Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tasting Beers

This is just a sip of beer. I have no time for a full post.  But just that you know, the other night I went to the home of Israel Brews and Views and was deemed fit to judge some porter beers. I learned that dark beer, or a kind of dark beer is called a porter. And I now know more about which types of beers I do like more than others.

More details later.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Taste of Summer

There aren't enough good grapes for a proper "harvest," but I did enjoy a nosh from these that are better than the sweetest of manufactured candies.

Next year, all the grapes here and all the fruit, vegetables etc in the Land of Israel will have the holiness of Shemitta. We won't have private ownership and will be able to take from everyone's garden, just as much as we need, no more. There are neighbors waiting for these grapes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Winter Sky Already, Will it be a Rainy One?

Last winter was dry, dangerously dry. Besides a record-breaking major snow storm, there was hardly any precipitation at all. Here we are a week from Rosh Hashannah, eeks! and the sky is showing dark clouds. Will G-d bless us with rain?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Framed! A Great Photographic Challenge

For this week's 52Frames photographic challenge, there was the composition theme "framed." The shot I submitted wasn't planned in any way. I just noticed the interesting scene in the bus mirror and shot it.

My other idea wasn't planned either. It was a cropped picture I took at a wedding last week.

It's a very different type of "framed." I asked for advice from people from the group, and two out of three went for the mirror, while one voted for the wedding photo.  What do you think? Please comment your opinion, thanks.

"When you enter..." Havel Havelim...

This week's Havel Havelim is hosted by Esser Agaroth. As always, he had done a wonderful job bringing all sorts of blog posts for us to read. Please visit, comment and share, thanks.

Next week I'll be hosting, and then there probably won't be an edition until after Yom Kippur and then after Succot. If you'd like to host one, please let us know on our facebook page.

Remember you don't have to be a blogger to read, enjoy and share Havel Havelim!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Suburban Life" in Jerusalem's Old City Walls

Over forty years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child we were living in Jerusalem's Old City, in Maon Betar. There were very few Jewish families in the Old City. We were the first Jewish American, young, newly wed olim chadashim, new immigrants.

At that time, there weren't proper sidewalks. There was mud, well packed after centuries of pounding by feet and wagons. In many places, Israel had begun to dig them up and lay modern sewers, water pipes etc. Neither the British Mandate, nor Jordan which had illegally occupied it for 19 years had done any work on it. We could barely get around. Planks of wood were at our door, and Arab workers were underneath. There was no way I would stay there once I gave birth. I had alwys expected to walk around wheeling my babies through parks etc.  So we moved to Bayit Vegan where we had bought an apartment.

A couple of weeks ago, when I ascended to Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount we visited a couple of Jewish homes in the Hebron Quarter. In one of them I saw this.

How wonderful that now there are young Jewish families there, and the kids do all the things I couldn't imagine doing there in my time, baby carriages, bicycles... just like in the suburbs....

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ambiance of a "Street-side Cafe"

I rarely eat on the sidewalk when there's an option to eat inside, but sometimes, eating inside costs extra. I budgeted the big ns10 for a salad, so I sat down with this view.


and this

Friday, September 12, 2014

Real Rosh Hashannah New Year's Cards!

Decades ago, tables like this one were all over the streets of Jerusalem:

RonAlmog, The Four Species Market

This holiday card business is a lot easier as a seasonal Holiday business than selling etrogim and the rest of the "four species." Just pack them up and sell again next year.

Decades ago, when I first came to Israel, before the science fiction idea of "email" and internet, there weren't even phones in every Israeli home. Cards just like these were mailed, and the mailmen brought them to every building. The boxes bulged with New Years greetings.

This woman is stationed on King George Street, not far from the "old Hamashbir." She's near where Carvel used to be and, yes, across from where Richie's Pizza was. Hmmm... now how can I describe it in today's terms? In the plaza under the steps to Lev Yerushalayim, sort of across from Hahistadrut Street.

The card designs are in the classic style, so why not buy some, give to friends and they can use them to decorate their succah or just enjoy. She also has calendars.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There are Mitzvah-Favors I'll Gladly Do, and There's Chutzpah

As most of you know, I work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, which is a "clothing for the entire family" store in a shopping center, "strip mall," just north of Jerusalem, patronized by Jews and Arabs. There are certain types of favors I love to do for my neighbors, but on rare occasions people ask the chutzpadik.

I've picked up emergency medicine, returned lost/forgotten wallets and other valuables. That sort of thing I do gladly. But I'm not going to use my limited time-off to shop for books for someone and then be stuck carrying them back home. I don't have a car. I tremp aka hitchhike. The only shopping I do is for my own family, certainly not strangers who call and ask me to get for children I don't know. I'm also never going to buy something for someone when the same product is available in a local Shiloh store.

I think it's important to patronize local businesses. If there's a store in my community I get what I can there. Since I do work in Yafiz, which is next to Rami Levy, I shop in those stores more than I did before working there. It's convenient. And for me the stores in Sha'ar Binyamin should be patronized before going to Jerusalem, Ariel or other places.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Kvetch, Trying to Make Exercise Fun

Yes, I'm a kvetch, sorry.

As I wrote yesterday, the pool is now closed. It was so much fun going three or four times a week for an exercise session in the pool. No I don't "swim." I love to dance, my true calling, and I have my based on dance routines for the water. And of course I can chat with friends while exercising there in the pool which is conveniently across the street from my house.

But without the pool being full and open, I'm stuck.

Sometimes I just went for a 15 minute session. It's worth it when you pay season membership and live close-by.

But now it's closed.

Last night I took my earphones and "device" and took a short walk. I didn't want to wait until it wasn't a pool day. I wanted that transition to be immediate. But it's not quite the same to walk around with earphones when the sun isn't high in the sky. It's hard to force myself out even for just one circuit. I can't do it when the sun is too strong or when it's raining. And walking doesn't do the same for my body as the stretches, twists and turns in the pool, sigh...

Sorry for kvetching so publicly...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Last Day of Pool Season, Sigh...

Short but wonderful, that's our pool season here in Shiloh. The season lasts barely three months. Each year we, the regulars, hope for a longer one, but so for that's it.

main swimming pool

toddlers wading pool

Just three months... That's never long enough.

There are two unbeatable things about the pool, besides the convenient location near my house.

  • enjoyable healthy exercise
  • a chance to meet and talk with friends
This means that summer is over for sure, even if it keeps being hot, we won't have that wonderful summer relief of being able to jump in the pool for a while. This year I never got to the pool during evening hours. I did all of my swimming in the morning before 9:30.

Monday, September 8, 2014

HH in Aliyah Land, Bulldozer Ahead!

Yes, Tzivia of Adventures in Aliyah Land is this week's Havel Havelim host. Check out the posts, comment and share, please. There's a great variety of posts, so you're bound to find a few you'll like.

Havel Havelim is the weekly international Jewish blog carnival, which is a fun name for an internet magazine that floats from blog to blog.

We coordinate on our facebook page. Next host is Esser Agaroth. Send your links in before Shabbat.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Speaking to ESRA, Netanya

A few months ago I was invited to speak to a lovely group of people about blogging. It was the ESRA group in Netanya.

I was joined by Paula, A Soldier's Mother, Brian of London, Israeallycool, and Stephen Levitt of the Jewish Press. The evening was MC'ed by Yori Yanover of The Jewish Independent.

To tell you the truth, I love to talk to people probably more than I love to write, so I did have a great time there. I don't know if it brought my blogs more readers or encouraged anyone to blog. I'd love to know.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Is Blogging Becoming a Drag?

All of a sudden tonight when I finally sat down to blog on my blogs, something that is pretty routine, totally different posts on both this blog and Shiloh Musings usually flow from my head to the keyboard like lightning, I felt empty.

It didn't take long to write for Shiloh Musings, but all I could think of writing here was to rant that I'm suffering "bloggers block." So that's what I'm doing.

Most days I write so easily and effortlessly. I really felt scared not being able to come out with anything. Well, maybe a daily routine like mine is a bit crazy. I'm always afraid that if I stop writing daily, I'd lose readers.

Blogging should be fun. It's not like I get paid for it. So, if I really have nothing to say and other things to do...

Sorry for wasting your time. I'll be back when I have something to say that makes more sense, ok?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Distorted, but Lovely

What do you think?

And do you know where it is?

PS that's why I always must have a camera handy.