Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tel Aviv

Trip to Tel Aviv yesterday to see Ariel, eldest daughter and one of Tel Aviv's biggest fans.

I started off being impressed that the bus driver delayed the bus's departure while a young woman ran to the bathroom. That was nice of him, I thought.

Ha. Halfway to Tel Aviv, we stopped at a rest stop to use the facilities and get some coffee. I was the last one in line to get my coffee (I wouldn't have been, but someone pushed ahead of me and, well, being the nice American that I am....) and -- the bus took off without me!

I was pretty stunned because there was someone sitting next to me and she should have noticed that I wasn't there! My purse was though -- luckily, i had my wallet with me.

In the end, instead of getting to Ariel at 11:30 and heading to the spa, which was what Ariel had planned for me (first time ever!) I had to find a hitchhike to Tel Aviv, go to the Central Bus station, get my stuff, and then head back to her apartment. We had lunch, which was nice, but missed the spa.

It should just be a kaparrah, I guess (substitution for something worse that may have happened instead).

Gam Zu L'Tovah

I've spent the last few days looking for evening work to fill in the Demand Studios gap. And the more I look, the more I realize that Demand Studios was a complete, well, waste of time. There's plenty of work out there and it's a lot more interesting and fulfilling than writing articles like "How to clip your Boxer's toenails". Really.

I guess that before, I was just resigned to making peanuts and being treated like dirt. It's kind of like people who are abused -- you get used to it and accept it.

The kind of articles that they expected took hours of research, another hour, at least, to write up, and then your work could be rejected at the whim of their editors. I had editors who refused my work on the flimsiest of excuses (yes, i know that this isn't grammatically correct, but frankly, it's MY blog). And that was it -- your hours of work went down the drain.

My initial worry at finding new work has dissipated. I have two new job offers already (both of which will, in addition to providing interesting new work, allow me to learn new skills) and I'm developing my own business ideas.

I do have to think about this trait in myself though -- I tend to hold onto a bad situation because I'm so worried about the future. This is the second time that, only after "the axe fell" did I realize that it was truely "all for the good -- gam zu l'tovah".

Chodesh Tov y'all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My brother, wife and their two boys have come to visit for a few days. Really sweet kids, though I simply don't remember that kind of energy and from my kids when they were little. Maybe because they're too BOYS, close in age, but they're too little bundles of energy. The dogs, who have gotten used to a rather staid house of quiet (mostly) don't seem to know what to do with themselves.

Anyway, even though Tzfat doesn't have a lot for kids to do here (and that's an underestimation) I guess that between digging up the yard a bit and following the dogs around the house, they had a good time.

We made a barbeque last night. Something about barbequed meat....though I have to remember that fresh ground beef just doesn't stick together well on a grill. This isn't the first time that I've noted that, but, of course, I keep forgetting, and then we peel the barbequed meat off the grill top. It's still good of course (actually, even better) but some things work out better after they're defrosted.

I've been writing articles at night for a company called Demand Studios for awhile. This morning I got a message that they'd terminated me -- two of my articles were too similar, and that violated their "plagiarism" code. I had used some of the same research in both articles ("Things to do in Scarcy Arkansas") and I was told that I had "duplicated content". Sigh. I really hadn't meant to duplicate anything, just to use the same basic research for both articles, but it was still a bit of a shock. I do count on that income. On the other hand, maybe it's one of those "blessings in disguise" that will push me to find something a bit more satisfying and creative. You always read about people who lose a job or something and find that it pushed them to expand their horizons -- maybe me too?

One never knows. In the meantime.....I'm doing some research.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A few weeks ago I made a nice roast beef for Shabbat dinner in honor of Hagai's return from the army for Shabbat. He fell asleep shortly after candle-lighting and we didn't see him again until Saturday afternoon. So I froze the roast.

This week, after 3 weeks, he was scheduled to come home, so I unfroze the roast for tonight's dinner. Yesterday evening he got a call to return to base because of the high level of alert after the terrorist attack.

So, I refroze the beef.

This morning he left at about 9:30a.m., and I fried up some tofu because Yochi won't eat the beef, Gal doesn't really like it and I don't care. (I actually made a nice dinner with corn, potatos, baked mushrooms and all sorts of salds). A few hours later, Hagai showed up again -- they didn't need him after all.

So, the beef is out of the freezer again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home from the Army

It's Hagai's first Shabbat home from the base in three weeks. He got home this afternoon and now, because of the terror attack in the south, has been called back to base. Aside from the disappointment -- his entire rucksack of clothing that he'd been wearing for the last three weeks is in the washing machine. Now what?

I find myself unable to concentrate on doing anything whenever there's an attack. I just move from task to task aimlessly, unable to function.

Funny place that we live. There's an expression in Hebrew -- it "sucks the juice out of you." Yup, that's it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Chili for the Frum Vegetarian

2/3rds meat
1/3rd vegetarian

1. Make your tomato sauce. One nice big sauce for everyone. Divide -- 2/3rds and 1/3rd. Set aside.

2. Boil red beans which soaked overnight.

3. Boil white beans which soaked overnight.

4. Put white beans in a food processor and puree. Set aside.

5. Find two more pots (actually, all these containers is the hard part)

6. Put your red beans in the pots -- 2/3rds and 1/3rd.

7. Find a pan and saute ground beef.

8. Add beef to the 2/3rds beans-pot.

9. Add pureed white beans to the 1/3rd red beans pot.

10. Add 2/3rds sauce to the 2/3rds red beans pot

11. Add 1/3rd sauce to the 1/3rd red beans pot.

12. Give yourself points if you didn't mix anything, because the 1/3rd consumer will not eat anything that has TOUCHED meat.

13. Wash all the used pots. Bummer.

14. Get ready to make snitzels. Chicken and, of course, tofu. Remember, tofu first.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Big Breath

The Tisha B'Av fast ended and it's time for Ben HaZmanim, the big Israeli vacation time. And where does everyone come? You guessed it....Tzfat! OK, maybe not everyone. Some people head to Italy or London. But it certainly SEEMS like everyone comes to Tzfat.

I'm hoping for a few good guest room rentals for the next few weeks. I have one more big job that really needs to be done on the house -- redoing the porch railing which is rotting away. After that, i think that i'm going to take a break from working on The House and try to just relax a bit. Over the last year we redid the roof, built a bedroom, put in air conditioning and bought new (used, but nice) furniture for the living room. I think that I deserve to stop saving for the Next Project and just enjoy what I have for awhile.

Would love to find some more content writing jobs. The part-time work that I do is enjoyable and I'm pretty good at it. Plus, it's puts me in a new world. Have to find out how to develop it a bit.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Strolling down the street

And there I was, just walking home from work and minding my own business.....and I saw this guy. OK, maybe it was a girl.....I didn't ask.