Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Love My Job, But...

Honestly, I really do love my simple saleswoman job.

  • I love the interaction with people. 
  • I love being creative in dressing the manikins.
  • I love meeting all sorts of old friends, former students and people I'd worked with at all sorts of other jobs. 
  • I love helping people.
  • I love the flexibility I've been given in requesting convenient shifts.
  • I love not having to take work home with me. I sign in; I sign out. That's it!
  • I love being physically active.
  • I love the various challenges I face.
  • I love working part-time and really can't do more than I'm doing.
The one thing I don't like is the low salary. I've tried to find another job, but not a single one of my queries to job offers has ever been replied to.

So, I guess this is the job for me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Unbelievably Easy and Pretty Healthy Candy-like Dessert

I wanted something to serve for dessert on Shabbat since we were having guests. Considering that the guests, my husband and I all try to avoid cakes, I wanted to serve something else. I didn't have melon or watermelon; they seem to be going out of season. Rami Levy didn't have any.

So when I went down to get a package from the mail on Thursday night I went into our local store and bought a large (they didn't have small) bag of coconut and date spread. I decided to make fruit candies. There were only three ingredients:

  • date spread
  • shredded coconut 
  • sunflower seeds, which I had just bought to use in a salad, but didn't 

Sorry, but I can't give exact measurements. I poured a lot of the coconut into a bowl, added the sunflower seeds and date spread and then mixed. You may have to add either more coconut or more date spread until it gets to a consistency like "play dough," easy to shape. 

Then I placed it on some "baking paper."

Then with the help of the paper, very easily rolled it in to a "log."

Then I sliced it, wrapped it again in the paper, put it in a bag and then into the freezer.

On Shabbat I served it to my husband and guests. For some strange reason, they all insisted that it was necessary to sample a few pieces before giving their opinions. And... they all loved it! Yes, even my husband ate more than one piece and he usually doesn't go for fruit.

For variations, you can roll into balls and then roll that in more coconut, ground nuts or even sprinkles... Also, instead of sunflower seeds, you can use any ground nuts.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Expensive Zip-Lock Bags? Not for Me!

My 1970 aliyah to Israel predates zip-locked bags. When we first made aliyah, cheap giveaway plastic bags were rare. Now there's talk of joining the "no free bag" world, but I wouldn't invest in zip-locks. Over the years I've gotten some and hoarded them until they cracked. I've also tried washing them out.

In all honesty, I do not like zip-lock bags!

Every year before Passover I buy myself these:

They are simple food bags, in two sizes, that are very inexpensive. Considering that there are two hundred in each package and I don't don't use them daily, I have an enormous stock in my closet. After last Passover, instead of keeping them out, I put the new only used on Passover packages in the Passover closet.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Psalms in the Station, Only in Israel

The other day when I rushed into the Jerusalem Central Bus Station to get the bus home, somebody thrust something in my face. I replied with a gut reaction of "no." Then a split second later I noticed that a great variety of people, men and women, young and old were standing still reading from T'hillim booklets, the type from the sets which split the 150 into usually 28 equal-size portions.

I didn't go back to get one, because I was afraid I'd miss the bus, but I did take a couple of pictures.

Unlike Israel's south Jerusalem has been pretty much untouched by the war. But we're all one country and one people. And that's why people in the Central Bus Station were saying T'hillim, Psalms.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quick Nosh on the Road When Tremping

There are lots of fig trees in the Binyamin/Benjamin area, and many are along the roads. There's a very tempting couple right where I wait for a ride outside of Ofra.

Figs have to picked when they are just ready.

I had to climb down a bit to get to it, but there didn't seem to be a car coming. So I wouldn't miss a ride. A young guy waiting had gotten himself a few, too.

It was definitely worth the risk!

I love fresh figs! It's one of those treats I only discovered after making aliyah and living in Jerusalem. Decades ago when we lived in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem, I remember buying some from an Arab woman who went house to house, building to building.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Playing with my new Canon IXUS 145

Last week I celebrated the birth of my latest grandchild by getting myself a new camera to replace my disintegrating dinosaur the Canon 620. After checking out a few options I found myself in Photo Schwartz right in the center of Jerusalem.

I had been there the night before and this time made the decision and bought a bright red Canon IXUS 145. And then the fun began.

I used it to take last week's 52frames "silhouette" shot.

Aren't the color details amazing? My dirty window in the background actually looks like art.

I discovered that unlike the Canon 620 it remembers instructions, such as cancelling the flash. If I turn the flash off it doesn't go back on automatically the next time I turn on my camera.

The 8x optical zoom is powerful.

My night shooting wasn't as successful.

I had to lighten the photo.

I'm still trying to adjust to being without a viewfinder and the tiny size and weight of the camera. But this is just the beginning. More to come.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Look at Re'eh Havel Havelim!

Esser Agaroth has done his usual great and professional job hosting Havel Havelim. Thank you!!!

Havel Havelim is the long-running weekly international Jewish blog carnival that floats from blog to blog. We coordinate on our facebook page.

I'll be hosting the next one, so please send me shilohmuse at gmail dot com links before Shabbat from wherever you are, thanks.

Thank you!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

B"H, We Get a Mazal Tov

Now since my son has facebooked the news about the new baby, it's time to post the news. And this is most probably the only time I'll be posting a picture of the baby's face, because the newborn look isn't very distinctly recognizable. She has already changed a lot since this picture was taken. I also edited the picture to make her look less clear. You see a gorgeous baby, but with a picture like this, she could be almost any nice-looking dark-haired baby.

But I know who she is and love her and her parents very much. And I thank G-d Almighty for this precious gift. May she live a long, wonderful and healthy life and bring joy to all who love her.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Do Stores Evolve or Metamorphose? Yes! Vintage Clothes

For years I've patronized a small friendly store in the Jerusalem's Bell Tower on King George Street. I've bought myself a few tops, birthday cards, calendars etc. There have even been times I left a heavy bag there while doing errands. The sign on the window says "Sweet Stop," but you're not going to find edible candy there.

It's now a Second Hand shop, Vintage Stop, with an amazing collection of clothes and accessories. Open daily, 9:30am-3pm. 02-625-9146 or 050-2052400.

And they still stock cards for all occasions.

PS please tell her I sent you!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Jewish Prayers as Pop Songs

Especially considering the obscene and inane lyrics many singers make popular, I really enjoy the fact that Jewish Prayers, yes, in Hebrew can also make it big.

Shabbat Shalom to All of You!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Great Salad Deal in Jerusalem

The one important menu item missing in the ns5, aka five shekel places is a simple, healthy raw salad. You can always get small sandwich, piece of cake, some coffee or even carrot juice, but no salad. A couple of weeks ago, when I really desperately needed to find a quick, easy inexpensive lunch in downtown Jerusalem before rushing to work, I walked into the Cafe Neeman, on the corner of Jaffa Street and King George.

For some people, it's the site of Sabarro and  that terrible terrorist attack with multiple fatalities. I remember it as the old Weill Shoe Store where I purchased many pairs of shoes, especially in the months the old man was closing the store.

Now it's a branch of that very large chain of what once was more a bakery, but now it's also a dairy restaurant. I saw that they had ready prepared salads in two sizes, large and small. Both were good prices. The large was less than ns30 and included a roll. I don't remember the exact price. And the smaller one was only ns10. I got the small one and figured if I was still hungry I'd pick up something at work from Rami Levy.

As small as it was, it was satisfying. Yes, I took the Tuna Salad. It also had a hard-boiled egg.

With a salad so small, there's no temptation to overeat. It was fresh and delicious. I presume, but didn't check, that you can get the same sort of salad in other branches of the chain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jerusalem, Full of Surprises

I guess I'm not one of the "informed." I never quite know what I'll be finding when in Jerusalem. Last week as I was walking on the Ben-Yehuda Midrachov, the downtown pedestrian mall, I saw all sorts of stands, things on sale.

People seemed to be having a great time. Nobody cared that I took pictures, mostly because these were real businesses selling. There have been times when a more "junk-style" sales are on the "midrachov" end of Agrippas when I've been asked not to photograph.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Unwinding, Impossible, Downside of Night Shift

I'm tired today and have a very full day planned.

Last night I got back very late from work. We worked later than usual. I had more responsibilities than usual. At least I had a ride back to Ofra with a fellow-worker. And then two tremps later I was home. But it was late.

I can never just go to sleep when I get back home. I tried to unwind. I turned on the television and immediately there was something that bothered me. So I blogged it. And I checked the computer, emails etc. I figured that since I was up, I'd make today's lunch.

Even though I hadn't planned on working this morning, I will be working. That's why I made lunch. I had planned on an easier day, a leisurely time at the pool and then to Jerusalem to see my new granddaughter and her parents, maybe see a friend and then meet visiting relatives for dinner.

I ended up agreeing to work this morning because another worker has a family emergency/commitment. And I ended up discovering that the "closing procedure" at the end of the workday had sort of fallen on me. I'm not all that experienced at that responsibility.

I almost never fall asleep easily and quickly after night shift. Actually, I can't remember having a quick and easy sleep after night shift, so last night was no exception. My mind goes hyper, and I can't turn it off.

I hope to get myself functioning well enough to go to the pool for a few minutes, but I have a feeling I won't. I'm just too tired.

On with my day, G-d willing.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nice Ice and...

I'll start with the "and..."

The family gets a mazaltov on the birth of a baby girl to my youngest and his wife. But since the kids don't like me to blog about them, that's all I have to say right now...

This week's 52frames had a very summer friendly theme, "Ice." I used frozen coffee in the shape of a heart.

The "crystal look" under it is from sugar. I shot it with my Galaxy II smartphone since my Canon 620 camera is dying or dead. I wonder if I should have had the entire background white sugar.

After taking the picture, I added milk for a delicious summer drink. Since I still have a few heart-shaped coffee ice cubes left, maybe I'll have another cup today.

For the Jewish Sabbath observers who want really good coffee Shabbat morning, I suggest freezing coffee in a plastic cup or ice-cube tray to add to your Shabbat coffee. Just make less coffee Shabbat morning so there's room for the frozen coffee. That way the instant tastes more like perked or from your coffeemaker.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Busy More Than Blogging

First thing I did tonight after Shabbat was to check for news, all sorts of news. Things are quiet here in Israel. Sometimes I wonder if that isn't bad news or that our enemies are busy planning something bad.

I'm also waiting for wonderful family news, G-d willing.

I had to do the weekly Havel Havelim which is on Shiloh Musings. There's a nice variety of posts this week. Take a look, comment and share.

And I also had to pay a shiva call. One of the local men passed away. I've only known the family during the twenty or so years they are in Shiloh. I was on the absorption committee when their son and his wife came. Then the parents sisters and grandmother, too. They made aliyah from the USSR. The elderly grandmother died here and was buried in our local cemetery. Now the man died and is there, too.

It's always surprising to learn about people's former life, like I just did hearing about my dead neighbor. The son described his father as a brilliant electrical engineer, a man who could do and fix anything. But for the past eight years complications from diabetes wiped all that away. Hamakom yenachem...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Camera Dilemma!

My old trusty, antique of a digital camera, the Canon 620 is falling apart. I must replace it. Even though prices are cheaper in the states, I've enjoyed the life long service I get from the store in which I bought it. When I got the camera, the store was Photo Nissim on Jaffa Street, Jerusalem across from the "Davidka." Since then the store has moved to the nearby Clal Building and has a very informative internet business,  and branches.

The Canon IXUS 133 seems to be the best deal with 36 month guarantee.

Any advice, input? Thanks

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Delicious Salad at Mamilla Mall and Memories of Mamilla of Old

When my cousin, his wife and I were looking for a place for lunch in Mamilla Mall, which was perfectly convenient after walking through the Old City and their first visit to the Kotel, We noticed Roladin Bakery Café, phone 972 2-623-1553. I had never eaten there before. But most Israeli dairy places offer fantastic salads which was what we had wanted.

Following the principle of ordering something I wouldn't/couldn't make at home, I took salad that featured string-beans, mushrooms and cheese. It didn't disappoint, not one bite. It was as tasty as it looked.

They ate a lighter meal, sharing the Israeli Salad which had felafel. It seemed just right to suggest that to him, since I knew that his late father loved to go to the felafel places on Main Street, Flushing, NY. Of course the felafel they had was nothing like what my Uncle Izzy would have remembered from his days here in the Palmach, but he was on my mind that lunch.

Honestly, the Mamilla Street of today isn't the one I remember from our early days in Israel in 1970-71 when we lived in the Old City.  From our vantage on the restaurant's terrace, I could see the super-posh apartments but strained my memory for Levi's Makolet where we used to shop. I explained how during the nineteen years that the Old City and eastern Jerusalem were occupied by the Jordanians, 1948-67, this area had been a dangerous slum. The dangers were from the Jordanian snipers who periodically shot at the Jewish Israeli neighborhood. And no, the United Nations never established "fact-finding commissions" to investigate the Jordanian violence against innocent Israeli civilians.

The prices were standard for this sort of restaurant, but the menu was more interesting. Yes, I recommend it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Success!! Removed Gum From My Husband's Slacks!

There are few laundering challenges as serious as removing chewing-gum. The other night when my husband walked through the door and announced that he had apparently sat on gum in the bus and wanted me to "get it out," it was clear that he hadn't a clue that it wouldn't be a simple task.

It's a well-known fact that if the gum gets rubbed into the fabric, it can never be removed. I wracked my brain for ideas. I remembered hearing that freezing the clothing sometimes works, but my freezer is small and pretty full. I'd have to empty half a shelf to fit in his slacks.

So, I finally checked with "professor google." I got a few articles/sites like "14 ways to get gum off of clothing," "10 ways to get gum off of clothing" and others of varying numbers.

The "freezing" technique didn't seem all that easy, and the ironing it out seemed too risky. Boiling vinegar and then using a toothbrush to brush it out of the fabric didn't seem very safe either. On one of the list there was a suggestion to use a strong stain remover and then rub out the gum with something abrasive.

I mulled over the various ideas also taking into account if the method could cause secondary damage to the counter or sink or wherever I'd attempt to do it. Also I realized that an unsuccessful attempt would further embed the gum into the fabric, so there would be no "second chance."

The slacks were black and the gum was white. Too bad you can't paint gum black with a permanent marker...

By the time I came back home after babysitting the grandkids I had made a decision. One of my good friends who is probably the best housekeeper I know "swears by" Oxygen stain remover for a multitude of laundering challenges.

And until I grabbed the green scrubbing thing by the laundry-room sink I wasn't sure what I'd use. I had been thinking of using my toothbrush which needs to be replaced, but the downside of that would have been risking the bleaching effect the residual toothpaste may have had on the black fabric.

The slacks went into the sink, and I poured a very generous amount of Oxygen onto the gummy "seat" and began to rub. I know there's no suspense here, since I used the word "success" in the title. Yes, after a pretty short time the gum broke into tiny bits and pretty much left the fabric. It was hard to know what percentage remained.

Then I laundered it in a regular delicate wash, adding more clothes and detergent. Of course the slacks fabric had lots of Oxygen. When the laundry was finished I hung it all out to dry and must say that it was about 90% plus clean if not cleaner, which was good enough and far cleaner than I had expected.

And, no, this isn't an advertisement. I just wish I was getting paid to write it. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Hyper Robin Williams Silenced Forever, At Least He's on Film

News of Robin Williams' death was a rude shock this morning. The famous funny man was plagued by demons. Living in Israel since 1970, I know/knew Williams best and pretty much only via the movies, and a favorite for me has always been "Good Morning Vietnam!"

What's your favorite Robin Williams role, scene?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Yoo Hoo, Havel Havelim for 2¢!

Yes, this week's edition of Havel Havelim is being hosted by Esser Agaroth aka 2¢. That's because the blog was named when a cent was worth about five shekels. Now it's worth less, but the name of the blog hasn't changed.

What does change is Havel Havelim which takes on the personality of the hosting blogger and the ambiance of the week. I'll be hosting in next week. So please send in your links to shilohmuse at gmail dot com, thanks. It would help is you include a line/blurb about the post. HH includes blog posts about Israel, Judaism and being Jewish.

For more information about Havel Havelim join our facebook page. You can also sign up to host an edition there.

The most important thing is to read the posts, comment and share, thanks.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Don't Be Afraid, A Pisher's Guide to Jerusalem #4

Most guidebooks leave out the most important information, the best and most convenient public toilets, 00, W.C.  Having waddled through five pregnancies, raised five kids, residing far from Jerusalem and now at an age when my pelvic floor is reaching the basement, knowing where to find a decent or even barely usable public toilet in Jerusalem is a vital necessity.  That's why I began to post this series:
A Pisher's Guide to Jerusalem #1
A Pisher's Guide to Jerusalem #2

A Pisher's Guide to Jerusalem #3
If you've noticed any of these prefabricated public toilets, have no fear...

They are only open during the day. I guess that is so that people won't try to use them as "cheap hotels" or worse. The one I went into was clean. They have locks, a sink and all the usual required stuff.

I'm just curious. Do these little prefabricated public toilets, WC, 00 exist any place besides Jerusalem?

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Photography Lessons via Facebook

"movie scene"
"Body part" 
OK, these aren't real lessons. They are challenges. I'm talking about 52frames, the facebook photography group I'm in. Every week there's a theme, which I call a challenge. Sometimes it's something to do with the subject, like "wet," and another time we needed to recreate a movie scene or poster. Recently we had a week of "women" followed by men. Usually there's no need to edit at all. Sometimes I crop the photo.

But sometimes like last week we were supposed to use an "app" to change the photo's appearance. So, here's my "before:"

And here's the "after:"

Can you see the difference? And here's the real question:

Do you know what I did?

PS the picture was taken at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh. Reproductions of the ancient Biblical-time food storage jugs have been placed where the originals were found.