Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

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Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

My dog  has waited his whole life for this moment in time. His dream come true is that we now have the same life and spend every moment together. 

We sleep in.

We have breakfast together.

We go for a walk every morning. 

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We do Yoga.

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 We get a new Corona hair style.

We meditate/nap.

We do sports

We  cook at home and have delicious table scraps every night. 

We get into bed and watch TV.

We go to sleep.

We start over again tomorrow.

Stay safe,

JAZ

 

 

Stay safe,

JAZ

Comfort Food In The Time Of Corona

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Comfort Food in the Time Of Corona

“Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey. To eat such a meal is to remember that, though the world is full of knives and storms, the body is built for kindness.” Eli Brown

Americans are cooking more than they have in the last fifty years. Not only are we cooking but we are maximizing what we already have in our kitchens and reducing food waste. We are buying fruits and vegetables that last longer and using up what we have in our freezer. With three meals at home every day, even I am making an effort to cook something. We are getting ideas from sharing recipes with friends and family.  Talking about cooking is a way for us to keep busy and calm ourselves during all this chaos. Here are some comfort foods from all of us. Special thanks to my friends and family for sharing their food with me.

Heritage Chicken, Baked Apples and Roasted Carrots

Eggplant Parmesan

Hot Dogs from Brooklyn, Homemade Baked Beans and French Fries

Tofu Stir Fry

Ham and Pineapple Chunks

Spanakopita

Turkey Meatloaf

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Grain Bowl

Lasagna

French Toast

Spaghetti A La Scarpetta

Braised Chicken Thighs with Spinach and Chick Peas.

Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce

Steak, Baked Potato and Tomato Green Bean Salad

Stay Safe,

JAZ

 

 

Ten Beauty Treatments You Can Make At Home

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Ten Beauty Treatments You Can Make At Home

“Believe me, if I looked good, it’s not an accident.”Nora Ephron

I don’t cook and cooking during the quarantine is a challenge. In the beginning before we were Covid organized, we were cooking with all the random stuff that we had in the pantry – like we were in a war or on a cooking competition TV show.

We are also doing our own hair. I am using this time to try and repair all the damage from styling, blow drying and coloring. I actually have time to sit and let the products work. My natural curls are slowly coming back. I am also doing the same thing for my skin.  Here is my attempt at cooking up some beauty products with random stuff we had in the pantry.

Hair Conditioner With Egg.
Ingredients – Two or three eggs (It’s a pandemic so I used one), 1 and half teaspoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. I just mixed it all together with a fork. I left it on for 15 minutes. This is my favorite one that i have tried so far. It isn’t too messy and my hair was much more curly than frizzy.

Hair Conditioner With Banana
Ingredients – One banana, three tablespoons of honey, three tablespoons of milk (I did not have milk so I used half and half) three tablespoons of olive oil and an egg. Mix all of these ingredients well and make a paste. Apply the paste on hair and leave it for 30 minutes and then wash it off. I had extra so I put it on my face and neck as well. It’s messy. My hair was shiny and my skin was very smooth. It did involve finding little shreds of banana around all day. I’m not running to do this one again -unless I use a blender next time.

Hair Conditioner With Coconut Oil.
Ingredients – One tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon honey, one tablespoon lemon juice, two tablespoons of curd (I had no idea what this was so I looked it up and it sounded like yogurt so I used that) and one teaspoon of rose water. (I left that out but I’m sure it is something that is still on the shelf in the market since it doesn’t kill anything.) I kept it on for thirty minutes since I have time.This one did not work as well for me because I had to wash my hair too much to get it out but I might try it again.

Hair Conditioner With Vinegar
Ingredients -Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of honey and two cups of water. After you shampoo, pour this on your hair and avoid your scalp. Leave it in. I’m a big fan of this one. My hair is  curly  and  not frizzy and I dont smell from vinegar.

Face Mask With Turmeric
Ingredients – One teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of yogurt . Be careful because the turmeric stains and yes your face will be bright yellow. You can pretend to be in the Holi festival in India- where Hindu people smear each other with colors to welcome the spring. I left it on till it dried which was about twenty minutes. This is a great mask. You will immediately notice a difference in your skin. Even the BF liked it.

Egg Yolk Facial I had only heard of an egg white facial but apparently the yolk is better for dry skin. I left it on for about a half hour. Easy to make, no mess and your face feels really soft after.

Mayonnaise Facial
Yes you smell like a tuna sandwich. It has oil and eggs which is great for your skin. I also put it on my body since I had time and had taken too much mayonnaise out the jar. It burned my face so i took it off quickly. I left it on my body for about a half hour. it was a very nice body treatment.

Face Mask With Orange Juice
Ingredients -Three tablespoons orange juice and one quarter-cup honey. Mix together and leave on for fifteen minutes. It is sticky and delicious and you have glowing skin when you are finished. I ate the rest of the orange after and it was really good.

Face Mask With Oatmeal
Ingredients – One tablespoon honey, one tablespoon olive oil, one egg yolk and half a cup of oatmeal. (I used less because I eat it for breakfast every morning and don’t want to run out) Stir well and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. This is good but messier than the banana one. Watch out that the oatmeal doesn’t clog up the drain!

Mud Mask from Dead Sea I brought a tub of mud back with me from the Dead Sea. It’s great for the face and body.  Using it on the beach in Ein Borek and washing it off in the Dead Sea and then the outdoor shower is a lot less messy then in your bathroom. it is hard to get it all off.  Since I had plenty of time to clean up the mess,  I did it. The mud still works. My skin was smooth and soft. See what you have lying around.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Where Am I Going Next Really?

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Where I Am Going Next Really?

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” Joni Mitchell

Before the corona virus became a thing, I had written a blog about where I am going next. I hadn’t posted it yet. It doesn’t seem very postable at this moment.   I will probably be going to the place I should have been now. Traveling seems very far away.  So instead I started to think about what I would really want to be doing next. 

I want to eat in a restaurant with a comfortable ambiance, delicious food and great service. I want to be having an interesting conversation that doesn’t involve who is doing the dishes and what protein do I want to eat tomorrow. 

I miss museums, art galleries and street art. The white walls filled with art are as calming to me now as they were in my childhood. I miss seeing the city as an open canvas for urban street artists. 

As much as I love being able to go through all of Netflix, I want to go to the movies. There is nothing I like better than sitting in a dark theatre with subtitles. It combines some of my favorite things –  reading, movies and foreign countries.  The best thing is to be sharing a large tub of movie popcorn. I believe it has less calories if you are not the one who has actually bought it. I bring my own water because buying water at the movie theater is a rip off.  

I want to hang out with my girlfriends.The hour long phone conversations and daily texts are not enough. Most of my emotional and mental strength comes from deep bonds with the strong females in my life. I treasure the long conversations we have over lunches and dinners.

I miss shopping. I miss wandering into stores, picking up and putting down items I can’t possibly afford, talking to salespeople, and eventually settling on the item I had to have at that moment. I want to focus on a new lipstick or a beautiful dress to wear somewhere fabulous. 

I love theater. My mother is to blame for this. I normally prefer plays but with all this real life drama I miss going to see a musical. The very premise of  musical theatre defies all reality.  It attempts to imitate life (as theatre tends to do) and then suddenly, a character bursts out in song and everyone on the street knows the words.  Secretly, I  have always clung to the hope that I will someday be able to break into song at the market, department store, a parent-teacher conference,  a restaurant or during a mammogram and everyone will know the words.

Basically, I miss my boring life – the one I am always leaving to go somewhere different.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Living Together – The First Year

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Living Together – The First Year

“The best relationships usually begin unexpectedly.” Unknown

May First marks our first year of living together. Was it just a year ago that I was worrying about sharing closet space, how to split costs and who’s art would go where? I had deeper concerns also. Would we grow to hate each other? Would resentment fester over my messiness or his need for a lot of alone time?  Would moving in together end up moving us apart?

I also moved into an apartment after living in a house for many years. The walk up stairs are no joke when you have the dog and packages. The landlady lives underneath us – a fact that seasoned apartment dwellers would have taken into consideration. Parking is a nightmare.

Somehow we figured out how to exist together in a way that’s both scary and comforting, hilarious and serious, calming and nerve racking, and utterly unique in every way. 

Then Covid 19 arrived in Los Angeles. The virus that had felt abstract and in faraway places like China, Iran, and Italy was spreading across our city.  The fear of Covid 19 and what it would do to our relationship as we navigated the crisis during this first year of living together was real. Suddenly we were spending every single minute in the house together for weeks. We had two beautiful trips planned during this time that were both abruptly cancelled. Our conversations quickly went from where we should eat in Paris to how much toilet paper do we have left.

 At the start  of living together, I was worried that the mundanity of everyday life would kill all the romance and excitement between us. COVID-19, it turns out, has made our life even smaller and more mundane than I could have ever imagined. We barely leave the apartment except for special occasions like a morning or afternoon walk on the beach. We play word games when there is a lull in the conversation. I am usually in sweat pants or jeans and no makeup. We watch a lot of TV and have settled into an equilibrium over cooking and cleaning because there are no schedules to coordinate. 

In an unexpected twist of circumstance, COVID-19 will come to define this rather momentous step in our relationship. The crisis has also hit me with some much-needed perspective and gratitude. I feel lucky to navigate all of this with someone I love. At a time when public safety demands social distance, I feel grateful to have so little space separating us.

Self quarantined in our apartment, inundated with news and confusion about COVID-19, we are doing fine. Perhaps the real test of our relationship will come when the fears of COVID-19 subside and we once again have to decide if we will stay or move. Whatever we decide, I think we will make it through.

Stay safe,

JAZ

 

 

10 Things That I Have Done In Quarantine That I Have Never Done Before

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10 Things That I Have Done In Quarantine That I Have Never Done Before

“You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” C.S. Lewis

When was the last time that you tried something new? Studies show that we fear the unknown. Usually when I try something new, there is always the fear of failure. It’s natural to think about what could go wrong. But what if you don’t have a choice? As Nike says, you just do it. Here are some things that I have never done before the quarantine.

I made my own hair conditioner (egg, honey, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar) and had the time to sit and leave it on. Next time I will add banana. It worked out great. My hair was so shiny.

I ate jello pudding and popcorn for lunch -because that’s what I found at the market.

I am grooming my dog every day with proper grooming tools. At first he was into it, but now he runs.

We have made a pantry in my garage and bought another freezer.

Gone thirty something days without makeup

Cut the BF’s hair. It is not perfect but it is shorter.

I colored by own hair -the part I could see.

Eating lunch with the BF and walking on the beach together every day. We might keep this one up.

Deleted all my emails. My inbox is empty. That never happens.

Gone 36 days without seeing friends, family and using a public restroom.

Stay safe,

JAZ

Travel Memories 3

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Travel Memories 3

“Memories were a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.” unknown

Santiago, Chile

Maktesh Ramón, Israel

Easter Island

Wroclaw, Poland

Bilbao, Spain

Hendaye, France

Pingvillar, Iceland

Mafra, Portugal

Pantanal, Brazil

Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

 

Corona Days

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Corona Days

“She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.”  Zelda Fitzgerald

It is twenty something days in. I often lose track of what day of the week it is as every day is the same. I’ve developed a bit of a corona schedule for my day. They are not always  in this order and sometimes I mix it up – nor do I always get up at 8. 

8:00  Breakfast and internet time. I try to work on my blog for a bit but not traveling makes it more difficult. Play some scrabble. 

9:30  ZOOM Yoga every Friday with Michelle Azar Aron or her face book yoga  on other days.  I haven’t done yoga in a year and a half and I can feel it. I try to switch off every other day with Pilates so it doesn’t hurt so much.

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/351065504?pwd=SnV3UzIxd2xVNS9ieUp0aGtHNkJWQT09

Meeting ID: 351 065 504 Password: 914811

11:00 Tai Chi / Qi Gong with Olivia Rosewood. Olivia is doing a 15 minute Qi Gong Tai Chi warm up which is a great way to start the day. 

https://www.facebook.com/oliviarosewood

11:30 if I can get it to work, I do another twenty minutes of QI Gong breathing  with Samuel Barnes on his face book page .

12:00  Spend time brushing my dogs hair because he is starting to get matted and dreadlocks are forming. After, we go out on the deck and run around. Today i spoke to a nice man at Mobile Groomers who told me what tools and shampoo to buy to detangle my dog and taught me what to do. This should be interesting.  He felt that cutting the nails and expressing  the anal glands was above my skill level. He was right. Soon I will learn how to color my own hair.

12:30 Lunch  is whatever we have in the house. It usually involves peanut butter.

1:00 I am taking this Yale class online.. It is an interesting time to be taking it but when do you have this kind of time? It is called The Science Of Well Being and I’m really enjoying it. I spend one to two hours a day on it.

https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-yale-science-of-wellbeing-free-course-review-overview

2:00 This  is a good time to get  dressed or at least change into a different pair of sweat pants,  clean up the house and make the bed.

3:00 We go for a walk with the dog on the beach or  the Speedway. The Speedway is less windy but more crowded with bikers and skateboarders. It is easier to navigate the six feet thing there than on our less crowded but very narrow streets. Everyday we have more  and more quarantine gear. Almost everyone is wearing masks now. The bikers freak me out because they come so close. It feels good to get out of the house. 

4:30 Meditate for half an hour. 

5:30 Treadmill and some TV for half an hour. We don’t walk so fast because I have a little dog who likes to stop a lot.  I’m binge watching the Gilmore Girls- anything light  and mindless to avoid the constant corona virus news coverage. 

6:00 Check in on family and friends – some I haven’t seen in a long time but I find myself thinking about people and wondering how they are doing.

7:00 Dinner.  The BF has taken on the quarantine cooking challenge and our dinners are always creative and delicious. We have made it more interesting by comparing dinners with a couple of friends. It is not supposed to be a competition but…… We are also trying to support our favorite restaurants that are still open by doing some take out.

9:00 TV and Reading. Three seasons of Silicon Valley and Unorthodox. Now we are watching Top Chef.  I have read Angle Of Repose and currently Americanah. 

We have started Corona Catering for our respective kids. It is nice to do something for someone else during this time. There  is a lot of me time. But instead of hair, skin and nails it is more about calming my brain, being grateful and being in the present. I wonder what changes I will make in my life and what new habits I will  take with me when this is over. 

Stay Safe,

JAZ

Travel Memories Part 2

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“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” L.P. Hartley,

Corona Quarantine Day 22. When you are lucky enough to have a lot off travel memories, it is good to have the time to stop and remember them.

Perriera, Colombia

Angor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Mekong Delta, Viet Nam

Lisbon, Portugal

Tel Aviv, Israel

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Amazon, Marajo, Brazil

Petra, Jordan

Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Londelozi, South Africa

Fly Safe,

JAZ

 

 

Fifty Favorite Books That I Have Read On Trips, On The Beach Or At Home

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Fifty Favorite Books That I Have Read On Trips, On The Beach Or At Home

i thought i would reblog this one- since we suddenly have all this time now.

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” Lemony Snicket   

How does a book make the favorites list? I remember it. I have a really bad memory and  if it stays with me, it stays forever. I want a book to take me somewhere I haven’t been before, another time, another place, another pair of eyes.  There are  books that have taught me something and changed  how I see the world. Some  of them I have read more than once – under the covers with a flashlight.  I identify with certain characters.  There is this wonderful moment in reading where you think “You feel that way too? I thought that I was the only one.”

It was very hard to pick only fifty. My favorite books from many different stages of my life are here and in no particular order.  If you missed reading any…..they are good.

The Master And The Margarita   Mikhail Bulgakov  (Russian)

On The Road  Jack Kerouac (American)

Purge  Sofi Oksanen (Finnish)

The Chosen Chaim Potok  (American)

Love In the Time Of Cholera   Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombian)

Gone With the Wind  Margaret Mitchell (American)

Swann’s Way  (In Search Of Lost Time)  Marcel Proust  (French)

To Kill A Mockingbird  Harper Lee (American)

One Hundred Years Of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez  (Colombian)

All Over But The Shoutin’  Rick Bragg (American)

Snow  Orhan Pamuk  (Turkish)

The Fountainhead  Ayn Rand (American)

The Prophet  Kahlil Gibran  (Lebanese American)

Atlas Shrugged  Ayn Rand (American)

Don Quixote  Miguel de Cervantes (Spanish)

The Great Gatsby  F. Scott Fitzgerald  (American)

The Stranger  Albert Camus  (French)

The Giving Tree  Shel Silverstein (American)

Diary  Of A Young Girl  Anne Frank (Dutch)

The Old Man And The Sea  Ernest Hemingway (American)

The Kite Runner  Khalid Hosseini  (Afghan American)

For Whom The Bell Tolls  Ernest Hemingway (American)

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being  Milan Kundera  (Czech)

Middlesex  Jeffrey Eugenides  (American)

Siddhartha  Herman Hesse (German)

The Things They Carried  Tim O Brian (American)

Life Of Pi  Yann Martel (Canadian)

The Sun Also Rises  Ernest Hemingway (American)

Zorba The Greek  Nikos Kazantzakis  (Greek)

A Heart Breaking Work Of Staggering Genius  Dave Eggars (American)

The House of The Spirits  Isabel Allende  (Chilean)

Catcher In The Rye  J.D. Salinger  (American)

The Gulag Archipelago  Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (Russian)

Good Night Moon Margaret Wise Brown  (American)

Wild Swans  Jung Chang (Chinese)

Tuesdays With Morrie  Mitch Albom  (American)

The Painted Bird  Jerzy Kosinski (Polish American)

The Prince Of Tides  Pat Conroy (American)

Man’s Search For Meaning  Viktor Frankl  (Austrian)

Slaughterhouse Five  Kurt Vonnegut  (American)

War And Peace Leo Tolstoy  (Russian)

Metropolitan Life  Fran Liebowitz  (American)

Fly  safe,

JAZ