Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Close to Home

I can't believe that rockets are hitting Ashdod and Beer Sheva. That's close to home. Well, close to what was once home.

Don't worry - friends and family in Chutz La'Aretz - it's "far" away from Ariel. Check out the following map if you want to see locations of where the rockets have hit. Although I don't know how often it is updated:
Current Events Map in the Middle East
** It says on the map "Blue is where I live". But that is referring to the person who made the map. I live in Ariel. You can see it on the northern part of the map. Just East of Petach Tikvah.

But I spent a year in Beer Sheva in 2001. I studied in University there. And that was a bad time - terrorism wise. That was in the middle of the Intifada. I was constantly in touch with family and friends in the States. Constantly reassuring them that I was safe. I was far away from Jerusalem and Gaza and Tel Aviv. I was far away from rocket launches. And far away from terrorist attacks. And there were so many Beduins, Arabs, that lived in and near Beer Sheva, so we wouldn't get attacked. It was a quiet, calm, desert town.

There was one situation while I was there - I believe it was a shooting. But actually at the time, I was "safe" in Ashdod. Volunteering for Magen David Adom. Learning what to do in the case of a mass casualty. We trained for it but never thought there would be an issue in Ashdod either. I spent a few months in Ashdod during my University break. And we constantly went back and forth between Ashdod and Ashkelon, because that was the nearest hospital. But we took old, sick people. An occasional car crash or suicide. Women in labor. Children with high fevers.
Not terrorist victims. Not injuries from rocket launches.

I just can't believe they are hitting Ashkelon and Ashdod and Beer Sheva. I think of my friends there. And the families that live there. Thank G-d, schools there were closed today. Because the rocket hit a kindergarten!!!!


I am thinking of all those down south. I pray that Hashem will keep you safe and there will be an end to the attacks soon.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Here's another recipe from my Mom. It makes a lot and people gobble it up!!! I use the Hellman's Regular Mayo not the Lite or Low Fat or any of that.


3 c. macaroni, cooked and drained
7 oz. can tuna, drained and flaked
3-4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 c. celery slices
1/3 c. green onion, sliced
1/4. c sweet pickle relish
1 T. mustard
1 t. salt
1 1/4 c. mayo.

Combine macaroni, tuna, eggs, celery, green onion, relish, mustard, salt, and mayo.
Mix lightly.
Chill 3-4 hours.

Eat and Enjoy!!!

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole Recipe

This is my mom's recipe and is a delicious and easy recipe for mac and cheese casserole. It can also be made in advance and frozen.
This recipe makes a smaller portion but you can double it for larger crowds. :)


1 c. macaroni (dry)
1 c. bread crumbs
1 1/2 c. scalded milk
1/4 c. butter
3 eggs, beaten
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 T minced onion
1 t. salt
1/2 t. paprika


Cook macaroni.
While cooking macaroni, scald milk, then add butter. Once butter is melted, add bread crumbs and let sit 5 min.
Combine eggs, cheese, onion, salt, and paprika.
Add macaroni after it's cooked.
Add bread crumb mixture to macaroni mixture.
Turn into greased 2 qt. casserole.
Bake uncovered 30 min at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Doctor vs. Doctor

I may have mentioned previously that I am unimpressed with the OB's here in Israel. I don't have a LOT of experience but I have been to 2 here. The first was in Ariel and he was a bit odd. I had been told that the 2 docs in Ariel in my health clinic were just not great. And been advised to go elsewhere. So I chose a doctor in Petach Tikvah based on a recommendation from someone who had a baby 3 weeks prior. I don't really know her well but hey, she just had a baby so the memory is fresh! I did not factor in that she is Israeli and is used to how things are done and patients are treated.
I'm not.
And I miss my doctor's from Detroit. A LOT!!!

I am not worried about the medical care here. I think the doctors are trained just as well and know what they are doing. The most important thing is the health of the baby and the mother, as it should be. And they make sure everyone is healthy.
But beyond that, it seems they just don't care. Like anywhere else, you will have better and worse ones in terms of bedside manner. But things here are just so much less personal. WAY less personal. At least in my small experiance so far. And I am assuming that if I had paid a lot of money and gone to a private doctor, I would get more personal care. Maybe the doctors in the health clinics just have too many patients and don't want to get too involved. But I am not talking about having my doctor over for a cup of tea. I just want a little concern....a little interest. Pregnancy is HARD! I feel like she should ask how I am feeling. Not just have me come in her office, do the ultrasound and say goodbye.
One of the strange things to me is that the doctor you see throughout your whole pregnancy is not the one who will deliver you or even be anywhere near you when it's time for the baby to come. Her job is done. (Although maybe she does a post-natal check-up?) You see the doc every 6 weeks (and I am not sure how often at the end of pregnancy) and then you register at the hospital where you want to deliver. When you go into labor, you head to that hospital and the midwife does your delivery. Or in my case, I have to schedule a C-section so I sign up, go in, and whoever is working, does my c-section. I will have NEVER met this person, have no idea how well they speak English, and have no comfort level with this doctor who is about to preform surgery on me and deliver my 3rd child. WEIRD!
I hate it.

I don't like my doctor. I have only met her once but I don't like her. And I think I realized why last night. Aside from having a strange visit with her (because of the lack of personal care and concern), she is impossible to reach. That's annoying. If I have questions, I feel like I don't have anyone to call. The nurses on the Maccabi medical line seemed more concerned when I called them in the middle of the night than the doctor herself.
Here's the story.
A couple weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and was having an issue. Unsure of what to do and no idea who to call, I first called my American doctors. Not that they could do anything but just so I would know whether I have to be concerned and need to go to the ER or if I could wait and see a doctor in the morning. They were already closed so I called the 700 number for Maccabi and told them I am having a problem and have no idea if/how to reach my doctor to ask her and am not sure what to do. They transferred me to their 24 hour nurses line. I spoke to the nurse and explained the problem and she told me that I need to go to the hospital to get checked out. I could take a taxi because it wasn't a huge emergency but I need to take care of it and can't wait until morning.
Well, apparently it is very difficult to get a taxi in the middle of the night in Ariel. After more than an hour of trying to reach one, and with the help of the nurse at the 24 hour line, we ended up taking an ambulance.
Long story short, we spent about 10 hours at the hospital and thank G-d, the baby was ok and I was ok. They were a little concerned about preterm labor but sent me home because there were no other indications of labor, told me to contact my doctor because maybe she would want to check me out, and told me to REST.
I called my doctor's office and spoke to the receptionist who told me to fax over the paperwork from the hospital, she would give it to the doctor, and the doc would call me. A friend of ours faxed over the paperwork but I didn't hear anything from them. A few days later I had to go into a different Maccabi office for an ultrasound and had forgotten the referral so I had to call the doc to get that faxed over to us. I asked if she had received my fax and she told me no. So we had our friend fax it over again. Still didn't hear from her. The next time I called, there was a message saying the doctor was on vacation and would be back next week (on a Tuesday). I waited till the Tuesday but there was no answer when I called. So I called back on Wednesday. But the doctor doesn't work on Wednesday. So I tried again on Thursday. Spoke to the receptionist again who said she didn't see the fax anywhere but if the hospital said I am fine, then I will just get checked by the doctor the next time I came in. Coincidently, I had an appointment the following week so she said just bring the paperwork from the hospital then and show it to the doc. But at this point it didn't really matter because it had already been a few weeks since the incident.

Ya know what I don't like? Where the heck is my doctor?????? I feel like if this had happened in the States and I called my doctor's office and told them I had been in the hospital, they would not only call me to check on me and talk to me but they would also want me to come in so THEY could check me out.
I don't understand how my doctor can hear that one of her patients was in the hospital and not show any concern. What IS that about??
I'm kind of glad that she won't be delivering my baby.

So, that's my complaint. :) I'll let you know how things go on Wednesday. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

And then it hit me.....

Sammy was sick the other day and I posted as my Facebook status something about "Natalie is home with a sick baby." I almost wrote "Natalie's baby is sick" but I didn't want to give people the wrong idea that G-d forbid something was wrong with the fetus baby.
Because at the moment, I kind of have 2 babies. Sammy and fetus. Or in Hebrew, Ubar (I think that's a funny word).

I had the craaaazy realization that 2 months from now (Bshaa Tova) when I write something about my "baby", I will be referring to a whole new being and member of the Zacks Tribe.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I won! I won!

I vaguely remember getting a credit card statement last year and one of the little ads that they included was for an Instant Win game online. For some reason, I decided to enter and I ended up winning! Or so it claimed. Something about I won a few tickets to a Soundstage concert - one to keep and one to give away. And a $500 gift card. One to keep and one to give away. The promotion was called "A Season of Giving" for the Holiday Season.

So that was exciting. But of course, I was wary of it. Did I REALLY win? I filled out some paperwork and then didn't hear from them again for about 6 months. Out of the blue I get an e-mail regarding the SoundStage tickets and how to claim them. I also get an e-mail about having to choose someone to give the 2nd $500 gift card. So I write them back and ask if I could give it to my spouse. Turns out - I can!! Woohoo!!

So I had some more paperwork to fill out and then they said I would get my gift cards. Another few months went by and then we moved to Israel.
Then I get an e-mail saying the gift cards had been Fed-Ex'd.

Long story short (ok, so it was still long) the gift cards finally made their way to us in Israel. We now have 2 $500 gift cards that must be redeemed by March 2009.

What should we buy??????

Should we be boring and responsible and just use them for groceries, heaters, household items? Should we get something more fun and rent a car for another few weeks - maybe over Chanukah? Should we save them and get something for the baby?

Or should we get something just plain FUN! And if so - what?????
All thoughts and opinions are appreciated!!