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A verse for this Shabbat

isaiah 41 10 trans too.png


My Swan Song from the UK

duck duck swan

Right before I left the UK,  I saw some swans on my way to church and stopped to take some photos.  The ground was uneven and my left leg fell in a small hole–just enough to unhinge something in my hip.  The swan didn’t seem to notice. I thought, well, I’ll do some yoga and deal with it.  Was able to somehow move to Cyprus the next week.  In Paphos, I met a wonderful ex-pat lawyer, Jeanette Truscott, who invited me to ancient St. Paul’s Church. But as I went upstairs on Sunday morning to take a shower and picked up a dust bunny on the stairs–POW!  Something disconnected and I was in paralyzing pain.  I could only crawl to bed.

Checking the Ex-Pat forum, I saw recommendations for a certain physio-therapist called Herodotou Nicos.  His features somehow reminded me of portraits of Mozart, and he looked at my body with dismay as if it were a damaged Stradivarius. He worked his magic on my hip like an artist.  Within three sessions, I was walking without pain.  Now I can finally enjoy the village of Tala where we now live.



Potato Juice for Frozen Shoulder, Allergies, and GURT

If you hadn’t noticed, one of the latest crazes is drinking potato juice.  I had no idea that potatoes had juice.  All I knew is that they were pure carbs and to stay away from them.  And i wasn’t going to buy an expensive juicer that takes more time to clean than to use.  And to be honest, having a start-up company limits your finances but ignites your creativity.

My body has never made the adjustment from hot Chennai, India, to chilly Braintree, UK.  Hay fever went into asthma to the point where breathing was difficult.  A frozen shoulder was growing painful.  And from the lack of all those good spices in Indian meals, GURT meant that I paid a price for drinking coffee.

So I got the grater out, washed a potato, and started to grind.  I put all the mess in a clean stocking and squeezed.  Then I drank the juice.  I did this early in the morning and late at night.  It hasn’t even been a week.  You know what?  I don’t need my allergy medicine. Really.  Like it happened in 24 hours.   I can do things with my shoulder that I couldn’t do.  And the GURT is getting better.

Google potato juice yourself and see if it can help you too.

But I’m seriously thinking about getting a juicer.


You didn’t really spend £16.95 for a Pepperoni Pizza, did you?

I read that many people in the UK have to borrow money or dig out of their savings just to buy food.  So who’s buying the pizza for £16.95?  In Chennai, India, I thought I was really splurging when I got a Domino’s pizza for rs 600.  So in my survival mode, I looked in my cupboard, and then googled.  Even though I was brought up in a second-generation Sicilian home in Timonium, MD, I didn’t know the difference between pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce.  I bet you didn’t either.  So this is it:  it’s mainly more concentrated, more spicy–and no surprises–lotsa sugar–or honey if you want to justify yourself.

So if you are poor but need your pizza, buy a pizza shell and make your own.  I had tomatoes in a tin, so I put it through my blender until it was thick.  I added tomato puree.  Then I added basil, fresh oregano, sea salt, cayenne pepper, honey, black pepper, lotsa garlic (love my garlic press), bay leaf, and…and…are you ready for this?  Because you really have to be ready.  I don’t know what Nona Fava would make out of this, but here it goes.  Yes, I put in two clean egg shells.  Why?  To take out the acidity.  This is huge if you have GURT or an ulcer or you know…

But that’s not my secret ingredient.  It has to do with Pinocchio.  I’ll tell you tomorrow.


Why I Put Egg Shells in My Coffee, Don’t You?

Well, it finally happened.  Like Job, what I feared came upon me.  That dreaded ulcer or GERT or whatever.  What it meant is that when I drank my beloved coffee, I paid for it.  It became painful.  Did that stop me?  Of course not.  But thank God, I found an answer in something that I have been throwing away.  Yes, the egg shell.

The egg shell neutralized the acid in the coffee.  If I am making instant, I just put a piece of egg shell into the coffee with the powder.  You may want to crush the shell first.  For regular coffee, put the crushed egg shells with the coffee.  By the way, the coffee and the egg shells are great for your garden.

To store egg shells:  Wash the egg shells with warm water and soap.  Rinse.  Put out to dry.  They are ready to use.  You can also grind them in your coffee grinder and store in a container.

You can use egg shells when making soups, etc.  In this way, you can get the calcium that’s in the egg shell.  Put the egg shells in a net and drop in the soup.  When the soup is finished, you can take out the net.


What to do when a bomb hits

In light of the Boston Marathon bombing, I called my friend in Jerusalem and asked if she could give me a few pointers:

1.  Hit the ground. Pull anyone around you to the ground.  Avoid glass fragments.

2.  Stay away from shops with glass windows.

3.  Don’t run down the street.  You may be running  to another bomb.

4.  Option: Run into a building and go to the far end.  Try to get to the bathrooms.

5.  Option: Be in the middle of the street and away from building with glass windows.

6.  Stay away from waste bins, trash cans, or any luggage unattended.  There may be another bomb.

7.  Be observant for what doesn’t look right, and stay away from it. Go with your gut.

8.  Help the wounded. Don’t move them unless necessary.

9.  Cover yourself with your jacket, and cover children and babies.

10.  Cell phones may not work.  Try to use a phone booth and leave a message at your home phone that you are ok.

How to prepare before hand:

1.  Keep your land line.  Cell phone may not work in an emergency situation.

2.  Always keeps coins on you to use in a pay phone.

3.  Take a First Aid course.

4.  Train your family to keep together in crowds.

5.  Coordinate with your social groups–clubs, synagogs, churches–to develop a disaster management plan.

This is a rough draft.  Would like to get feedback.


Chicken Soup and Shabbat from the Digital World

As an instructional designer, I have to live inside of my computer.  In a way, I would much rather be teaching a live class.  But then again, I’m too much of a geek and like my graphic design options.  As any independent contractor knows, you are your most exigent boss.  I work myself hard–glued to this light box–finding beta testers, researching, designing and redesigning.   Then, Shabbat–let go.  Walk away from the computer.  I am not in the borg. 

I had lived in India for over 12 years where I had a full-time cook.  Now back in the UK, I am cooking again.  Also in the UK, it is freezing, cold, and damp.  It is time to make homemade chicken soup.  Just one more time at the computer to google just how to make chicken soup.  As I go through the process, my husband put on the movie about Coco Channel’s life.  I also lived in France for five years.  I am feeling very French.  There is nothing like making a chicken broth to cure you of cyber virus.  All that boiling water and steam and smells kills the two-dimensional  life that I have been living all week.  And then, just because, I made home-made bread. 

You don’t need to be Jewish to enjoy the Shabbat.  It mentioned in the scriptures before Abraham or Moses.  The Shabbat reminds us that we are not slaves.  That we are humans and not cyborgs.