Thursday, September 19, 2019

Has Anyone Ever Heard of Seventynine S/9 Shoe Company?

I've needed new summer sneakers for a long time. Not only are my two pairs old, but they are full of holes. The fabric just doesn't last long,l even if the soles are still good. And then even worse, one pair began causing strange foot pain. Yes, it was time to buy new shoes.

I need light flexible shoes and over the years had bought quite a few pair of Sketchers. And I had bought my shoes in the states when visiting my parents. They've been dead for a few years already, so not only were my shoes old, but I needed to find shoes in Israel. In the states I had done well in outlet stores, buying good brands at fantastic prices. It certainly never bothered me that the style was "old."

This summer I'd been checking out shoe stores. And I was waiting for sales. Apparently I missed the big sale this week on Election Day, but I wouldn't have traded the enjoyable visits I had with children and grandchildren for discounted shoes, even two pairs for the price of one.

Rather desperate for new shoes, yesterday I went to the Sketchers store in Jerusalem and was horrified to see that their "sale" was half price for the second pair. I didn't really want to buy two pairs, especially at the prices offered.

Since I'm in the Hamashbir discount "club," and they have good/name brands I went there. After checking out the women's department and the sports shoes, I finally found the "bargains." I tried on shoes that seemed attractive and comfortable at a price I was willing to pay, and they were discounted, too. I just had never heard of the brand,  Seventynine S/9. Have you? I checked online, and there's nothing about the company at all, just stores/sites where you can buy them. They are made in China, no surprise.

I ended up buying two pairs at a total price which was less than one pair of the least expensive in Sketchers. Actually, I wore one pair out of the store and found them comfortable, even after my evening walk. But as you can see, they already look soiled. That's not the end of the world. I'm sure they can be cleaned pretty easily with wipes, if I want.

The fabric stretches, like stretch jeans/denim. As long as the elastic (in the heel) doesn't give out quickly, that's an advantage. Ever since shoe uppers became synthetic, rather than genuine leather, many people, including yours truly, have found that problematic.

Even though the sale price of shoes here in Israel is higher than the discounted ones in the states, I still saved a lot of money. My day's transportation Shiloh-Metropolitan Jerusalem Unlimited only cost me NS13.50, less than $4- instead of close to one thousand dollars for roundtrip travel to the USA, even more when you add all the other expenses a trip to the states includes. Because my feet are sensitive, I must try on shoes, so I can't imagine buying online. BTW when I googled these shoes the price was more than I had paid. I had discovered the same thing when I checked prices for the perfume I like versus the discounted price I paid in Hamashbir.

If there's anything newsworthy about the shoes, I'll blog again on the topic. I'm still curious about reports if you have any.

Happy Walking and Happy Shopping

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

I Voted for The Second Time.... This Year

I was excited to see that there were three instead of the usual two voting stations in Shiloh this time. That's the "good news."

And for "better news" or Gd forbid "bad news," we're waiting.

I'm not a fortune teller. I can't predict what will be. I can just pray that it will be good for the State of Israel and the Jewish People.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Frugal Adventure to Beit Shemesh, Plus: Pishers' Guide to Beit Shemesh #1

The other day I met with some friends in Beit Shemesh, or to be more exact, we met at a Beit Shemesh mall. To be honest I've been in Beit Shemesh for a wedding, Shabbat Bar Mitzvah and maybe something else, but even after this little adventure, I still don't think that I know Beit Shemesh.

Over twenty years ago, when some real estate developers began marketing Beit Shemesh, they kept insisting that it's right near Jerusalem. I think they claimed it was something like seventeen minutes away. The truth is that it may be that from the border of Jerusalem, on the highway until the turnoff to Beit Shemesh, when driving in the middle of the night without traffic it may be '"seventeen minutes." But at 11am, in a fast bus on the highway, no traffic, to the first stop at the Beit Shemesh Junction, which has three malls but no residential buildings I could find, it took about thirty-three minutes from Jerusalem Central Bus Station.

Our plan was to meet for lunch in the Bleecker Street Bakery. My friends and I came from all over the country, Kedumim, Shiloh, Netivot, Beersheva and quite a few points in between.

I was happy to discover that I could buy a one day unlimited bus pass, Metropolitan Jerusalem West, senior citizen rate NS13.50 (just over $3-) when I got on my bus in Shiloh, and it would include Beit Shemesh. As I had written, I'm not familiar with Beit Shemesh. To be honest I began to panic when I got off the bus, even though it was the correct stop. I didn't expect to see three malls nearby. Nobody had warned me.

Since I was early, I decided to case out mall #1, and thank Gd I found Bleecker Street Bakery. My friends and I chose Bleecker Street Bakery, because it had a breakfast special which could be ordered all day. The food was delicious. Everyone was happy with their selections.

Pishers' Guide to Beit Shemesh #1

I couldn't resist the opportunity to check out the WC, 00, Restroom or just call it the Public Toilets of Beit Shemesh. One shouldn't need WAZE to find a WC. I'm from the "old world" of reading signs. Well, in this Rami Levy Mall, trying to follow the signs was like getting lost in a maze. So, I used the old standby, the closest supermarket. Yes, I walked into the Rami Levy Supermarket.  

Just a few steps into the store I spotted the easy to recognize icons for the Public Toilets and followed the signs. My experiences with Rami Levy's WCs have been pretty good, and these didn't disappoint.

The public toilets were clean and stocked with paper and soap. My friends who had found the mall's WC admitted that it was "lacking."

I had a lovely time with my friends, who requested "no pictures" on the blog.

Monday, September 09, 2019

New Health Food Store in Ariel Grinds Coffee

When I went to Ariel yesterday for a "lunch date" in BIGA in the new mall across from Ariel University, I spotted a nice big, clean, orderly attractive Health Food Store. Of course I walked in to check it out. I bagged some raw nuts, good prices, and then I spotted... 

coffee beans, priced less than I've seen in Jerusalem
"Do you grind the coffee beans?" I asked the staff.
"Yes, of course," she answered.
I took a look at the selection, about four different kinds of beans. I chose the strongest flavor they had. They weighed the beans, subtracted the weight of the plastic containers*, asked me how fine or coarse I needed the coffee and then went to their coffee grinder to grind for me.

There are a lot of products, and I hope people shop there. For me it's a great location, since I can get to and from that part of Ariel very easily. The owner and staff were nice and helpful, too. And the nuts, which I bought, taste nice and fresh.

Here are photos to give you an idea. The Health Food Store is on the lower level of the shopping center. There are elevators in the building.

*Actually, I had to request it, explaining that it was the normal procedure, and when they saw how much the two containers weighed, they understood.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Shakespeare, Not For The Sedentary

Officially, it's called Theater in the Rough. The audience follows the actors around the park. Each scene is acted in a different location.

Measure for Measure was the second play I saw from this amazing theater group. Last summer I watched/followed their Hamlet around Bloomfield Park, behind the King David Hotel, Jerusalem.

Theater in the Rough puts on one of Shakespeare's plays each summer. They begin their productions late afternoon, and by the time the last act begins, it's already dark.

Young and old, tourists, Israelis, sabras, olim chadashim and vatikim make up the audience. Some viewers carry chairs, others sit on the ground, stand or climb onto the "props." You may notice some of the children who are almost part of the scenery.

I must admit that I was sometimes distracted by the "little dramas" by "extras" that unintentionally added to the show. Bloomfield is a public park, and it isn't closed to the public during Shakespeare.

My friends and I attended the last performance of the season, and we could see that there was nothing tired or jaded about it. The actors seemed to be having a blast. They didn't seem tired; neither did the audience.

Production crew was very impressive. Many of the actors were playing multiple roles and had to change costumes constantly.

It's important to remember that the actors are amateurs. Not only that, but technically entrance is free. This year the recommended contribution/donation was NS35. They also sold T-shirts with the names of the plays Theater in The Rough have presented.

Theater in the Rough have a facebook page here click. If you'd like to get involved, email

I have no idea which play will be next year. They'll make the announcement early summer and will open for auditions. Whether you hope to be part of the production or just in the audience, you're bound to have a wonderful time.

See you next summer.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Beach Day, First Time in Decades

Yes, that's me in the water
The other day a couple of friends and I went off for a very short beach day. The last time I may have gotten fully wet in the ocean at a beach was well over forty years ago. I don't remember much about the water, since I was busy taking care of my three daughters who were pretty small at the time. My strongest memory of that day was the awful sunburn I got on my back. It was probably the worst sunburn I've ever suffered. As a child, being the "dark one" in the family, I was never considered sensitive to the sun, so it was a real shock when I found myself burnt.
This week's adventure was different. First of all, it's part of my:
  • Why not? Let's do it.
  • If not now, when?
  • Take advantage of every opportunity.
  • Live it up...
  • Pleasures of retirement. 
  • Etcetera...
We had a full day together starting with our weekly Tanach, Bible studies, then lunch in IKEA, my first visit there. For ages, I've been calling myself: 
"Probably The Only Person Who Has Never Been To IKEA." 
Now my husband is the sole holder of that title. And since he doesn't like shopping, he may hold it even longer than Queen Elizabeth has held hers.

IKEA was chosen as the lunch venue, since not only is it strictly kosher, but it also charges relatively little for a meal. If you're wondering if I bought anything in IKEA, just a little thing to prop up my phone and some paper napkins. I wasn't even tempted by anything else.

Since we had guessed that the beaches would be empty, and we wore modest bathing suits, we went to Palmachim Beach. It was a good choice. The end of summer vacation meant that few people were there. It's also a lovely beach, clean and with all the facilities we needed.

We took turns falling, but I had no problem getting up.
As an extra treat, we had some ice cream. I must admit that I ended up tasting some of the beach water, which was saltier than I had remembered. One thing that surprised me was the oily feel of the water. I don't remember ocean water as oily. Please don't tell me that it's pollution. Since we sat on folding chairs, the same ones we had taken to Shakespeare last week, oops I still have to blog about that, we didn't get full of sand. I must admit that I didn't shower off before leaving. The natural ocean water was a pleasure after three months of pool chlorine.

The trip back to Jerusalem was without delays, and miraculously I made it in time for a Shiloh bus. Again Gd was good to me, since Yermiyahu Street was clear, and the ride home was relatively fast and uneventful.

"Joys of Retirement" for sure. We must do it again.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Astounding Growth, Shiloh's Elementary Schools

September 1, 2019, first day of school
Thirty-eight years ago, September 1, 1981, the Shiloh Elementary School, Ohel Shiloh, opened its doors, yes doors since each class was in a separate small building, for the first time. There were eighteen students in three classes, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades.

In 1981, Shiloh was a small, rather isolated community which was trying to grow and expand. It had been decided that in order to attract more families, make life easier, more attractive and provide employment opportunities, they would open a school.

A local school was one of the factors that helped us decide to move to Shiloh, even though our eldest daughter would have to travel to Ofra. There weren't enough "older children" to have more than three classes. For the first school year, the classes were in new prefabricated homes that Arik Sharon, as Minister of Housing, had brought to Shiloh. Even though the summer of 1981 brought a record-breaking number of new families to Shiloh, most of the houses were empty. It was good to have the school using three of them.

The following year, the school moved down to the neighborhood near the Tel Shiloh, and more prefabricated buildings were brought in for the growing school. A few years later a proper school building was built in the "Middle" of Shiloh, between Tel Shiloh and our neighborhood over a mile up the hill. Preschools and the Infant Day Care Center were also built in the area. More buildings had to be added to the elementary school, as it reached eight grades plus separate classes for boys and girls. As the school continued to grow, especially since students came from nearby Eli, Maale Levona, Shevut Rachel, Shiloh Valley hilltop communities, Southern Shomron and  Jordan Valley, two separate schools were set up, one for the boys and one for the girls.

My youngest child graduated 8th grade over twenty years ago when the school was still relatively small and hadn't yet been divided. I've had little reason to enter it, more accurately the schools, besides Election Day, for many years. And the voting booths/stations are set up in the building cloest to the entrance to the schools' campus. Since there's now a maze of buildings, I can't even point out the original one, where I had been the girls gym teacher for many years. Davka, this week my I accompanied a friend in one of the buildings in the middle of the campus. She had to bring something to one of her children. If I hadn't been with her, I'd still be trying to find my way out.

Here are a few pictures of Ohel Shiloh Elementary Schools circa 2019, 5779-80 on the Jewish Calendar.