Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Small and Speedy

Lately, I keep  noticing  a tiny ambulance on my street. That is something new to me. I know our MDA emergency and rescue service, makes use of  full size ambulances, and motorcycles .
I've never seen a mini-ambulance like the one on my street. It looks like a curiosity toy (and indeed attracts kids), until you approach it and see it's serious.

the mini seen from an upper floor

I've found out that our MDA (Magen David Adom)  launched an entire fleet of these rather cute vehicles some two years ago. The minis are supposed to speed up response time, in hard to reach places (i.e. in major cities which have many narrow streets and alleyways).

front of the mini ambulance

The vehicle is electrical with two front seats, and equipped with first aid kits, and sirens. The predominant color is strong yellow which helps with its visibility.  As I understand, these mini ambulances are allocated to volunteers who've been trained as paramedics. 

back of the mini ambulance

It's good to know we have a paramedic volunteer on our street. However, I hope we never need him. By saying that I mean not to be an emergency case, and also not to need neighbors in emergency; they're not always there for us.

side of  the mini ambulance

I was once very frustrated by a  neighbor,pharmacist by profession.. I urgently needed a solution for my mother, and the above pharmacist refused to prepare it ;  the basis for his refusal was  a stupid formality. It was the only solution (prescription of an ear doctor) that could ease the terrible itching in my 80 year old mother's deaf ear. Luckily, I had no difficulty finding an other pharmacist in town, willing to prepare the solution, but it took some time and effort.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Magnets have become very popular in healing therapy (relief of low back pain). I have no experience with that sort of magnets. I like to buy  magnets as decorations for my fridge door and as small gifts for others. These items have full or partial magnetic back adhesive.

fridge door (upper part)

I buy them as mementos on almost every trip. They don't take up much place in the suitcase and are quite affordable. Besides, they can last forever on the fridge door.

Needless to say, these souvenirs remind me of some lovely places, and give me much pleasure.

The only thing against them is that it might cause clutter on the fridge door; that's mainly true, Imaho, with household chore 'reminders' which we sometimes forget to take  off. 
(Well for reminders and calendar, I have a separate spot, a cork plate on the wall of my computer corner). 

Here are some of my favorite fridge magnets: 

                              babushkas (Moscow)                                  

the Kremlin (Moscow)

amber heart (Moscow)

boat (Heraklion - Crete)

ceramic coaster (Romania)

insignia (Vaduz-Lichtenstein)

Victor statue (Belgrade- Beograd)

face (indian booth - Expo fair)

landmarks (Prague - Praha)


laminated birthday card

landmarks; matchbox (Sofia)


'Face' and 'Heart' can be worn as pendants. Face pendant ( metal), is more suitable for men. The Belgrade item (featuring the Victor monument facing the confluence of two rivers) can be turned into a brooch.

Amber made items are very popular on Russia markets.  I own a beautiful russian amber necklace given to me as a birthday gift many years ago; time doesn't rob it of its beauty.

I've recently seen magnets in the form of the corona virus. I won't buy that one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Teeth

This is a sad post.

I'll start with corona update: things seem to be out of control as far as 'corona crisis' is concerned. So far, we have over 30 thousand infected, over 12 thousand actively ill, 340 deaths (r.i.p) - thousands of tests being performed almost daily.

There was a beautiful face in the news last month, that of a young man (26) who had  died of corona complications (He belonged to the recovery group;  something went wrong, and he had to be re-hospitalized and put on ventilator. Sadly, they couldn't save him).

In the 'news'  picture, he had a broad smile revealing his perfect white teeth.
The sight of his teeth brought back to me the memory of another tragedy.

Some twenty  years ago, I visited a  neighbor at the hospital. She was dying of liver cancer. When she saw me she greeted me with a faint smile, but big enough to display her perfect ,white, pearly teeth. 

I was quite in shock at the discrepancy between her terminal medical condition and her pretty, 'lively' teeth.  We're constantly told that bad teeth and gums have a bad impact on our body's health. Isn't the opposite also true? Namely, if the body is  ill, doesn't it affect our teeth and gums?

Well, the answer is yes, of course, and there's a long list of diseases (diabetes at the top) that are said to affect oral health. 
Perhaps her case was special. She was in her early forties, no smoker, and I knew of no other disease she could have had.  Genetics was probably involved as well. 

May they both rest in peace! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Sponge Fingers

Sponge fingers were the main  treat for all ages. in my childhood. It accompanied coffee and tea for adults, milk and cocoa for children.
It is a flour-egg-water based baked goodie with the addition to the dough of vanilla extract, lemon juice (resembles the italian 'savoiardi' biscuits). The result - finger shaped cookies, spongy inside, crispy outside, coated with sugar.

sponge fingers (web picture)

We had a relative and neighbor (aunt Elki) that was famous in our little town for her 'swollen', delicious,  sponge fingers.  It was believed she used a certain ingredient which she refused to disclose. The sponge fingers were her 'specialty', her pride. She kept the secret to herself, probably took it with her to the grave, as her daughter and daughter- in- law who lived in other towns, were unaware  of her fame and didn't know what it was all about.

My mom  made some attempts to find out the secret by adding, and/ or eliminating ingredients. No many options in those days, but the 'usual  suspects' were there: soda water, baking powder, baking soda, yeast. Nothing conclusive, as far as I could remember). 

(Come to think of it, maybe it was potato starch. Perhaps, it wasn't an ingredient that did the job, but the method, the quantities). 

Anyway, I didn't mind the secret as long as I got my treat, and I got it often, There were times when her husband was mostly on the road (sales agent), and she wanted me to sleep at their house. Well, no child likes to leave his bed , but she was also a close relative and I didn't want to upset my mother.  So, the sponge fingers and sometimes little gifts, sweetened my bitterness.

Me - at the back, left side, with braids , boy with cap behind

My real prize was many years later in a conversation I had with her daughter in law (Aunt Elki lived her last decade with her son and his wife in a remote town). The conversation brought me to tears, as it appeared she had mentioned me often and thought well of me.  It made me feel guilty, as I always pictured  her as the wicked woman who wouldn't reveal the secret of the sponge fingers. May her soul rest in peace!