Friday, October 30, 2015

Night Came so Early

As I try to psyche myself up for the very first super short Friday of the year, I'm posting some "traveling home in the dark" photos I took Sunday night which was the first early night of the year. You may be wondering what I mean, since the times of sunset and sunrise do change slowly, because the earth in relation to the sun is slow.  But remember that only last Saturday night-Sunday pre-morning did we switch from Daylight Savings Time to Greenwich +2.  The result is that Shabbat candlelighting time is going to be over an hour earlier this week (today) than it was last week, so I and all the other Sabbath observers will have an hour less to get all the cooking and cleaning done. And when I was traveling home from the dentist in Jerusalem last Sunday, it was dark when my body felt it should be light.

On the trip back I had a good seat in the bus and took lots of photos. Night can be gorgeous as you can see here.

waiting for the bus at the "String Bridge" stop

entering the busy traffic
Jerusalem "city line"

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Types and Fonts in the Israel Museum

There are quite a few new exhibitions in the Israel Museum, and I had to choose which to see very quickly the other night. I chose the exhibit about the history of modern Hebrew types and fonts,
New Types Three Pioneers of Hebrew Graphic Design.
October 22, 2015-Location: Palevsky Design PavilionArtist: Moshe Spitzer, Franzisca Baruch, Henri FriedlaenderCurator: Ada WardiMoshe Spitzer, Franzisca Baruch, and Henri Friedlaender studied and worked in pre-World War II Germany before immigrating to Israel, where they continued to be active for decades. Their works include the emblem of the City of Jerusalem, the Hadassah typeface, and books published by Tarshish. The exhibition explores the work processes of each one of these groundbreaking designers and presents a selection of their key works.
Organized in collaboration with the German Literature Archive, Marbach, and with the support of the Goethe Institute.
Research assistance granted by the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History at the Hebrew University
Henri Friedlaender
"Hadassah" typeface adapted for IBM template, early 1970s
Franzisca Baruch, sketchbook of Hebrew letters copied from ancient manuscripts
Germany, early 1920s
Library of the Schocken VerlagSchocken Publishing House, Berlin, 1933-39
Not only was it interesting and informative, but the display was exquisite. 

The Israel Museum is very child-friendly with lots of fascinating exhibits. It's the perfect place to visit in the winter, because there is so much to see. And of course after the renovations a few years ago, it is now handicapped accessible for those who need it. The restaurants offer a variety of dining options from snacks to full meals. I was there during the rain and started my visit at Mansfield with perfect mint tea and a dried fruit-nut snack to give me the energy to wander around for a few hours. Check their internet site for details.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mash Up- Incongruous Composite for 52Frames

This week's 52frames assignment/theme/challenge had me quaking on my tripod. "Mash-up" as I understood it required advanced photo-editing combining incongruous, humorous, unrelated elements. I think that one of the examples had flowers coming out of a cigarette box. I just don't have the facilities/program/equipment for that.

But since in the two years or so I've been a member of the facebook-based photography group, I've never chickened out of a challenge, and this wasn't the time to weaken. I knew that I did have a shape-pasting option on "Paint," which is one of the freebies on my computer, so I decided to paint stars on a daytime scene.

I ended up using the gorgeous photo of Jerusalem I had taken when waiting for my son to pick me up on the road to Givat Shaul. I also toned down the stars from the original bright/strong sun yellow which glared in the delicate light tones of the Jerusalem stone-faced buildings.

Here it is. What do you think?

52Frames Mash-up

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Winter Rains!

 So far, so good, bli eyin haraa, the rains have begun according to the Jewish Calendar, around the time we've added the prayer for them. They have also been relatively gentle making the ground properly soft and wet, taking breaks, instead of causing the topsoil to float away as mud.

At present the weather reminds me of Europe and England in the summer, since it hasn't gotten cold yet. Yes, very drizzly, though there have been thunder/lightning storms which have caused electric outages in many locations. We had one for a short time the other morning.

And yes, of course, rain means that my livingroom is full of laundry, but since no guests are expected, I can live with it.

It's certainly better than a cursed drought!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Can You Describe Your Kids' Jobs?

Recently I was talking to someone who told me that her sons both had new jobs.
"What are they?" I asked.
"I'm not sure." She answered.
I had the same description for the job one of my sons does, and besides "something in/with computers," I haven't a clue as to what my son-in-law does. And it's even more complicated to describe the job of one of my daughters, which seems to constantly morph into something else. And of course, in Israel, there are also those with jobs too sensitive to be talked about...

None of my jobs have been so vague and creative. Working in a store is pretty simple to describe, whether I'm selling shoes, pants, bagels or potatoes. All of which I've sold at various times in my life. And when I was an English Teacher or Gym Teacher or Creative Dance Teacher I didn't have to explain anything. It was all in the title.

Apparently, this just isn't a local problem. The New York Times has an article about all these new job with creative titles:
Your Job Title Is … What?
...I don’t mean to judge — my own job is hardly less opaque. I am the vice president for content at Contently, a company that helps brands expand their content online and publishes commentary on the changing media landscape (including that of The New York Times). Or, as my mom tells her friends, “Sam works for one of those start-up companies that nobody knows what it does.”
Me and everybody else, it seems.
I have had meetings with brand ambassadors (a bit like celebrity endorsers, but with more tattoos). I have coffee with thought leaders (those with “authority” in a given field) and customer happiness managers. (Your guess is as good as mine, but I assume that it used to be called “customer service.”)...
As a blogger, I know that the better my title the more hits my post can get. I wonder if these impressive job titles give better salaries than the old conventional ones. Do you get more money for a job that can't be described?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Creative Vegetable Cooking

I don't cook by following recipes, and I don't shop to suit recipes either. I'm very flexible and creative. I try to buy the most reasonably priced and healthy and fun to cook produce, and then when the time comes to cook it, I just wing it, as the saying goes.

Usually I slice and layer the vegetables, onions on the bottom, eggplant next, then sweet potatoes and the more fun things like pumpkin and mushrooms. Of course it depends on what I have in stock and the mood I'm in. Carrots are always towards the bottom, because they take ages to cook and need the oil.

I'm not one for using salt and pepper in my veggies, just onion and fresh garlic. And I dribble some oil on top and bake uncovered until the vegetables are soft. Take a look!

#1 Before

#1 After
#2 Viewed from the side

#2 Viewed from above
#2 after being baked
They were both delicious and brought to our Shabbat hosts for two different meals. Both vegetable dishes are creative and healthy additions to any meal.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Recycling Runneth Over

Before Shabbat I took out a couple of bags of plastic bottles and cardboard to the recycling containers in the neighborhood. Our regional council now has some big orange ones all over next to the regular garbage containers on every street. Unfortunately I found that it was so full, I could only get one small bottle into it, so I had to go hunting for another one.

And there's a spot in the neighborhood near the pool with the huge old plastic recycling container plus some for paper and glass bottles etc.

As you can see, recycling is getting very popular here in Shiloh, although the organizations that are supposed to collect the stuff apparently can't keep up with the supply or is it the demand... so for sure My Recycling Runneth Over.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Under The Desk

Yes, you can see here three pairs of shoes under the desk in the den. Am I the only one who, after a day of work or just any busy day, feels better after kicking off my shoes? And as you can see, my shoes are all good comfortable, lightweight and soft ones with support.

I'm very fussy about shoe fit and don't buy shoes unless I'm very sure they are comfortable, but even I feel the need to kick them off at the end of the day. I generally unwind at the computer, drinking water, and before I know it, my shoes are off and sort of live under the desk. 

I also find it most comfortable to rotate shoes and not wear the same ones day after day. That's why I have a few pairs. I think it's better for the feet to switch every day or two if possible. Think of it like turning your mattress over. Recently I began having trouble finding a comfortable position for sleeping, which was solved after I turned my mattress around. You can find a similar relief in wearing different shoes. 

In my sales job in Yafiz, I sometimes work in the shoe store, and I try to make the customers aware of how dangerous badly fitted shoes can be. I ask them what reflexology really is. I call it "correcting badly fitting shoes." Think about it. If the right sort of pressure on your feet can heal you, then, bad pressure can make you ill. So, in the long run, it's better to replace shoes that aren't truly comfortable, even if they are still new or "wearable."

That's why at the end of the day, when my feet beg to go free, I kick off my shoes and leave them under the desk.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dancing Memories...

I started to go to dancing school at the age of three. There was a woman, a Mrs. Sullivan, if I remember correctly who had a "dancing school" in her tiny basement. Classes were small, and at the end of each year there was a large recital in the local school, P.S. 46. Bayside, NY.

Each class performed and we had costumes as you can see here. The year of this picture we were "toy soldiers" if I'm not mistaken. From the shoes, it must have been when I was four or five. I know the names of two of the other girls. One is my friend Lisa  who writes about her mother on Alzheimer's - My Mom My Hero. Our parents were close friends for maybe half a century. We were friends and neighbors when we were little and then became nextdoor neighbors as teens and then lost contact until reunited not long ago, when I found her on facebook. The girl next to me is Margaret (Margie) Gruen (at least that was her name when we were kids.) We haven't been in touch for more than fifty years. I have no idea what has happened to her, and I don't remember the other girls at all.

This picture brings back so many memories, especially of how much I have always liked to dance.

Can you guess which little girl is me?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

52Frames Future, The Truth

"We Will All Die"
Sometime in the Future, We Will All Die. That's the TRUTH, so I photographed the Shiloh Cemetery, Israel.
"Truth" in Hebrew is "emmett," אמת, alef, mem, tuf. Linguistically "alef" signifies first person, and "mem, tuf" are the root of "dead." So, "truth" in Hebrew means that we will all die sometime in the future.


What does the future hold for you? Creativity, community, and inspiration. Join 52Frames now!
 — with Batya Spiegelman Medad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I'm an awful housekeeper. I always was and I always will be.
As a kid I was known as a slob. Over the decades I've learned how to keep myself looking relatively "put together" as the saying goes, but I'm not the fancy type.

If I have to choose between comfort and style I go for comfort every single time. I can't remember the last time I used my iron. I should probably throw it out, since if I did turn it, on rusty water would escape and stain whatever I'm ironing. Thank Gd I found stores that sell nice clothes from fabircs that don't need to be ironed at all.

I haven't a clue how to clean the blinds, so they're coated with a very heavy layer of dust. And our energy-saving livingroom windows, double--two frames, were so badly designed they are impossible to really clean. So I haven't tried for a very long time, like forever. Yes, ever since I realized that I would end up losing the rag between the window or getting so stuck they'd have to be disassembled and thrown out.

My husband has thousands of books, two and three deep on the walls of the den, so we haven't painted, because the thought of taking them down and putting them up again is worse than living with the old dirt and grime. Also, if they were taken down it would be impossible to replace them exactly where they are. And if they move he won't know how to locate specific books.

One good thing I've been doing of late is trying to get rid of things. I've given away lots of clothes, a few jigsaw puzzles and even a bit of my household items, like some serving bowls we never ever use, stained tablecloths and best of all, I saved my daughter money by giving her a couple of great quality (expensive) pots which she now needs, and I don't use.

At present I dream of redoing my very inefficient kitchen and making it easier to cook in and clean. I know that having such a project done will cause lots of stress, but then maybe it will encourage me to tackle other difficult household projects.

Of late my aim has been to unclutter, and I hope that I make significant dents by the time our kids have to move us into an old age home.

Monday, October 19, 2015

English Lessons over Lunch

Yesterday I did some sitting for my grandkids and made them lunch. In order to distract them from the mindless stuff they do on the computers, which they fight over at times, and improve their English, I brought some DVDs, cartoons in English. They enjoyed the classic Bugs Bunny so much, I had to move the table in front of the screen so they could watch and eat simultaneously.

OK, I agree that Bugs Bunny is rather stupid and has very little actual dialog, but they didn't complain about the incomprehensible language, and maybe something will sink in.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Piccolino, Always Something New and Yummy!

Last week I braved the fears of terror attacks in Jerusalem and had a wonderful meal in the heavenly haven, Piccolino the best kosher dairy restaurant I know of. I've eaten there before, and every time I do, there's something new and irresistible on the menu.

This time I ate their amazingly filling Red Tuna Salad.

Red Tuna Salad a la Piccolino

Gone are the days when any Israeli restaurant worth its salt served canned tuna, but nobody else has a tuna salad like this one.

My dining partner tried a much more daring and creative dish, Piccolino's unique Tuna Shawarma.

Shawarma is an Israeli favorite filling "fast food" traditionally made with lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats. But somehow Piccolino's inventive and creative chefs managed to capture the flavor of the traditional Shawarma without the meat and fat.

I can only recommend both dishes so highly that it's worth dining with a partner, ordering both and sharing. Or just come there, again and again.

We ended our meal by sharing a piece of totally delectable and delicious chocolate cake they had recommended for us. We dined in one of their small rooms at a private table, since there was a wedding outside in Music Square. Please don't forget that Piccolino is the perfect spot for special events of all sizes.

Piccolino Dairy Italian Restaurant, Glatt Kosher, is located in a historic stone building at 12 Yoel Moshe Solomon Street, in Music Square, Nachalat Shiva, Jerusalem. Piccolino offers a menu that combines simplicity and uncompromising quality.
Reservations are recommended Call 02-6244186,
Sunday to Thursday 10:00-24:00, The kitchen is open until 23:00
Friday and before Jewish holidays from 9:00-15:00, The kitchen is open until 14:00
Saturday from an hour after Shabbat ends until Midnight
The kitchen is open until 23:00

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fighting "City Hall" and Winning!!!

Finally, Our Buses Will Go The Whole Route to Central Jerusalem

Residents of Shiloh, Maale Levona and Eli protested our bus banishment to Pisgat Zeev at the Mateh Binyamin offices in Psagot. 

After a year of struggle and great difficulties, we the public bus passengers won a battle. We fought "city hall" and are victorious. Our bus, the two main Shiloh routes will no longer end in Pisgat Zeev, the most northern neighborhood, by the "city line," exit from Jerusalem. Our buses will join those of Tel Zion, Bet El, Adam etc and reach the area near the Central Bus Station, actually not far from the Israel Museum. It's not a full victory. We all want to be indoors while waiting for buses, rather than outdoors, but it's a great improvement.

The bus stop closest to CBS, just up the street from Center 1
The changes start tomorrow, Gd willing. Besides the fact that we still have to wait outdoors, rain or shine, our bus schedules have changed. Obviously we have fewer, less frequent buses, because the bus route is now longer. One advantage to having a bus stop by Center 1 is that they have cleaner and free toilets, unlike those in the Central Bus Station. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jerusalem's Beauty at Night Braving Arab Terror

Last Tuesday I braved the Arab terror and went to Jerusalem.  I walked from the String Bridge, and on it, all the way to Piccolino in Nachalat Shiva, in the center of town. I found a beautiful vibrant and patriotic city. I did not take all that many pictures, because I had to get to my destination by a certain time, and I felt safer moving, rather than standing still concentrating on the view.

Here are a selection of the photos:

cyclist on the string bridge

marching with Israeli flags down Jaffa Street in the center of town

more Israeli flags, this time at Zion Square

Singing Am Yisrael Chai, the People/Nation of Israel Lives on Zion Square
I had a lovely walk and felt so energized by Jerusalem, its beauty and people.