Monday, February 27, 2023

True, I Haven't Been Posting Much

Have you noticed that I haven't posted much? It's ironic that until a couple of years ago I posted daily on both my blogs. Now I can skip a week or two and not even realize it.

What have I been doing?

I've been crocheting as much as I can. I've discovered something fantastic. People will buy my crocheted hats when I offer to donate the money to a charity, tzedakah. I'm going to try that with some of the bags I've crocheted.

I've also crocheted a few "bowls" to use for mishloach manot for Purim. On the Purim holiday we give food gifts, so my bags and bowls are very useful. I've been packing them in my crafts for the past few years.

A friend had suggested hats for tzedakah, and that's another reason I crochet a lot. I've bought some yarn for winter hats on sale recently. You can see me in the picture below wearing one of the hats. I bought more of the same yarn, because a friend wants one just like it.

To be honest I've found it easier to find topics for Shiloh Musings. That's because the politics here is so upsetting, I've had to write about it. Not that post all that frequently there either.

Don't get me wrong. I do stay busy besides crocheting and Facebook etc. I study Tanach/Bible and do mosaics once a week in the program here for senior citizens. 

My Tanach/Bible studies are online, Google Meet and also in Jerusalem. I've been in a study group for about ten years. We used to meet once a week, and now, ever since the COVID lockdown we've been meeting almost every day, though not in person. We used to use Zoom, but now it's Google Meet. I'm also in a monthly Book Club. And I take a short walk at least once a day.

What keeps you busy? Have you missed my blog posts?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Rosh Chodesh Adar Soon-- No Joke!

It's said that the month of Adar increases joy. One can look at it as the tail end of winter, and we're very ready for the warmth of spring and tapering off of rain. There's also the fact that the Purim holiday is in the middle of Adar, and it celebrates Gd's love for the Jewish People, His miracles against all odds, even in the Diaspora.

Rosh Chodesh Adar 5783 (2023) is actually two days, the 30th of Shevat and the 1st of Adar. Our Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh will, Gd willing, be Tuesday February 21, 2023, 8:30am.

תפילת נשים ראש חודש אדר בע"ה יהיה יום ג' 21\02\2023 ל' שבט תשפ"ג ב8:30 בשילה הקדומה

You're invited to join us. There's also a lot to see and do in Tel Shiloh where the Biblical Tabernacle was located for close to four hundred 400 years. For more information contact Shiloh Hakeduma 02-5789122,

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Enjoyable Time at Botanical Gardens with Amit Women Ends Well

Yesterday I spent a magical afternoon at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens with Chug Ayelet of Amit Women. Some of the women there I'd known for decades, since my teens and others I met for the first time. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was my first first real visit to the botanical gardens. I had once, close to twenty years ago, eaten in the Caffit restaurant there, but that was it. 

This time we began with a light meal in the restaurant and then toured the gardens. 
We started the tour together in the train. I must admit that although three fully grown senior citizens did fit comfortably seated in the train, some of us had trouble getting in an out of the narrow doorways.

That's why when we were given the choice whether to do part three of of the tour, after walking around the humongous "hot house," some of us decided that we'd join the guide walking rather than getting back into (and then out of) the train with the other guide.
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are set up with plants from all over the world, and some of them need special conditions, extra water and even heaters.
There are plants that look familiar and others which you don't usually find in Israel. Tours can be arranged, and it's a lovely place to walk around. There's convenient bus transportation, too, though Google Maps didn't send me to the entrance, so I had to wander around the nearby neighborhood. You should know that one enters near but behind the local Super Sol, Superpharm shopping center.

My return home ended up very complicated because of the antidemocracy demonstrations which caused havoc in most of Jerusalem. Bus lines were suddenly cancelled and changed. When I got to a stop for a familiar bus, people told me not to wait, since the line wasn't running, and I began wandering around trying to get to the lightrail to get to my bus stop going home. A young man took pity and escorted me part of the way. Then after two short bus rides which were interspersed with a very long walk, I made it to Givat Hatachmoshet, Ammunition Hill, the first stop of my bus to Shiloh. But according to the official time table, I'd have a very long wait. Just as I made peace with the realization that that I'd have to go to the cityline and tremp hitchhike home...

Gd loves me. I'm sorry it inconvenienced others, but I was totally exhausted. I'm no youngster, and the distance I walked was far and hilly. To be honest, if I hadn't been able to walk it, I would have just sat down on the sidewalk and cried. 

Then I discovered that the 5pm bus to Shiloh Junction hadn't yet come. Gd must have delayed it for me. ב"ה. It showed up a few minutes later, and I sincerely thanked the driver and finally sat down. After waiting at the junction stop, finally someone took me to my neighborhood and I walked the rest of the way home. As the saying goes:

All's Well That Ends Well

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Book Review- Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery

Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery by G.P. Gottlieb is a rather contemporary mystery. It takes place when COVID reigned, and people had to deal with lockdowns and more. Kids were being schooled by computer screens, and the Whipped and Sipped Café couldn't let customers inside to eat. Food and drinks had to be ordered online or by phone and delivered to their customers waiting outside the door.

Aline, the cafe's owner, manages a lot more socializing than most during the lockdown. Besides working with the café staff and customers, she has her children and father to take care of. In addition to that she's also in a serious relationship with Frank, a homicide detective and is also very involved in the lives of a few of her neighbors. There is one very Jewish character in Charred, Aline's best friend and Whipped and Sipped Café pastry chef Ruthie Blum Rosen, who is a Sabbath observer and vegan, too. All of the pastry she makes is vegan.

Charred is the third in a series of murder mysteries by G.P. Gottlieb featuring the same characters, and I'd love to read the others, too. An added bonus to the series is the inclusion of recipes prepared in the Whipped and Sipped Café.

As the story begins, Aline starts her day by doing her neighbors Kacey and Kofi a favor by driving them to the site of a burnt building, so Kofi could find interesting charred wood for his artwork. But instead of some wood, he brought back a mystery. He quickly returned panicked and empty-handed back to her car. It took awhile until Aline discovered what was bothering him; he saw a dead body. Then she was forced to promise that she wouldn't tell anyone, including Frank.

The police are suspicious of a possible connection between the body and Ruthie Blum Rosen, because the dead person is found wearing a jacket with the Rosen's nametag which has things from the café in its pocket. It has never occurred to Ruthie to remove the nametags of clothing before donating to charity.

G.P. Gottlieb has created a wonderful group of characters, each with a distinct personality. We quickly find ourselves involved in the community of the Whipped and Sipped Café, the staff, customers and local eccentrics who hang out by its door. We also discover that Aline's father has recently been hearing from his brother who had been jailed for many years and wants to see him. 

To be honest, when I was a good three quarters finished with the book, I began to think that there were too many threads and wondered if G.P. Gottlieb would tie them all together. And then suddenly, rather miraculously the author very neatly crocheted them all into a wonderful conclusion.

I highly recommend Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery, and as I said earlier, I'd love to read the earlier books in the series. The book does stand well on its own; I'd like to read the others, because no doubt I'd enjoy them.