Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sign of Fall

חצב Chatzav,Drimia
This strange long plant is called חצב Chatzav,Drimia. It's a sign that summer is actually ending. It heralds fall, autumn. It's nice to know that in my very undeveloped/uncultivated garden I have signs of the seasons growing naturally.

So, if you're still finding it to hot look for these plants. They will remind you that summer is soon to be over, and then you can complain about the cold...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Panic Last Night on Way Home!

No, it wasn't a security problem, thank Gd.

With an eye on the road, at the Ofra Junction, I had checked my phone and saw that I needed to update Whatsapp. Considering the rather anorexic memory capabilities of my phone, I generally ignore these "update" requests, except for Whatsapp. So much of my communications with people, family, friends, work, travel/tremps etc are via that amazing and free application.

I never update the apps that Samsung built into the phone, even the ones I use. The reason that I have no memory in it for what I want/need is that the memory is wasted on apps I never use.

So there I was, after 9:30pm, on the corner, with my eyes scanning every vehicle and checking my phone, too. Of course, even though I had deleted a bunch of messages, I was told that there was insufficient memory to update. OK, no choice I had to delete moe apps. All that was left were WalkLogger, our "sick fund" and facebook messenger.

There was no real choice. I had to delete/uninstall something, and the Walklogger was not it. Since I almost never use the sick fund one, that had to go, and since the fb one can get annoying, and it's possible to get messages directly on facebook, that, too had to go.

Yes, you probably guess it. I suddenly realized that I had deleted Whatsapp Messenger instead of the fb one. Since I wouldn't survive without Whatsapp, I quickly sent out a couple of sms's to ask people to re-invite me. And I wondered what would happen to the Whatsapp groups I had started and am sole administrator. Had they just vanished?

If you know me well, you know that patience and waiting aren't my strong points. I went into google and searched for Whatsapp. I found it and managed to re-install it. All this, while waiting for the bus or tremp. As part of the "re-installation," I had a one-time offer to rescue all of my old files and contacts and groups. By then, if I remember correctly, I was already in a ride home, and a section of the route has no internet/wifi etc. I was terrified that I'd lose it all.

Baruch Hashem, I got home safely, quickly and have my Whatsapp back!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Silhouette and Stranger for 52Frames

52Frames's "challenge" for last week was the toughest yet for me, and I even mulled over the option of breaking my streak and just not doing it. But since I'm not a quitter and knew it was just something I must get over, I buckled down and did my best.

What was so hard for me? Honestly, it didn't involve equipment or conditions that are impossible. It's not even that far from what I do, very well actually, at work. We had to ask a stranger for permission to take his/her picture, "Portrait of a Stranger." I had chickened out when I was in Jerusalem earlier in the week and therefore decided that Kenes Shiloh was the place. I had planned on asking an attendee, but somehow they looked too serious and "unfriendly." I just had to get over that phobia and stop making excuses!!! Finally, I decided on whom to ask, and did it! Here she is:

"The Archeologist"
During the tour part of the Shiloh Conference at Ancient Shiloh, our guide pointed to a young woman who had found a number of artifacts while working at the archaeological "digs" at Tel Shiloh. Afterwards I walked over to her and asked if I could take her picture for a "photography group." She tried to tell me that she wasn't very photogenic, but I told her to look around at the much more elderly, much less attractive, people in attendance. Convinced, she agreed, but just wanted to choose the shot.
Her name is Tehilla, and she has been working at the archaeological site of Tel Shiloh.
She has a lovely smile and is very photogenic!

Camera: Canon Canon IXUS 145
Shutter: 1/125th of a second
Aperture: f/3.5
ISO: 800
Location: Shiloh, Israel

Critique: SHRED AWAY! I feel no pain.
This photo qualifies for the "Extra Credit" challenge: "Tell Their Story"
This week's challenge was completely different. Nothing is less personal than the vague outlines of a Silhouette. I took a number of photographs in a few locations, but I ended up deciding on this one:

"Silhouette Fenced In"
Here in Shiloh, the first sign of pool season is when the fence around the pool area gets covered by this green canvas/fabric. The swimmers, especially the females expect/demand privacy. That's why, in the morning, looking eastwards into the swimming pool all you see in Silhouette is the fence and some plants. 

Camera: Samsung GT-I9105P
Shutter: 1/500th of a second
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 100 and below
Location: Shiloh, Israel
Here are some of the "rejects." Did I choose incorrectly?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hacked! Don't Know Exactly How

My Website Has Been Hacked! Now What?
The instructions are for Wordpress, not Blogger
I guess that one of the reasons I had trouble falling asleep Saturday night was that when I checked in on my blogs, email etc after Shabbat I had a shock. Someone had gotten into my Shiloh Musings blog, and could have done the same on this, and posted a "message" with link. I was terrified. Would I be able to retake control of my blogs and email?

Shiloh Musings
I managed to delete the post and then change my password. And as soon as I changed it on the computer, the phone announced that I would have to do it there, too. So, I changed it. Now I must remember the new password... Also, a cousin messaged me that he had gotten one of those "hack/virus" messages from my email.

Yes, I feel violated, freaked out totally!

And since I was able to change my password, it meant that the hacker didn't have mine. He/she/it or whoever may have gotten into my account on a "device" I had used to check email/blog while not at home. Many of us who travel without a laptop, tablet or really powerful phone, find ourselves taking advantage of offers to use other people's computers, or hotel lobby computers, and sometimes we either don't properly sign out/log off or a lurking virus takes hold when we're happily reading and writing.

I also took off a few people I had as "administrators" on my blogs. They can still blog, but they cannot make changes.

I don't think I've clicked any dangerous sites, but one doesn't really know. Sometimes there are viruses lurking in news, pictures and lyrics sites that google lists when we search for something. (Porn sites are notorious for facilitating virus invasions, but, B"H, that's not my interest.) I am so relieved that I succeeded in changing my password and hope that locked the evil one out. The person who set up my computer put in the free AVast virus catcher. I guess it's not effective enough, unless, as I am guessing, that the problem came from a different device, not my home computer.

PS The article I found with the illustration above said I should also clean up my "history" and "cookies," which I did which has now gotten me totally messed up, since I must relog into absolutely everything. And to do it, I have to remember all my passwords...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Eggplant Accordion

I served this all baked, of course, Friday night, and my guests were very impressed. It really is easy to make. As you can see I sliced an eggplant (on aluminum foil) not quite through. And then between the slices I placed thin slices of tomato, onion and garlic. Then I dribbled a bit of oil, and after that I wrapped it up well in foil and baked until soft.

Honestly, that was it. It was that simple.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cold Coffee Update AOK for Strict Sabbath Observers

I've blogged about my successes and raves about Cold Brew Coffee, so easily prepared at home. But as great as it is, I still had trouble with it on Shabbat. I can't use the French Press filter/plunger on Shabbat, so using that entire apparatus is then problematic.

So, since I have really enjoyed having cold coffee on Shabbat, I decided to do something else entirely. A few hours before Shabbat, I made myself a nice big batch of perked coffee, using the Israeli Elite Turkish in my stove top percolator. Then when it cooled sufficiently, I poured it into a glass jar, actually  two, one large and one small, since I made that much. And then this Shabbat I just poured it into my mug, added the usual milk and sugar, and had great coffee!

Friday, August 19, 2016

No Carb Lasagna

OK, I admit that it sounds a bit like an oxymoron, since we all know that lasagna is basically a pasta dish in which you layer the large pasta pieces with anything from vegetables to meat. But the main course I made for tomorrow's lunch, aka Shabbat morning, sticks to the layering, but instead of pasta, I used vegetables. You can also consider this a version of moussaka.

So, for the simple instructions, I simply layered the bottom of the baking pan with eggplant. Then I added the chopped meat mixed with tomato paste, chopped onion, garlic and an egg (for easier mixing.) Then I topped it off with squash.

Yes, it's that simple. I baked it until you can see the meat leaving the sides of the pan and smelling great. This heats very easily and can also be frozen.

This is really easy to make, and as you see, with a bake and serve pan, I'm saving on dishwashing, muss and fuss.

This can be called a fancy meatloaf, too. It's all in the labeling...

Meat for Meatloaf, Moussaka, Lasagna etc:
Can be doubled, tripled, halved etc, of course.

  • about a pound and a third- I used 600 gram- chopped meat
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup tomato concentrate  (of course you can use fresh, but I was in a rush)
  • generous sprinkling of  granulated garlic (of course you can use fresh, but I was in a rush)
Yes, it's that simple, very healthy and always delicious. Beef is tastier than ground chicken IMHO, but some people prefer chicken. If you can get ground turkey, that's good too. 

I don't buy packaged ground meat, of any type. I watch the guy grinding it in the machine, since the packaged usually has additives and junk.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Day With The Grandkids

Yesterday I spent the day with most of my grandkids going to museums in Jerusalem. The older ones spent the entire day in the Israel Museum with their aunt, my eldest. And for a few hours I took a couple of younger ones to the Bloomfield Science Museum, which they had enjoyed last year. It's a short walk from there. It was a good choice. They loved it and specifically looked for the exhibits and sections they remembered from the earlier visit. This time they had more confidence and knew how to get to "play" with the exhibits and games. It was good that the teen and preteen stayed at the Israel Museum. I saw other kids their age looking as bored and miserable as they had been last year when I had them all in that children's museum.

Here are a few photos, specifically chosen as not to make the kids recognizable.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Favorite Timewaster? Mine's Spider Solitaire

OK, now you know the truth. I waste time on a card game, a computer card game. Granted, I just use the game that is on the computer and I don't go into any of the game sites. I certainly don't gamble nor sign up up for anything that isn't on my computer. But still I find it very addicting and relaxing. And it can sure waste time.

I used to play Freecell, but now I find it too easy. Spider Solitaire is more of a challenge for the mind. Growing up, the Spiegelman family card game, for generations, was Casino. My father could play and win even into dementia.

So, nu, what's your timewaster? Eating doesn't count, and I don't want to hear that you clean your house...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Salad Meal on a Budget in The Center of Jerusalem

Yesterday, my friend and I decided that we wanted a simple, low calorie meal. We had just found her the perfect tzni'usdik, modest bathing suit, ok a bit more expensive than the same one would have been in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, but close enough to the price, so it wasn't worth traveling there. Yes, the store where I work does have great prices, not only the best over-age saleswoman!!! 

As only good friends could do, we both pointed to the nearby Cafe Ne'eman, on the iconic corner building on Jaffa and King Gorge, where you can get your choice of ready-made salads plus a fresh roll for all of NS24.90. I chose the Tuna and she took one of the White Cheese ones. And we both took the rolls home to freeze for some other occasion, or our husbands...

Even though Downtown Jerusalem was loaded with people, tourists, locals, families etc, the lovely tables for budget diners were empty, and we had our choice as to where to sit.  We could watch all the action on Jaffa Street, while we had a nice, leisurely lunch and chat.

They also have a nice selection of sandwiches, pastries and great coffee. "Fast food" does not always mean greasy and fattening.

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Vegetable Soup, Always Perfect and Easy to Make

Above you can see my second giant bowl of vegetable soup,lentil to be exact. Yesterday was a traditional Jewish fast day, Tisha B'Av. After twenty-five hours without eating or drinking, it's really important to have something nourishing and easy to digest. For me that's Vegetable Soup. It doesn't matter which vegetables I include or the exact quantities, it always tastes good. That's one of the beauties of Vegetable Soup.

Years ago, I made it richer and heartier with carbohydrates like barley, wheat and rice. But as the house emptied and my weight increased, I found it necessary to tweak the recipe a bit. This is what I made:

brown lentils
salt, pepper and some parsley flakes
lots of water- I add boiling water to cut down on cooking time.


  • check the lentils for rocks, bugs etc
  • pour boiling water over it, to cover plus, and cover pot
  • leave for at least half an hour
  • add the onions, squash, carrots, garlic and oil (better less than more)
  • add more boiling water, at least a few inches higher than the veggies
  • cook on high flame until boiling, then simmer on low flame for between 40-60 minutes
  • towards the end of cooking time add the salt, pepper and parsley
  • always cook in covered pot
  • turn off flame and leave in pot for at least 15 minutes before serving


  • replace carrots with mushrooms, or just add mushrooms to the classic recipe
  • ditto with cauliflower, but since the cauliflower cooks more quickly, add later during the cooking
  • substitute barley or peas for the lentils
Let me know how you've made the soup. Thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

As the Sun Sets...

Today, on Tisha B'Av, I went to a neighbor's for a class late in the afternoon. As I returned home I took these photos.

May next Tisha B'Av be a day of joy and celebration.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It's The Tisha B'Av Fast Now

 I set up a low stool, covered it to stay clean, and said all the prayers and writings one is supposed to say.

This is what I wrote on Shiloh Musings.

Reflecting on "Tisha B'Av," What Makes Me Sad...

Please tell me what you think, thanks.

Friday, August 12, 2016

One "Tray" Meal, Fish and All The Trimmings

Two nice pieces of salmon are wrapped up in the foil. For me and my husband to have Shabbat afternoon. I did add a bit of oil before baking it. Now it's all covered in foil and in the fridge to be heated up on the electric "platta." All it needs is a salad for a complete meal.

I'll skip the potato; that's why there's just one. I love these "one pot meals."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #7 A Supermarket to Avoid. Plus WC Tips

This is a continuation in my ongoing series about public toilets in Jerusalem. See #6,  #5, Saved by The First Station aka #4a, #4#3#2 and #1

For those of us who really need and use public toilets, you should know that there are some in supermarkets. In general I've had some excellent experiences in them. At work in Sha'ar Binyamin, the nearby one is in Rami Levy, which I, bli neder*, must review. On occasion, there may be a mess, but the store's cleaning crew keeps it clean and well stocked with toilet paper. I've also been to a couple of Super Sol branches, which were perfectly acceptable.

That's why I had absolutely no trepidations entering the former Super Sol in the Ramat Eshkol Shopping Center. This is one of Israel's very first purpose built shopping centers, designed after the 1967 Six Days War for the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood, which had many western immigrants. There are very few public toilet options there. I've never tried the gas station, and small stores and restaurants generally restrict access to patrons. So, since I needed the facilities, and the supermarket was the first option on my route, I went in. It's now called יש Yesh.

I walked in headed left, looking for signs along the walls and finally followed them into a storage area. A worker gave me directions. I needed to go up a few stairs and make a couple of turns. The further I went, the worse the place looked and smelled. If you have a good nose, you can probably find it by the scent. I certainly wasn't expecting that. My Rami Levy branch is cleaned and washed frequently. And of course the Yesh WC isn't handicapped accessible.

When I was planning this post, I thought of writing that the toilet hadn't been renovated since Super Sol opened the building in 1970-71, but it isn't technically true. I can see that the toilet itself has been replaced since then. It's a model that didn't exist forty-five years ago.

But the whole set-up there is awful. I'd have to be very, very desperate to avail myself on those facilities again. Within five minutes I could have walked to the Kupat Cholim, sick fund, clinic across the way and down the street. All sick fund clinics in Israel are supposed to have public toilets. Nobody has ever requested a membership card from me as a condition of use. And there's also the gas station... but I usually avoid them. Maybe it's time to overcome that phobia...

*Bli neder means, not a vow, so don't hold me to it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sweets from Gd and the Neighbors

Some of the neighbors have sent out messages, that we're all invited to pick fruit from their garden "orchard." I haven't gotten there, but they really must have a lot of fruit if it's more than they, their kids and grandchildren, too, can use.

Other neighbors left out some grapes for passers by to nosh. The note says:

בורא פרי העץ
הופרשו תרומות ומעשרות

Borei Pri Ha'etz
Hufrishu Trumot u'Masrot

...Creator of the Fruit of the Tree (appropriate blessing before eating)
required "tithes" were taken

Back to 3 out of 6 on Arutz 7 Top Blog Posts

I hadn't blogged on Arutz 7 for a couple of months between getting a new computer, losing my password and my brother's illness and death. Finally about a week ago I was able to contact them and get a new password. Now I'm again one of their most popular bloggers.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Today, August 9, Would Have Been My Father's 96th Birthday

Sidney Spiegelman 1920-2016
My father was the last of his generation, the last of his siblings, and the last of the aunts and uncles also on my mother's side. Like many in that situation, he wondered how it happened. He had never thought he'd outlive his peers. Here he is with the two people he missed the most.

My father and his brother, my Uncle George. They were nineteen months apart, looked different, had different personalities, but they were the closest of brothers and even communicated in dreams after my uncle had passed away.

Here's my father with my mother, Shirley Spiegelman. She passed away less than three years before he did. They had been married for 65 years when my mother passed away.
This is one of the last pictures I took of him.
My father was born in Brooklyn, NY to parents from eastern Europe.  My grandfather was born in Nasielsk, Poland, and my grandmother in Rogotshov, Belarus.  My father served in the Navy during World War Two on the Pacific Front. He was an officer and worked with the radar on the ship. Although not a religiously observant Jew, he was a proud one and was known as "the Jew."

After the war he worked as a CPA; he had gotten his degree from City College before being drafted. He and my mother married in Brooklyn and lived there until I was seven months old. Then we moved to Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, NY.  My brother and sister were born when we lived there. In 1962 we moved to Great Neck, NY. He lived there until October, 2009, when I moved him to live with us in Shiloh. He lived here until the following June when he and my mother were moved to Arizona near my sister. After they died they were each buried in New York, in the plots they bought in 1959 as members of Oakland Jewish Center, Bayside, NY.