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It’s been ages since I baked a cake all alone. Lately either I haven’t baked a Shabbat cake at all, or the kids helped me. And if they help me, obviously I do the grown-up thing and let them lick the cake batter. What else can I do?
But now I made a last minute birthday cake for my niece and I’m all alone. I can’t let that batter go to waste, now, can I? So I’m standing in the kitchen licking batter and scraping the bowl and feeling… like a child.

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I missed a spot!

May we all remember the sweet taste of childhood 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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I’ve been doing Pilates for 10 years, so I flatter myself that my core muscles are pretty strong. But Pilates doesn’t include cardio. I get out of breath very quickly. This year, I decided to do something about it. But what?

My first idea was to join a course. But in addition to time (and finding a parking space!) and money, I had one more problem: That the first ten lessons would probably be me gasping for 5 minutes and spending the rest of the lesson in a dead faint on the floor 😦 (I’m not even exaggerating that much).

And then a friend (Thanks Maya!) introduced me to Fitness Blender: Practically unlimited full length workouts, of different difficulties and times, that you can do in the peace and quiet of your own home, and all absolutely free! It includes HIIT*, low impact, no equipment, special equipment, you name it. I went with a 6 minute warm up, 16 minute cardio workout, and 5 minute cooldown. I still can’t do the full 16 minutes, but they have great suggestions for pacing yourself and I’m getting better. And when I add the shower (and believe me do I need a shower!) It takes 40 minutes out of my day  – that’s it!

My workouts:

Quick total body cardio warm up:

Wake up and go HIIT workout:

Fast 5 minute cool down:

May we all be happy and healthy!

*HIIT: High intensity interval training, a method to get results in a short time 🙂

Disclaimer: Do not take my advice on your health without talking to a doctor first!

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He was younger these days, also. Not so much in the physical sense, to be sure. [..] It was his way of thinking”

by Issac Asimov, “Pebble in the Sky

I’ve been thinking of this quote a lot in the past week. I recently changed my job and started studies to be a physics teacher. This is affecting the way I think. New challenges, new things to learn, new things to do… and yes, I feel younger. Even with three kids 🙂

life-is-beautiful-905868_1280

Have a great week!

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Obviously, there are a lot of differences, like the culture, language and the amazing amount of blond people, but these are the ones that affected me most.

  1. Bathrooms. Almost every women’s bathroom comes with a disinfectant you can use to clean the toilet seat and then sit like a queen. In addition, we were in a gas station toilet in the middle of nowhere, and not only did they have toilet paper and soap (rarely found in gas station bathrooms in Israel) they had two real towels for drying your hands. Really.

    Not this good, but close.

    Not this good, but close.

  2. Weather. I used to complain about the weather in Israel, because it annoyed me that we could have snow one week and 35°C the next. But in Germany, this happens over one day.
    It was 35 °C. We heard thunder, at which point we noticed half the sky had gone black. By the next peel of thunder, it began raining, fat drops. Half a minute later, started hail the size of ping pong balls (I am not exaggerating!). Half an hour later it was 35°C again and the weather was going, “Who, me?”

    Close enough

    See? Hail (though the picture is from pixabay)

  3. Air conditioning. Israel is hot. To deal with this, most structures are built so that opening two windows passes a breeze through, and if necessary there is air conditioning – on busses for example. Germany probably doesn’t think it will get that hot, so structures are built to keep heat in, and very few structures are air conditioned  – busses are not.
  4. Forests. Israel doesn’t have forests, with tall stately evergreen trees and dappled shade. There simply isn’t enough water. Israel has green brush. It’s beautiful, but not the same.

    I can finally use the word "dappled"

    I can finally use the word “dappled” 😉

  5. Celiac. The Israel Celiac Association has been around a quarter of the time the German Celiac Association has, but has managed to do so much more. Being a Celiac in Germany is very hard. In Israel every food is marked also with what it might contain, so it’s much easier to be gluten free. In Germany only what is contained on purpose is marked, which is not always reliable. Restaurants and hotels also have never heard of it or have really bad tasting gluten free stuff. Sigh. My children ate a humongous amount of french fries.
french-fries-525005_1280

Humongous!

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I’m on vacation for 3 wonderful weeks. Ohhh, the joy…

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Have a great summer, everyone!

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Two days ago, we found a pigeon in our service balcony. We have sliding windows there, and because the dryer needs an outlet one window is always about 20 cm open. In order to prevent pigeons from coming in (I will laugh ironically at this in minute) we have a small sheet of plywood blocking  most of the opening. So we got the plywood in front of window A, and another window B that can slide over window A until it hits the plywood. Yes?

Window B had been left open by mistake (which we will not be repeating again in a hurry). We heard some noises from the balcony so we went and found a pigeon, between the plywood and window B (there really wasn’t much space there). Only her head and wing was peeking from between them. She looked in some distress. So we carefully pulled window B to allow her to leave. She didn’t move. Knowing a few things in the way of pigeons I concluded that she wouldn’t move while I was there as she was in the “freeze” state, so I left (closing the door firmly behind me) and gave her some time to calm down.

Half an hour later I went to check. The door to the service balcony is mostly glass (plastic?) so I didn’t need to open the door to see that the pigeon had in fact moved. However, opening the light and verifying found her in a heap on a pile of (formerly) clean laundry, with one leg up. I rushed to my husband to tell him we had a dead pigeon our laundry. As it was by then very late, we decided to take care of it in the morning.

In the morning I went to see the dead pigeon to find her sitting comfortably on my laundry, blinking at me.

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪pigeon‬‏

What?

(picture not mine)

Sooo, obviously not dead. I talked by chance to my SIL about something different and brought up the subject, she said she would ask in her  facebook group (moms in our city). In the meantime, I went to work, and called the RSPCA. They gave me a number of an animal rescuer (where’s Diego when you need him?) He said that if the pigeon can fly and doesn’t, then maybe she laid eggs. To photograph her and send him when I get home. In the meantime, my SIL’s group came through with another number as well.

I got home prepared to photograph – and no pigeon. Great! She flew away, she just didn’t want to be out in the hail we had last night. Almost intelligent. With some relief I put all my formerly clean laundry back in the machine and left.

This morning, I took some clean laundry in to fold and some socks fell behind the hamper. I moved the hamper to get the socks and found the sock on… the body of a pigeon. (you saw that coming, didn’t you? I didn’t). I leaped about a meter in the air and yelled in surprise, waking my husband from his Friday morning nap. We had a dead pigeon covered in socks in our balcony.

oops : Vector oops Zeichen auf weißem, eps10 isoliert Illustration

Soo, I went to find a box to put her in, and when we came back to the balcony she was sitting behind the hamper blinking at me.

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What? Haven’t you seen a pigeon before?

I called the animal rescuer back all set to send him a photograph, but he didn’t answer (Friday is a non working day in Israel). So I tried the other number and he was very nice, said the pigeon is probably hurt and came to take her.

He walked in with a special carrier box, put on gloves, took one look at the pigeon and said, “Look, her wing is broken”, lifted her carefully into the box and called a bunch of veterinarians to find who is willing to accept a pigeon on a Friday. In the end he found the City Vet (I didn’t even know we had one 🙂 ) I paid him and he went off whistling.

So that’s the adventure of the pigeon who died twice… and walked off with a broken arm.

Of course, I had to clean the balcony thoroughly after that, and close the windows, and get rid of the plywood, etc… and I hope to never see another pigeon in my house again! 🙂

Has that ever happened to you? Thank you to my SIL and her facebook group! And a thought for Shabbat – what if the socks hadn’t fallen then? *shudder*

Shabbat Shalom!

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Thank you, G-d:

That I live in a country where rape is a crime of the rapist and not of the one raped.
That I live in a country where a confession under duress is not accepted.
Where in the few cases that this did happen, the perpetrators were punished and not the victim.
Where a trial is needed for every crime.
Where a lawyer is provided for every accused.
Where the death penalty is not given.
Where justice is the norm and not the exception.

Thank you for these things which I take for granted, and are such a great gift.

Thank you.

Dedicated to Reyhaneh Jabbari. May she rest in peace.

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