Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Happy New Year 2021

I had to take a break from blogging and other activities in mid-December as my home was in need of some repairs.

Moreover, my  PC has to be replaced ( haven't done that yet) as its old operation system XP gets no technical support any more. I definitely have to have Windows 10.

Now, we've entered third Lockdown for a period of at  least two weeks . 

Hopefully, new mutations won't make covid -19  vaccine a joke, as in the case of the flu- vaccine. The later has to be administered to people every year according to the virus mutation of that year. There are still many deaths in the world following flu complications with or without the vaccine, and yet pharma companies get richer and richer with their product.

Anyway, right now the covid-19 vaccines seem to be the only ray of light at the end of the dark tunnel, at least on the medical front. (So far, two  mutations of the virus have been spotted: in Britain, and in India).

No idea what's going to happen on the other major fronts: economic, social, educational. Not good things, I'm afraid.  Coronavirus has revealed to us the true face of so-called democracy: utter lack of discipline on one hand  (citizens) versus total incompetence on the other hand (governments).

Not a matter of human rights here, but of human greed and stupidity.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Two Women


No, it's not about the famous italian movie 'Two Women' with Sophia Loren (widow), and her daughter, who had to leave Rome during the war.

My post is about two former neighbors of mine (rip), mother (widow) and daughter who had both Alzheimer.

What I've learned from their sad case is that genetics, even though it is inescapable,  can nevertheless  be delayed  -  provided the other two  factors on the pyramid, stress and nutrition, are kept under control. Nutrition is the easy part. We definitely can control it. Stress, is another matter; it  is not entirely in our hands. Sometimes, people have to leave home and/or work, , in order to survive, as stress in these places is too much for them; it kills.

The mother , a widow, lived alone in a small flat. Was of a calm nature and led a quiet, uneventful life. She got diagnosed with Alzheimer in her mid-seventies.When the disease progressed, she was placed in an adequate facility, where she was taken good care of. She was well over 90 when she passed.

The daughter lived with her husband and two teenage girls in an adjacent building. She had a stressful life, especially because of conflicts with her husband. Unfortunately for her, he retired early from work, and was constantly at home, doing nothing but criticizing her.

She was diagnosed with Alzheimer in her mid sixties, some ten years earlier than her mother. After getting diagnosed, she was given a live-in home carer.

Sometimes, I used to see her  with the carer outside , and it broke my heart. I 'd known her as a tall, talkative, active person - and there she was - her head down, not recognizing anyone, not talking, a fragment of the original person. With her, the disease progressed rapidly.

It seemed her two daughters (who'd left home but not the town) gave up on her. If they would have been there  to hug her, cuddle her, talk to her, maybe she would have felt something, reacted to love and attention, retained some form of humanity.


We come into the world alone and we leave it alone, even though there are people around us, at birth and at funerals. Those with Alzheimer not only come and leave alone, but also live alone, in a world completely their own.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Discipline and Slogans


Discipline is the name of the game; nothing important  can be achieved without discipline -  self - discipline, as well as national discipline.

 There are countries in the far East  that have managed to keep the covid-19  virus under control: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Thailand, Vietnam..... 

Discipline in these countries is instilled from childhood. People there have respect for  rules and for authority. Above all, they respect themselves and those around them. 

The western countries on the other hand,  rely on slogans,  and seek what seems to be the easy way out  - vaccine.  Slogans can lack clarity , and  even be confusing. Protests and pressure of  citizens against restrictions, don't make things better.

'Stay Home'  - the most memorable slogan during this pandemic , means what it says : stay home. You may leave the house for basic necessities only, and for a short time.

At first it worked well, but then people lost patience and started giving their own interpretation to the slogan. According to this interpretation, the problem lies merely in confined spaces with no adequate distancing among people. 

Well, I'm not so sure about that. I don't dare yet going for a long walk in the park or sitting and eating in the outdoor spaces of restaurants and cafes. The virus, in my humble opinion, is in the air waiting to strike both indoors and outdoors. Masks and distancing may prevent that, but not hermetically.

Anyway, we shall have to wait and see the impact of the vaccine on the virus and its victims.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Genealogical Quest


My grandfather's mother was a 50 year old widow when she decided to leave the small home town in north-east Romania and try her luck in America . Her  children followed her (except my grandfather whose wife objected to emigration).

 Over the years, I got intrigued by her figure (knew about her only from family stories), and so when I retired,  I embarked on a genealogical quest to find out about her american saga. I had very little to begin with.

Genealogy is a highly fascinating subject. It requires a lot of time, work, effort, patience;  there are many frustrations on the way, and yet the reward is immense. First of all, it gives one the chance to learn about oneself. I've found out I had skills unknown to me before, such as analyzing and evaluating evidence from various sources.

It may give one a sense of pride, even superiority.  It's Me with the initiative and curiosity,  not the others in the family, especially not those in America with  all the archives at their disposal. 

Through genealogy one gets to grasp the real meaning of what is known as ' blood connection'. I felt devastated several times, for people I'd never met and never exchanged a word or photo with.

Examples:  a young adopted boy slaughtered his whole adopting family: parents, little sister, grandma, grandpa. The grandma was my relative (G.grandmother's granddaughter). That happened in San Diego, California.

In Florida, a couple with two youngsters (a son and a daughter) got divorced. The father, my relative (G.grandmother's grandson), died  of a heart attack. The mother got murdered by her jealous boyfriend shortly after. The two youngsters became orphans.

Both cases have shattered me. I started my genealogy quest  for pleasure, and there I was soaking in tragedy. There were of course pleasant surprises too  Among the grandchildren of my G.grandmother   - a most valued Michigan senator , and his sister, owner of a big, famous radio station.  The senator died shortly before I started my quest. His eldest daughter and her family still live in the area. His two other daughters live in California.

I had moments that made me smile , For example, I managed to get my G. grandma's picture from the descendants of two of her daughters (she had three daughters and three sons with her). One daughter was working class - a  cook (she and her husband owned the restaurant though). the picture of my G.grandma in the cook's possession was that of a simple, coarse woman; whereas the picture kept by her more educated, younger sister looked  ..refined.There was even a husband's picture and he also looked rather  refined.

wih granddaughter in her arms

refined look 

widower of G.grandma

the two daughters S. and M.

 daughter S.(cook) and husband M. - restaurant owners


 younger daughter M.  and  husband B.

I could write an interesting book on my genealogical journey, but I  probably won't.

Thursday, November 12, 2020



Election campaigns resemble more and more a political circus, and regardless of the final result,  we feel relieved when it's all over.

Prior to the Election Day, candidates usually make heavy promises (jobs, money, control) to specific groups in the population, to increase the number of their voters.

In my country, for example, the lucky group that gets it all is the ultra orthodox ('haredi') community. These people provide lots of voters (each family with an average of 7-11 kids). 

Almost no political coalition is possible without the 'haredi' parties.   The participation in the coalition  gets them close to power and money. They are in fact a 'state within a state' with budgets, schools, privileges. 

Corona virus outbreak has revealed the extent of the above alarming situation. All  governments past and present are  blamed for it. The current PM is accused of 'selling' the country to the 'haredim', of bringing about complete disintegration of the already fragile, highly heterogeneous nation - and asked through weekly protests -  to resign.

In the USA there's a lot of talk now after the elections, about "healing the nation". How, exactly?

It's not only Trump , but all those millions of people who have voted for him in 2016 and now - almost half of the nation. If from the very beginning one shows nothing but contempt for their candidate and their voting, then what is to be expected of them now. They might try to do the same to Biden and his supporters - namely,  delegitimation. 

Oh, well,  God can make things work in the right direction. There's, however, need for praying.






Thursday, November 5, 2020

November 2020 - Week one


First rain - torrential but refreshing, and much needed.

I've received a nice present - a special winter blanket; love it, love at first sight.

I'm very fond of tahini (tahina) paste ; it's healthy, delicious, easy to prepare (sesame seeds' paste, water, lemon juice, garlic). It goes well with pita bread and other products. Home made is the best. I've bought the jars of sesame seeds' paste of which the tahini is made, for the whole month of November.

The elections in the USA make me think of the dollar. The  dollar is the reserve currency of the world; it's what helps americans print money like there's no tomorrow, live well, and even send aid to other countries. Will it retain its status as the global reserve currency? Time will tell.The elections and covid-19 are sure weakening it.

Coronavirus is still here, and I'm not optimistic. I'm afraid the upcoming vaccines are not the end of it. Masks and social distancing are a Must, and yet even people who abide by the rules might get the virus. Nothing is sure about it. May God protect us!

Hoping for the Best.



Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Sometimes we learn from the media about the death of a person; no cause of death mentioned (usually at the request of the family). Even if we're curious about cause and circumstances, we accept the lack of information.

It is somehow different when the deceased is someone we've known personally or through online activity such as blogging; it seems then, that curiosity is stronger than us. We even feel 'entitled' to know about the cause of death.

A 69 year old blogger died suddenly at home about 3 months ago.  It was quite a shock! The blogger was a very active person, and l was under the impression that he  was not having any (major) health problems. He felt unwell during the last few days of his life, and passed away  (rip).

I was hoping his wife might perhaps reveal in her blog the cause of his sudden death.  Well, she mentioned him a lot, described the sadness of the days without him, her crying and grieving, but nothing on the cause of death. 


Until a few years ago, I was having correspondence with a cousin in the USA - a cousin discovered through the internet, while doing a genealogical research. She was of great help to me with this research, and I felt  grateful to her.

At a certain stage, the said cousin (a divorced, registered nurse in her fifties) wrote to me that her younger, single sister  was hospitalized. After a few weeks she informed me of the sister's death.(The two lived in the same big, town).

I was in shock twice: first by the tragic event, and second  by my inability to get any info on what had led to hospitalization and death. I tried both approaches - direct and indirect, to make my cousin tell me what had happened. In vain.

I had my guesses, but why guess, I said to myself, "we're cousins, and we've been in touch for at least three years . Moreover, I've told her in detail about my own tragedy - the sudden , untimely loss of my brother. So why couldn't she tell me what happened to her sister"?

I felt hurt, but , went on with the e-mails, albeit less frequently. I tried to convince myself that her behavior had probably something to do with  specific american mentality with which I was not  familiar, and for the time being, I'd better ignore the whole painful thing.

After a while, she brought up the subject of inheritance (procedures to be dealt with, a town house and a car to be put on sale, etc..) - without even mentioning the name of the sister. It was at that point that I sadly decided to stop the correspondence. Certain things are unacceptable to me, mentality or not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Analog Pictures - part 2


Update on covid-19: easing of lockdown restrictions starting with this week , encouraging news on vaccines. However, the overall atmosphere is one of great anxiety caused by reopening of schools, economic collapses, and the fact that though doctors know much more now about the virus, they're still in the dark about some main issues.

And now to the topic of this post.

I like to re-read my posts on favorite places I've been to in my younger days; it uplifts my mood.

During the current lockdown, though, my target was to try and improve/restore  pre-digital photos in my possession. Thanks to the right tip from Jeanie (the Marmelade Gypsy blog) on my first part , I've managed to do some of that.


To this day, one of my favorite places I've been to, is the Vesuvium volcano in Italy. What an excitement  to be on the edge of the crater of an active volcano! It could erupt any day. The smoke coming out of the crater is a fascinating sight! 


on the edge of the Vesuvio crater

Speaking of volcanoes, Edinburgh castle in Scotland was formed as a result of a volcano erupting several hundred million years previously. The castle (over 900 years old) had been both a royal residence and a military base.


                           At Edinburgh Castle, Scotland


Greece has many 'dramatic' places such as Delphi (town and archeological site - house of the famous Oracle), and the amphitheater at Epidaurus.

The theater at Epidaurus is still in use today

amphitheater at Epidaurus


                                     Mt. Parnassus domineering the area of Delphi 


Jerusalem is known for its two outstanding religious sites: The Wailing Wall and the Al Aqsa Mosque (with the golden dome).

In those days, I didn't have a prayer book with me, but I did place a  note  in the cracks of the wall.

                               At the Wailing Wall; left a note in  cracks of the wall


On the top of snowy Yungfrau mountain (Swiss Alps) which is considered the highest peak in Europe, one feels on the top of the entire world, not only the top of Europe.

on Yungfrau ('virgin' in german) viewing the snow

Well, that's it for now. Hoping there won't be a  third lockdown.

Sunday, October 11, 2020



Still on Lockdown. I don't know how long covid-19 will be with us. (A climate activist claims - for as long as Climate Change crisis will last).

However, I do know that a country needs the right strategy to handle it.  I'm not referring to a country  that belongs to the club of the big and rich  (USA, Germany, UK..) but to a country  of small to modest size and resources, like Israel where I live.

By 'right strategy' I mean one that would not be based on waiting for a vaccine (which may or may not be available ,  may or may not be effective), and, would not be based on borrowing heavy money to give its people the (false) feeling that life goes on as usual, and covid-19 is just a temporary inconvenience.

Perhaps, new drugs development (antivirals, steroids) will move faster than vaccine development, and help make real progress in the fight against the virus.

Perhaps, before  borrowing money to release 'loan programs' and 'rescue funds', the government could advise people to return to basics;  the decadent world of the pre-covid era,  might never come back.

The new world might be one of isolation, including touristic isolation. North Korea, a small, isolated country, has just made it known to the world that there has  been not even one single case of coronavirus infection there.

We don't know things for sure yet, but we have to be mentally prepared for the possible reality of no physical schools, restaurants, culture halls etc.. and reorganize our life the best  we can under the circumstances.

Sadly, it seems that politicians and vaccine developers will nevertheless be dragging us into the abyss, creating chaos on the way.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Analog Pictures

The other day, I was browsing through my old, analog (non- digital) pictures, focusing on the bad ones (blurred, failed contrast - too dark, too bright etc..).  I wanted to try and improve quality, if possible, by using the editing software on my rather old,  computer.

Most of these pictures  are dear to me, mementos of my visit to some famous landmarks, such as that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In order to successfully capture both the landmark and myself in the same picture, I needed a much better camera than the one I had, and certainly better photographic skills, but I had neither (sigh).

Eiffel  Tower

It was getting dark outside, I was sitting on the stairs, feeling tired. In the above Eiffel Tower picture I looked almost  deleted, so I tried hard to recover some of my body shape.


                                                      At The Colloseum in Rome

The ancient structure of the Colloseum looks o.k. ;  my face, on the other hand, looks blurred. One can improve things, but touching face could turn disastrous; not recommended.


                                           Mozart's monument & birth place in Salzburg

 I felt music in the air, Mozart's music. It was a lovely, sunny day, perfectly appropriate for a visit to the great composer's birthplace.

                                                        Fontana di Trevi - Rome

This stunning , famous fountain, where people throw coins in its water, makes you forget everything. I just stood there overwhelmed by the sight of it.


I've got quite a few pictures with Me sitting on stairs , on rocks, on a bench , on a fountain edge or on the grass  by some famous attraction .  Not surprising, though.  I was a tourist, and as such, often  tired from much walking and exploring. I needed to rest, and that was also a good opportunity for a picture.

                                                Urquat Castle at Lockness  lake, Scotland
 I like the greyish color tone in this picture; it somehow matches the atmosphere created by an old castle and a lake where a monster is believed to live.
on the edge of the fountain at Buckingam palace
It was raining on the day of my visit; a light rain, still, not a very suitable day for taking outdoor pictures

                                               sitting  on a bench in the center of Frankfurt
The red, cotton cardigan was bought in the city on that very day, and it was my first 'inauguration' of it, on that bench, watching the passers by.

                                         on the grass, by a monument in Sterling, England
The 'on the grass' picture reminds me of my big issue with photography. I've convinced myself that I 'm not photogenic, so I keep it distant, until it's... too distant.
Apollo Temple  in Ancient Corinth, Greece

This is a rather rare picture of me,  as my head is seen here from profile, from the side.


While browsing (apparently, not a bad lock down occupation), I came upon two pictures relevant to our times: social distancing in one, crowding in the other. Both were taken in Athens, Greece.

distancing on Likavitos Hill (made me smile)

                                                     crowds  on the Acropolis , Athens

 I also came upon a picture I was glad to forget about .

On the route Dover-Calais , I felt like I was going to die of sea sickness. Very traumatic experience!  (Several days earlier, wearing the same outfit , I had my photo taken close to a wax figure at the Wax Museum in London, and visited Buckingam palace too.).

                                                            seasick in the boat cabin 

                                                                  at the Wax Museum

The weather at the time of the sailing from Dover to Calais was very rough. In calm weather I usually don't get sea sick.  Here's a photo of me on the deck of the greek Saronic Star vessel. I was full of energy and glad to be on that cruise.


on the Saronic Star deck  


This kind of browsing brings back to me nice memories,  so I'll go on with it till the end of the lock down.


Jeanie from the Marmelade Gypsy blog - has kindly offered to restore most of the above pictures. The result is incredible!

Amazing! Thanks Jeanie.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Final Sealing


The 25 hours of Fasting  are over.   Hopefully, Fast and Prayer have got me a good final sealing in the Book of Life for the New Year.

The Book of Life contains the fate of every sinner. On the jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) the fate is inscribed,  ten days later , on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) it is sealed. Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur,  people have a chance to change their fate if they repent, pray, ask forgiveness.

Yom Kippur is the most sacred of the jewish holidays. It's also a day of Fear - fear of the finalization of the heavenly verdict passed on Rosh Hashana.  G'mar Chatima Tova! meaning:  a Good Final Sealing , is the customary greeting used among people between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

 I believe the Book of Life is part of God's greater book, that of the Creation, its order and rules. Sadly, Man has constantly  violated these rules, in the name of progress and evolution, and we see the result - we live in a scary and unpredictable world.

In  the book of the Creation there are answers and solutions. Man prefers and expects... politicians to offer answers and solve problems.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Of Doctors and Daughters

After retirement, our GP and her husband (also a doctor) moved to another city; sort of a new beginning.
A few years later, the husband died. I happened to come upon the obituary. It said that the deceased was  to be buried  at the cemetery of a city in the north of the country ; the location named was the one where their only daughter lived.

The daughter was a nice girl, but one that made her parents' life a misery. They had plans for her but she strongly disliked school and discipline. Her overall attitude had also isolated them socially, as their circle of friends used to be one of doctors and academics whose children followed in their parents' footsteps.

During her army service the daughter met a russian newcomer; they fell in love and decided to get married. It was not a bad decision. They were both without a profession, but his parents helped and put them on the right track.

In the meantime,  the
'new beginning' for the two doctors was rather one of loneliness. I met them once in the new city and they opened up.  They were each an only child to their parents, and so no siblings and nephews, only some distant cousins. They did keep in touch with their daughter who lived far, but failed to overcome their disappointment in her, so no close relationship.

When I read the obituary, I said to myself that  'frau doctor', the fresh widow, was probably going now to sell the apartment and move near  daughter and her family. The very right thing to do, and it would involve acceptance and reconciliation.
The daughter and son in law  were not perhaps highly educated, but still- good, decent people. That's what she needed in her old age - a good, caring family with grand kids to enjoy.

I felt glad for her, especially that she had once said some very kind words about my father. "He never leaves my office with the back to me; he moves slowly towards the door with his face towards me, out of  respect". Yes, that was him: always kind and respectful.


Both my parents were fond of their GP  as she spoke their language (rumanian) and shared their mentality. Giving medication was not her first choice. She used to advise her patients  to try  change of diet, leaving a toxic partner or place of work , minimal commuting. In a way she was ahead of her time; in those days the doctor was mainly expected to find the problem and give medication, not suggest how the patient should live his life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Visitation Dreams

If and when  I happen to dream during my sleep, it's usually about family members that are no longer with us. They talk, sometimes weep, but when I wake up, I don't remember any word, and that unsettles me .  I lit a candle, ask for forgiveness, say a few words in their memory; that calms me down.

These kind of dreams are important to me. They indicate that there's some  sort of connection and communication with the deceased. Things don't end completely with one's passing; the departed  'stay in touch'  somehow.

In my latest dream it was my beloved mother that made her appearance. She talked and cried. Perhaps she was asking me not to skip  my usual pre-High Holidays annual visit to her grave . We live in weird times, with a shutdown  threat upon our heads, so her fear of me not visiting, was not without reason. 

The next day, I put the mask on,  and hurried to the cemetery to be at my parents' graves.
The day after , I went to the cemetery  of  an adjacent city, to visit the graves of my brother and my little  nephew.

These visits last at least an hour, during which  I wash the tombs, lit candles, and say prayers.

A friend of mine, who doesn't have dreams of that sort says I probably think often of them and they feel loved by me, that's why they appear in my dreams trying to communicate.

Well, that's true. I think of them daily, comparing them to the people I encounter. I consider them by far superior in their human qualities.

Saturday, September 12, 2020



Berries are considered superfood,  for they're packed with nutrients and anti- oxidant elements. We greatly enjoy them in their natural fruit form, in baked goods, in  jams, juices, sauces. Always delicious!

Berries are also widely used in  herbal supplements containing extracts of the active ingredient,  which promise many health benefits such as:immunity/metabolism/energy Boost; anti-aging/anti-inflammation/anti -cancer Fight .

Health stores' staff point at Goji berries, as a  very popular product with potential health benefits, among them ,glucose regulation and eye condition improvement..


People on meds should beware. Some of these extracts might interfere and/or interact with doctor's prescriptions for blood thinning, diabetes, etc..(Hawthorne's berries and Acai berries, for example, are known to have impact on heart disorders).

We're blessed  here, in Israel, mainly with strawberries, but the season is  short. Most of the other known  berry types (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries etc..) are imported and rather expensive Tiny bottles with berry extracts,  produced by reputable pharma companies, are also expensive, but worth ,perhaps, the money.


I keep  a  bottle or two of such berry extracts in my cabinet, usually for their anti- inflammatory property. I don't take the capsule or softgel on a regular basis as one would take meds, but whenever I feel a problem and suspect inflammation of some sort. It usually helps.

*web pictures

Sunday, September 6, 2020


I've recently come across this new term - coronialism - which refers to the danger of a new order, a new society being established -  based on the restrictions and urgencies caused by the fear of the corona virus, covid-19. 

Personally, I'm not afraid of 'new' and of restrictions. The situation now seems to be close to anarchy in many parts of the world, so, there's great need for regulating factors, imposing law and order on people to get us out of the pandemic. 

It's too soon to pass judgement, draw conclusions, as we're still amid the pandemic. The word  'coronialism',  however, gives us food to thought, especially as it sounds like another -ism  word -colonialism - an historical - geographical process notorious for its oppressive forces.

Most people regard covid-19 as a temporary nuissance that will vanish with the appearance of the right vaccine. Perhaps, (an expert has just offered his belief that by March it'll be over), but its consequences on our economic, social, environmental, and political life will be far- reaching. The world won't be the same. We should better get used to the idea.

In what way will the world change? I don't  know for sure. I only hope it's for the better as we've been living till now in bubbles, in lies, in pretense, in corruption,  beyond our means. So, perhaps coronavirus will bring with it, besides the unfortunate disease and death, also a blessed transformation. We have to believe that.