  question to ask.  Before I even asked it, she told me that I was invited to stay over.  Then I called Isramom and suggested that she and I have a grannies' night out for dinner at HaGov, The Lion's Den.  Bli neder, I'll review our fantastic meal there in a later post.

Doug and his wife were the perfect hosts, and suiting the occasion offered me a drink of a new beer called "Chutzpah."

our "selfie"
If I understood his explanation correctly, it's a raw beer, more like a fresh juice, which has a shelf-life of only two weeks.  That's why it's not all that commercially available. The owner of HaGov hadn't heard of it.  I must admit that I loved the flavor.  This is a special occasion beer to be bought and enjoyed immediately.

I've been following Doug's blog from the very, very beginning and each time he blogs about some beer I want to try it. He's in touch with many of the small boutique Israeli breweries and understands the beer production process.

That's why and how he had some various types of hops for us to sniff.

Considering that I had left my blacked out, snowed in blizzard home for a few days, I certainly made the best of it.

You can say that I made lemonade out of lemons, that tasted like great beer!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Surviving the Snow, Another Saga of The Blizzard of Tevet 5774, December 2013, A Recipe, Too

I must remind you that it was freezing cold in our Shiloh home during the blizzard. We just have electric heat, and there was no electriciity.  There also wasn't water.  This is how I dressed in the house. I wore a coat over the sweatshirts and sweaters if I went outside. And I also added heavy gloves over the leather ones.

It was definitely not easy to get in and out of the house, so I walked with a broomless broomstick.

But all the broomsticks in the world, as helpful as mine was for walking, didn't help put water in the faucets. For that we took snow, nice clean snow.  I boiled up snow for coffee, tea and bean-lentil stew.

Winter Stew, Snow Optional

  • beans, soaked or from a can
  • 1 cup total (or more) of brown (or white if you prefer) rice and lentils mixed
  • 1 large onion (or 2 smaller ones)
  • Tamari Sauce
  • Optional, only use if you won't damage the food in the refrigerator during electric outage, a few carrots
  • a bit of vegetable oil
  • lots of snow, or at least 4 cups of water
  • cook the beans in triple the water for an hour if they're not from a can
  • cook together the beans, lentils and rice in the water or melted snow
  • cut the onion and carrot and add to the other ingredients
  • poor in a bit of vegetable oil
  • cover and cook on high until it boils,  then lower the flame so it simmers for at least an hour
  • you may have to add a bit more snow or water
  • season to taste
  • after you think it's ready, keep it covered and wait at least 10 minutes