October 31, 2004

Just Read This Blog

Go to Random Penses blog and read the latest post latest post. Follow the link and then take a deep breath and answer this question;

Is this how you want your kids educated?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:47 PM | Comments (3)

Okay, So I Deleeted My Last Entry

Because I HAVE THE POWER!!! If you read it, I must admit to some heavy duty stupidity there; but someone I trust put the bee in my bonnet so to speak so I wondered...I am not that gullible normally, though I do have a certain air of naivity about me, it is usually not about Mulder/Sculley issues. (If you didn't read my deleted entry, sorry. this post makes no sense to you; which is okay it was nonsense what I wrote anyway.) Can everyone tell me about a stupid post they wrote so I'll feel better?

Other news; Talked with the Artists teacher; sigh of relief. She is understanding Hebrew much better, she just won't speak. I knew this. The day she speaks half the class will faint from shock! She does want me to encourage her to do some of her homework, even is she can't do it all, and to open up her notebook and the like. That might be reflective of her ADD; maybe not, but at least the teacher is aware of what additional problems she may be having on top of the- to be expected as she doesn't know what is flying because she can't speak the language- problem.

So interview went fine, and I'm a happy camper.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:49 AM | Comments (3)

October 30, 2004

Well I Guess I Needed That!

I ended up sleeping for 12 hours last night. 12 hrs!!! I haven't slept 12 hours straight...well, I never slept 12 hours straight. Ask my mom. She use to leave food out for me by my bed so I'd stop waking her up at night. I guess I was a bit more sleep deprived than I was willing to admit.

In other news; I'm going to speak with my daughter's teacher tomorrow. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I made the appointment; there are some things I want to discuss, but I'm nervous anyway.

The Artist is dyslexic; the diagnosis was made by me but I have every reason to believe, based on my prior experience with my other children, that her odd learning gaps were not within the normal range of learning. For example; she counted and spoke quite early in life---but she couldn't name the number 7, written in isolation (as on a digital clock) unless she counted up to the number 7. Since the number was in isolation, or in fact along with other numbers in an unordered pattern, it was clear she understood the number, that it represented a concept of 7 somethings etc. etc, she simply could not recall its name. She had similar problems with naming other what should have been familiar noun words.

Similarly, I believe she might be ADD as well; she always losing things, can't organize herself at all, loses focus easily. I see myself in her as this was definitely me when I was younger. My teachers' main complaints about me as a youngster were that I wasn't living up to my potential and that I was always daydreaming. At least in this area I have an advantage over my parents; ADD was less well known when I was growing up and I don't know if at that period in time people realized that girls were subject to it as well.

Another advantage my daughter has is that she is not expected to do as well because she doesn't speak Hebrew well yet at all. While she understand much more than I believe the teacher realizes, her speaking ability and reading/understanding ability in Hebrew lags far behind the rest of the children in her class. That her mind might drift in class is to be expected when in fact most of what the teacher is speaking about is completely over her head in terms of simply understanding the language.

This second advantage is also a disadvantage of course as well; are some of the difficulties she is having in acquiring the language because she is shy, or because she is possibly (I would say probably) ADD? How much of an impact does her learning disabilities have on her acquiring a new language that neither her father nor I speak well at home?

So, there are many questions that I must pose to the teacher and just as many difficulties in trying to make this form of education work for my daughter; scores on the report care being much less important than her overall sense of well being. And I will have to do it primarily in Hebrew, as I'm not certain how well her teacher understands English. This is bound to be a rather interesting interview.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:57 PM | Comments (4)

October 29, 2004

Irrelevant Question

Do you seed and peel your tomatoes?
Do you seed and peel your cucumbers?
(hey, don't get mad; I told you it was an irrelevant question!)

BUT the reason for asking is this; iI was helping the woman who I worked for up until Thursday, make a salad for her father; she had me peel all the veggies, including tomaotes as she was told that the peels were not good for the intestines.
So that got me to wondering; what does everyone else do?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:00 PM | Comments (3)

Parenting Quiz

When is the best time to wash your floors? I mean to thoroughly wash your floors; scrub them with a scrub brush, rinse with water, dry with a cloth till they are sparkling clean and like new!!!

1. In the morning when all the children are off at school.
2. At night, when all the children are asleep.
3. Ten minutes before your five year old breaks a bottle on the floor sending sticky purple grape juice cascading across the floor, fifteen minutes before all the lights go out because there is a storm and there is a tendency to have mini blackouts when there is rain and lightening, and you now have to find candles in the dark as you pick your way over the hopefully glass free flour, and 1 hr before your almost 11 year old throws up in the bathroom right in front of the toilet!

I'm not sure which was more fun. Searching for little bits of glass or swiping up partially digested bits of veggie hotdogs from the hasn't been wased in a week floor.

Remind me why I want to do this again?
(um, you didn't have any trouble finding the right answer did you?)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:20 AM | Comments (4)

October 28, 2004

Can It Get Worse?

Jack, from Random Fate links to two appalling cases of voter hate.

One democrat thinks the way to make political points is to aim his car at Katherine Harris, His pathetic defense? He wasn't trying to run her down he was only trying to frighten her! A good.

One Bush supporter threatens hsi pregnant girlfriend with a knife because of her determination to leave him and cast her vote in favor of Kerry. Police officers responding to the call found him holding a knife to her throat. I fervently hope that the Marines reject his application. This is not the sort of human being one wants defending the populace of the United States.

The popular vote shows a closely divided United States; come the morning of November third approximately half of the country will wake with their fellow the loser. I cannot believe that the overwhelming anger that has been exhibited by both sides, the disparagement of the two parties, the despisement of the other will simply dissipate come that morning; that this atmosphere of abhorrence will evaporate into the sky like dew on a warm morning. One group will wake up in the morning feeling disenfranchised; exactly who are these people who will feel tis way? They are doctors and patients, teachers and students, architects and homeowners, taxicab drivers and riders, mail carriers and grandma Betsy whose greatest joy is the picture her two year old scribbled in honor of thanksgiving. In short; they are everyone; those we depend on and those who will depend on us. They are the people we love and admire, our fellow workers our friends and neighbors. A heart "no hard feelings now" and "I'm everyone's president" will not affect a cure. Now is the time to start repairing the damage that has already been done. Now is the time to affirm that it is not personal; that strong disagreement is not equivalent to demonization; that the country is made of diverse opinons, and it is a requirement of a sane society to fight, and fight vigorously, against ideas when we find them abhorrent or ill considered, but to resort to violence against people in words or action only when left with no other choice.
(note: Jack, I tried to ping your site as well, but I get an error message. I will of course try again later. Apologies.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:30 AM | Comments (5)


I'm not a big baseball fan and Red Socks have never been my home team but WHOOHEE!!!!

Way to go Red Socks!!!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

Mothering Woes

Some days I think I should accept the worst parent of the year award for my utter failure to alter for the better my children's behavior.

Yesterday my oldest daughter and I attended a protest (together with many of the children of her school) against the closure of Gaza settlements. There were buses to take whoever wished to go to the protest area, there were banners and flags passed out, hats and orange t-shirts that proclaimed our love for the Gush.

The general mood of the children was high-spirited and joyful. They sang on the bus, as all children do, the typical songs, albeit in Hebrew, that I sang on similar occasions as a child. They clapped hands and at the site gathered for an impromptu dance.

Well all the children except for one child, who, disconcertingly, happened to be mine. The Artist curled up against me and I needed to force her to dance. There wasn't an actual frown on her face, her expression almost blank though her eyes didn't have the dullness of boredom, Rather there emanated from her an overwhelming feeling of despair, a downward cast of her head, t as if I were sending her to face the wrath of lions and she had no choice but to engage in battle. All the girls in her class are sweet, friendly, and caring. They made various attempts to pull her into their dances, made certain that she received a flag, traded candy with her and what not.

The Artist remained withdrawn, encapsulated within herself.

I don't know what I should do; what course of action I should take. Many people tell me I should simply leave her be and that she will come around when she is ready to interact; that she is simply more introverted person and that one can't alter this basic fact. And I understand this because I also was a very introverted child and I am an introverted adult; in large social settings I was and still am uneasy and often too happy to leave the raucous noise and chaos behind me. Yet I understand the loneliness as well; the feeling that those around me know a secret that I can not decode, a different language then I never learned, that I am insignificant in the eyes of most; easily forgotten. I both wish and do not wish the contact; the two sides of myself fighting for supremacy. As a child the introvert won, almost every single time. Crawling back into my cave I would find comfort with books and television; the worlds that confronted my eyes easier to deal with the reality of humans.

At this point in life I've succeeded in masking my inner conflict and generally can defeat the uneasiness that accompanies me to ever large social event. I now can look forward to a large social event, though I'm never as comfortable, or at least believe I am less comfortable, than most people. I still feel there is a language I have never learned and that all around me people are in on a secret that I'll never know. But my countenance is no longer frowning and disagreeable. I can smile, laugh and dance and want more. Perhaps I never quite reach the state of bubbling effervescents; I never the center of attention, never find masses of people, all eyes upon me, as if my every word ribboned from my mouth. The sidelines, listening and responding to quiet conversations is sufficient for my needs.

I want my daughter's happiness; but I'm very concerned that the road she is taking will lead to loneliness. A community of friends who are behind one, come what may, who understand one's oddities and accept them, who feel safe and trusting in turn, this is what makes life beautiful and desirable. I do not want her to waste years in this effort to obtain what has only lately become mine.

There are small indications that despite my feelings of casting her to the lions my efforts are paying off. This morning she woke with her normal reluctance to face school, once again, especially after a major event. She dithered around the house, complaining of nausea and stomachaches and a generalized feeling of discomfort. The decision on whether she was to go to school or remain home we left up to her; and at first the decision was no.

Normally that no sticks; she has not been willing to go to school knowingly late.
But this morning, such a small triumph, she looked up at me from the couch and stated; I won't be on time.

But she left for school anyway; along with a note from me explaining her lateness, and my assistance in packing her knapsack and lunch, she headed to school.

Yesterday I felt like an utter failure; today as if she and I made a little bit of progress in her social development.

Such is the nature of parenting I suppose; I just wish it would come with a report card; so I could see if I were truly passing or failing whatever the current test.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:03 AM | Comments (3)

October 26, 2004

John Reading

As in what are you reading when you are, well you know, "unavailable?"
Just being nosey.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:59 PM | Comments (2)

A Unique Point of View

Frum Dad has something to say about this election and he has a unique point of view. I think it is good to give him a listen.

Again, I'm not telling you my vote, nor do I necessarily agree with everything he said, but I do like to hear well rounded discussions from all points of view. This is the type of discussion I wish we could all have; disagree or agree, but without the hate.

I will link similar pieces, written in favor of either candidate, if you send me the link. I have been waiting for something like this. Perhaps I've missed your excellent piece. If so, please lmk.

UPDATE: Zman Biur from Biur Chametz has obliged me by linking his blog thoughts on the election. He makes some very interesting points and I feel it is worthwhile to read his opinion on the USA election.

I find it interesting to read two diametrically opposed thoughts from two Orthdox Jewish men, both of whom I admire.

Any other takers? And you don't have to be Jewish or religious or a man!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:40 AM | Comments (2)

Somethings I Just Don't Get

This post was suppose to be called "Waking up is Hard to Do;" as in waking up the kiddies. About the third time I went in to wake up the Artist an image popped into my brain: Jane Jetson and her magic buttons, one of which turned beds into toasters and popped the kids up and out, freshened and dressed, ready to begin the day.

"I need one of those" I thought to myself. So this morning after I rose and connected, I went googling for a picture to come with the post; Elroy or Judy in the air after being expelled from slumber. But instead of a nice picture I find all sorts of URL's leading to kiddie porn and x-rated cartoons of the Flinstones and Jetsons.

I guess there is something wrong with me but this wouldn't have hit my wildest imagination as things to find on the internet.

I don't know why these things upset me, they just do.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:25 AM | Comments (2)

October 25, 2004

The Ship Who Sang

via Dean of Dean's World.

The Ship Who Sang is a book by by Anne McCaffrey about a deformed child born into some futurist world where such children were condemned to die unless their brain proved useful for manipulating various equipment; the heroine in the book comes to "reside" in a spaceship. It is one of dh's favorite books.

Well, fiction meet fact, sort of; scientist in Florida have taken a cells from a rats brain, grown it, and taught it to fly a simulated plane.

It is a strange new world we live in.

In other brain news:

Starvation diets might help you catch better, but aren't likely to help you remember where you left your glasses.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:46 PM | Comments (1)

Just Said

The Monkey to the Wit:
"Are you turning into a bad person?"
Wit: (Looking up from his game boy)
"Are you turning into a bad person?"
"What makes you think that?"
"Your voice sounds like you just hammered someone and you liked it."

I've no idea. Really. She comes out with the strangest things.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:14 PM | Comments (1)

Wish Me Luck

I have to tell both the people that I work for that I won't be working for them any longer. Even if I don't get this new job my knee is hurting too much to continue to abuse it via work. I feel guilty though; this is only 1 weeks warning and I had promised myself I would give at least two. I was hoping to give a full month. But my knee is killing me; it still hurts despite not overworking it through the weekend.

I really feel like such a heel for leaving them in the lurch like this.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:39 AM | Comments (4)


I read a lot of blogs. I don't always have what to say, but I read. I read blogs on the left and blogs on the right and supporters of Kerry and supporters of Bush and I agree and disagree with various things of all those above; which, I think is how it is suppose to be--- we are unique, and it is impossible to abosolutely match in idealogy any other being. Or maybe I am weird; I don't know. I probably am weird as I don't seem to settle firmly down on either side.

But I am also hearing so much anger coming from the USA that I wonder how it will stand after this election. So much bitterness, so much anger, so much hate. Charges of voter fraud on both sides. Was it ever this bad before? No matter which side wins there are a significant amount of people on the other side. Everyone from that side can't be an enemy.

So I'm ranting. I'm ranting because I'm worried. My family is there in the USA, my friends. I feel as if there were a volcano about to erupt and no matter who wins everyone will lose.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

Thank You Paul

I really want to give a ton of thanks to Paul who spent I don't know how many hours yesterday trying to save my e-mail program. He did it with patience and kindness and didn't even laugh at my stupid questions! Munuvians are the best!

Thank you Paul! I will employ your suggestions today and hopefully everything will be running fine soon. I really appreciate all the help you gave me.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2004

Fold And Learn: The End of Extinction

The title to this blog post is partially stolen from an actual learning group in Jerusalem called FOLD AND LEARNI have no idea what is being folded and what is being learned, but the image of dozens of mommies sitting in a lecture hall listening to a discourse on the weekly Parsha (Torah portion of the week) while they fold socks and shirts, invariably runs through my head.

However, for me it meant folding my laundry in front of the T.V. while I watched a program called entitled THE END OF EXTINCTION (the other half of my blog title) as I learned about the Thylacine; a now extinct animal from Australia and the attempts by a group of scientist to bring it back to life. As the animal only became extinct a few decades ago, there is a chance that, 1) there may still be a few remnants of the animal alive in areas generally inaccessible to humans 2) their habitat is more likely to still exist or be more easily recreated. (as opposed to bringing back the dinosaurs).

Of course there is the usual controversy; can it be done? Should it be done? Money issues are in the forefront the minds of many of the scientist; not only is it nearly impossible to recreate the creature from preserved flesh (as the DNA chain must be recreated) but the financial cost, the lack of parental teachers, etc. etc. would make this venture a fools errand. Other's fear it would make thwart conservation animals; people would think, so it goes extinct, so what? We can just resurrect it." Even if we could resurrect some, we may not succeed with every species.

But say they could do it; animals, at least some, could be brought back to life. What animals would you like to see roaming the earth once more? (No T-Rexes!)

Before I chose to rebirth an animal I'd like to save the ones currently facing death (and their environments, one of the main reasons their lives are being lost) the Koala; the Blue Whale, the Tiger and the Snow Leopard come to mind. But if I had to resurrect something, truthfully I don't know what I would bring back. Two animals have already become extinct in this millennium; the Pyrenean Ibex and Miss Waldron's Red Colobus Monkey (though there has been a possible sighting of the last. I guess I would start with those.

The whole topic makes me sad. I remember the warnings when we were young with a little girl asking her daddy "What is a tiger?" Is this really going to become our future? I hope not.

Anyway, what animal would you preserve first? Which animal would you bring back? Or do you see the whole conservation effort as unnecessary?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:25 AM | Comments (3)

Memory Prothesis

via Carlos' Realm:

Dementia is one of the most devastating possibilities that face the aging. The slow loss of the person while they remain before you, the pain and confusion of the patient, is a heartache that awaits many. The cost, financial and emotional is enormous.

But science holds out a hope for us; a prosthesis for the brain. Professor Theodore W. Berger and his team are working on a silicon chip that can function as the hippocampus, the memory creating area in the brain.

They are currently working on rats; they hope to have a usable variety for humans in as little as 15 years.

15 years, and perhaps, in at least some cases, one of the most demoralizing aspects of getting old will no longer haunt us. To me, that is amazing.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

Conversation with The Monkey

I am teaching the Monkey how to read, as English isn't taught till third grade in Israel. Last night she decided she wanted to play a game with letters; trying to find words that began with a certain letter. As it was Shabbat we could not write so we did this out loud. As I also wanted to read we limited the game to a few letters.

Later that evening, as I was doing the dishes, she came to me elbows pressed together, palms facing up, fingers outstretched as if she were cupping her beaming face.

"Ima, something strange and wonderful happened!"
"What?" I ask her, wondering what strange and wonderful thing could have occurred in the space of 20 minutes.
"You said we would stop after we did the S's and I accepted that!"

She got a hug, and a smile and walked away feeling quite proud of herself.

Now if we could only have more of those days!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:36 PM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2004

Poor Thing!

My son opened the door to take some trash to the dumpster and found a dead bird on our doorstep, in intact condition, well developed, its little legs sticking straight into the air. One of its bird friends fluttered back and forth to it trying to rouse it...it was so pathetic and sad. And so odd.

The first thing I thought of was it was a gift from a cat that had decided to adopt us.
But it ddn't seem to have any injuries, and it was a baby bird, so it isn't as if it fell from its nest.

It didn't look scruffy or ill, it was just dead.

Weird. I suppose there is a message in there somewhere but I don't know what it would be.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:14 AM | Comments (3)

When You've Nothing to Say

Point to those who do.

David of Rishon Rishon talks about one of my favorite days of the week. This is a great place to go to learn about the facts of Judaism.

Brain Fertilizer's Nathan has links to an interesting quiz. So who should you vote for?

Soccer Dad responds to an anti-Israeli diatribe. It is a long article but worth the read.

and Practical Penumbra explains what happened to all of MuNu yesterday. I always knew there was something evil about chipmunks.

and Robin P of ccjellybeans talks about fan violence.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:25 AM | Comments (3)

Is it Noon Yet?

Then I am not getting up. At least I don't feel like getting up. I feel like curling into bed between the sheets and just sleeping the day a way.

This whole week has been like that; maybe I've pricked my finger on a spindle and exhausted rather than a hundred years sleep has descended. I could use that 100 years sleep though. I got a good look at my face this morning ---not pretty. My brain feels all foggy too. I guess it was good that I couldn't post yesterday. I couldn't even view my site or other mu.nu. sites. I hate the internet sometimes.

Anway, yesterday's dinner was mac and cheese, something I generally make for everyone else but don't eat myself. But I was in the need for some comfort food and had a plateful. Which leads me to this question;

What is your favorite comfort food?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:03 AM | Comments (5)

October 20, 2004

Silk Cords

"Could you put my hair in a tight braid before I go to bed?" The Artist enquires.
I am very pleased to do this. As a pre-mom one of my fantasies was brushing and playing with my little girls' hair. Then I had one child after the other who hated to have a brush run through their locks.

But the Artist is approaching her teen years; the moodiness has begun as well as the extra long looks in the mirror and the striving for looking her best.

As I comb out her hair I think of a recent show I watched---one of these Hallmark movies; big issues, moral development, happy outcome. The big issue was cloning and the moral development was a reporter learning that sometimes the human part of a human-interest story was the most important aspect, and perhaps the story shouldn't be told.

Of course cloning brings up all sorts of ideas; Brave New World children, bred for eye color, occupation and time of death, replacement children, who would most likely never really fulfill their parents hopes, little mes running about, forced into the vicarious dreams of their progenitors.

I do not really see much use in cloning of a human being; much good use. I can not see what the benefit would be of having a same gened child as someone else, living or dead. No clone would be the exact duplicate of the person cloned; the environment having too much to do with our development, perhaps more to do with our development than genes.

But, there are other ideas brought up as well; eugenics; evil as they come. But also the elimination of disease; no more tay sachs, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's or neurofibromatosis.

My daughter has the last one, as do I; a lot of guilt there, having passed it on. So far, she is fine, some learning disabilities, she is smaller than the average ten going on eleven year old, but these are very minor troubles in her life, and I pray it continues that way with her.

But things could go wrong; very wrong and that frightens me. And as she takes up a mirror and smiles at her image one worry is deformity. I know some of you have heard this before.

Since she has been young I've taught her what is inside is greater than what is outside. That beauty, true beauty, comes from the soul. I haven't held back from her what could happen, though it isn't discussed everyday, it is just a fact in her life that I've spoken with her about.

Today, as I held her hair in my hand, as I began to brush it into silk, I asked her if she wanted to see what a neruofibroma looked like. I talked again how it could affect her; showed her one on my forehead, let her know that it could disfigure her, though we hoped not.

Heavy conversation for a ten year old, but I feel it is best to have the truth early enough to learn how to deal with it.

Here was her response.

"Oh, I don't care how I look."
"But people can be mean. What will you do then?"
"I'll ask them how they would feel if they looked like this. How they would like it"

This is why I began early on to teach her about the truth of beauty. She has absorbed my lesson well. It is in her heart and in her soul and though nothing can really prepare one for the actuality of an event, she at least is forearmed.

And then I wonder; if I could eliminate this disease, and still have this child, would I do it? And the answer is yes. But the real question is, could I eliminate this disease and still have the same child? Even if she had the same training, even if I stated the same things to her from the moment I knew what course her life could take, would I have the same child in my life?

I really think the answer is no. I don't know that we can separate the various parts of ourselves like that; her is the disease and here is the benefit. And there are so many benefits to this child. She is a wonder, sweet, gentle, caring. She is a natural mother, quiet, reserved, a bit of a loner. Most people who meet her tell me how sweet she is...and that is true. Not that she has no rough edges; I'm her mother, not a moron. I know she has a angry side, can hit or hurt sometimes. But her overall personality is sweet.

Which doesn't mean I wouldn't eliminate the disease from her if I could. But I wonder who would, in the end be created.

Part of me wishes I would have that choice. Part of me is glad I don't.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:04 PM | Comments (6)

RunTime Error

RUNTIME ERROR! Improper termination of program

I keep getting this message when I try and read my e-mail. It only occurs for some e-mails., especially one group. Advice? It is driving me crazy. I have tried to find solutions on the net and found some sites but they haven't been helpful to me.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:27 AM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2004

Ethics of Play

On one of my favorite e-mail lists we are having a discussion on the proper ethics of playground behaviour Specifically it deals with one very sweet, very polite, child who tried to join a game on the playground, was rejected, possibly because he was so polite, and teased, though he was too young and innocent to realized he was the being made fun of.

One aspect of the conversation intrigued me; the person put forth her ideas that there should be no exclusivity on a playground. If a child wanted to join the game s/he should be allowed to join the game; not to allow someone in the game was rude behaviour.

My feeling is that the playground is the only place for some children to play and people have a right to exclusivity. it hurts, it shouldn't be done cruelly.

And that got me wondering; what do you feel are the rules, unstated, of a playground? I'm talking about beyond the no fighting rule.

Should anyone who asks be allowed to join a game? Should there be a time limit on how long one group of kids occupies a specific area? How do you as parents negotiate a turn on the slide or the tetter-totter? What age is too old for a child to be on the equipment in a playground? Do the older kids, teens and such, have a tendency to monopolize the park, marginalizing the younger set?

We didn't use the park that much when my kids were young and when we did not encounter any real problems. But I know this is a bone of contention among many and I wonder how you all handle the situation.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:48 PM | Comments (3)

dadadada dadadada daaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Otherwise know Twilight Zone song.

And here's the question:
Which Twilight Zone show gave you the creeps for life?

Mine was the cornfield one. You know the one: creepy ultra-powerful brat.

I think the author must have had a phobia for Jack-in-the-boxes. I certainly never got one for my kids. And I won't get one for my grandkids.

I think the author also feared kids.

I saw the particular show once. And only once. And I won't see it ever again.

Room for One More Honey was also scary. NOT recommended for those who already have a fear of flying.

So what T.Z. show haunts your nightmares?
And I have no idea why I was thinking about this today.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:57 PM | Comments (3)


I went up the hill to the Artists school for the job interview, came back down; had a quick coffee and then went to work, came home and sat down for ten minutes when I get a phone call; "could you go to the girls school and help them practice for the play?" went back up hill, sat around for the rehersal and the play, came back down. Walked the dog. Washed dishes.Made dinner. At that point my knee was killing me. So after supper I hit the tub and soaked for about 1/2 hour.

Question was, did I want to get dressed again? Or snuggle down into my pjs.

I chose pjs. I chose pjs knowing, in the back of my mind that someone was going to knock on the door asking for charity.

Ten minutes after I came downstairs someone came to the door wanting charity.

Am I psychic or what?

I hid in the kitchen. I told my daughter to answer the door. She left the door wide open. The girls came in...to my messy house, my hair loose and me in my pjs.

I don't want to know what they thought.

What I want is those lottery numbers.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

Noon or Dawn?

Penumbra. Shadow. Dawn. Dusk. Ethereal. Purple. Moon. These words stir my soul. I love the sound, and the images they bring to my mind. The soft sounds of leaves underfoot as one walks a path in the woods; the dappled light, the smell of humus and pine, the burbling of a brook of clear cold water.

Noon. Sun. Bright. Shiny. Yellow. A surfer on the ocean, the sun so hot and glaring the person a dark spot on blue.

Some people blog as if they were on the ocean, everyone's eyes on them as they master a difficult maneuver on their surf-board. They detail intimate aspects of their lives; their sex lives, the fights they have with family or friends, what goes on at work or the particulars of their vacations. The one's who do it well attract huge audiences; people flock to see what happened yesterday after the last entry of the post. They dig deep into themselves and pour the blood of their soul out onto the pages and their followers are there to encourage, commend, and applaud.

In a way I envy these bloggers, not only for their ability with words, something which I crave, but for their fearlessness in declaring themselves. They do not seem to want acceptance; it comes to them naturally, perhaps because they never seem to ask for it.

Me, I hide, keeping back parts of myself from most of the world. My deepest thoughts stay under the surface; I come out at dusk and dawn like a rabbit or a deer to eat the shoots of life and then retreat from the harsh light.

Glimpses of me is all anyone ever really sees. I don't know that this is good or bad, but it is a fact. I am who I am. I wish sometimes I were different; that I could surf the sea. But I suppose I was meant for spending most of my times under the surface, in the shadows, in the quiet of the day.

How do you see yourself?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2004

How Come

Sometimes you're looking at a piece of the cake and the next minute all you have are crumbs and all you got to taste was a cherry on top?

Nothing to do with the job; we will know more late. This is kid stuff.

Life is like that I suppose; but just once I'd like to finish that piece of cake and have a nice cool glass of milk and just hours of calm.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2004

So What Did I do all Day?

Sat in front of the computer screen doing research, writing a vocabulary based story and other fun stuff in prep for what could be a chance at a new job for dh and myself. The vocab part ought to give my readers a hint; we could end up as teachers of English for English speakers.

Depends on lots of different factors; one main factor: will it pay enough so dh can have a day job instead of leaving me home alone every night.

I hope so. I really do. I know a lot of women do it, but I want the guy home at night.

But, but, but...we've been down this road before, hopeful turns to dust. So I'm trying not to get excited, not to count those chickens while they are still in the egg and I can't even tell if they are fertilized yet.

So that was my day, or the part of it I'm sharing. Hope I'm cheering sometime tomorrow, but if not, we'll hang on for a bit more doing what we've been doing.

aaaaaaaannnnnnnn that's all folks!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:03 PM | Comments (5)

Look Mom, No Backpack

The Artist did not trudge off to school, dragging her backpack behind her. She almost skipped; on her shoulder a small bag with her water, a lunch bag and a bag with her Siddur and extra clothes. Costumes.

She and several of her friends are going to put on a play.
And she is excited about it. Happy. A bit nervous but looking forward toward the play and putting it on. Happy to race off to rehersals at night, despite her usual reservations about going almost anywhere; she is very shy and usually prefers a book to a game with friends.

But, as I long suspected, this shy child hides an extrovert; as long as that extrovert is really not her. Because what is acting but putting on a mask and letting everyone know that is exactly what one has done? Hidden and exposed at the same time.

She is nervous about her upcoming preformance; but a happy nervousness; she wants to do well, but she I can hear the happiness underscoring the worry.

She is coming out of her shell, and donning a mask; but she is out there.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:45 AM | Comments (1)

October 16, 2004

White Gloves

So how often do you look at your house and despair? What a mess! Toys on the floor if you have kids, yesterdays newspaper still on the arm of the couch, dishes in the sink and you are afraid to see what is on the bottom of your hamper; you know you haven't seen the bottom in a few weeks. I know I have felt that way.

You look around your friends houses and wonder; they can do it? Why can't I? Those thoughts have often run through my head. What is the matter with me?

Then I became a maid. I see what people's houses are like. I see how they are before I do my clean sweep, and what they look like a couple of days later.

Note: the women I clean for are very neat. They don't leave me humongous messes to take of; the houses are fairly orderly.

But they aren't perfect.

They have piles. They leave their dirty dishes in the sink. They have lost socks under the beds. They have their rooms that hold all the stuff that needs to be sorted. And that is with me coming once or twice a week to clean. They aren't poor homemakers; they are busy people. They have kids to tend and people to see, and life to live.

I wonder whether it really is possible for one woman to keep up a house when there is more than two people living in it; and she wants to do more than dust and mop. All right, possible is too strong a word; there are people I know whose homes often look like they are expecting a visit from House Beautiful. But most of us I think, have to accept a less than perfect place. Dishes in the sink aren't a sin, and so you never get to that red shirt ---it probably doesn't fit anyone anymore anyway! Like my friend Beth says; you have to prioritize!

So listen, this maid says; "Stop beating yourself up over your messes and imperfections." I know being a maid has helped me look at my lack of a clean gene in a whole new light. Maybe I'm not really as bad as I thought.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:06 PM | Comments (9)

October 15, 2004

The Building of a Human

My discussion over at Sister's Talk has led me to another question. How possible is it for us to rewrite our natural wiring? Whether our sexual desires, the degree to which we wish to socialize, the degree of clean that satisfies, how we view exercise, are these hardwired into ourselves? Is it possible to successfully erase these tendencies and replace them with other tendencies, at least to some extent, or is it only a sham? Will a slob always be a slob and need to constantly keep up with some sort of program to keep from sliding into sloppiness? Will the sloth always have to force themselves to exercise? The glutton always fear food? Or can we become the person we want to be, albeit through great effort, wanting what was formerly shunned, and having no, or little desire for what formerly ruled us?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:03 AM | Comments (7)

I'm Going to Mommy Hell

I am sending the Monkey off to school with a honey and jelly and peanut butter sandwhich. At least there is a bit of nutrition in there along with all that sugar.

This child has such a sweet tooth!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:57 AM | Comments (2)

October 14, 2004

Homsexuality, Genes and "Treatment"

You know how sometimes you have a very interesting discussion online, then you start talking off line, then you and the person you are talking with decide to take i online again? That happened with me and a recent find via blogexplosion; Sister Talk. With my permission she printed an email I had sent her, along with her answers to some of my questions. Come join the discussion. (And read her blog, it is a nice one. I might not agree with everything she says but she writes very well.)

The post that started the conversation in the first place.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

An Interesting Resume

The Monkey's current job choices;

3)Sheruti Girl (Optional army service for women)

That is if she makes it to adulthood. GET BACL INTO BED!!! (sigh)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:07 PM | Comments (4)

Who Has the Right to Decice?

That's what Pincushion from THE GLASS WALL is asking. Very briefly, this is about a child with Edwards disease and a disagreement between the parents and hospital on the proper course of treatement. Please read her blog post and follow the link to the story. The child has EDWARDS disease. I left the link above on Pincushions site also; whichever is more convient to use.

It reminds me of the Terri Schiavo case, bloggers who have written about her case recently can be found here, on THROWN BACK and here on NOLI IRRITARE LEONES

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

What's on Your Microchip?

The FDA has just this past Wednesday, approved the use of microchips in humans for medical purposes. The chip would keep all medical data on a patient allowing a doctor to check illnesses, allergies and similar information. It would obviously be of great service to emergency personnel and doctors in cases of accidents or sudden illness when the patient has been rendered unconscious, or cannot communicate for whatever reason..

The chip has been used in other countries for security purposes and the chip has been employed to find lost pets and keep track of cattle.

Right now the only approved purpose for humans in the USA is medical data. In the future? It only takes a bit of imagination to conceive of BRAVE NEW WORLD scenarios.

This could be a great boon to society in general; keeping track of patients with dementia, locating a lost child, monitoring criminals, locate someone in a burning building, or buried in an earthquake.

In Spain they are using it to track purchases in bars; imagine walking into any store and not needing cash or a credit card or anything that is easily stolen for the transaction? With the added security of retinal scanning mugging would become something nearly in heard of.

But still there is a little voice, with a lot of volume, that screams "BIG BROTHER", and that scares me. We could become open books to anyone with a scanner. Stole a pack of cigarettes as a teen; we got you. Purchase porn? We know all about it. Even if it didn't involve anything negative, for instance how much one spends on groceries, or favorite places to vacation, do we want this information available to anyone who can scan?

Is it something to be feared? How is it best regulated so that it can provide help and not lead us to a world where we are all numbered? Would there be a way to control what data any particular person was able to access? Or would detective work become as easy as purchasing a scanner? Are these legitimate worries or are these groundless fears, based more on hysteria than fact? I'd really be interested in knowing what you think.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:36 PM | Comments (2)

Win or Lose

You voted.

1. Your guy lost. What would the 44th President need to do to convince you
that maybe, after all , he was the better man for the job?

2. Your guy won. What is the one aspect of the other guys platform that you hope the 44th President incorporates into his program.

3. How do you think your life will change if your guy wins? If he loses?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

What Biological Molecule are You?

I got this quiz off Mountaineer Musings one of the new blogs I found via blogexplosion

You are water. You're not really organic; you're
neither acidic nor basic, yet you're an acid
and a base at the same time. You're strong
willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready
to flow. So while you often seem worthless,
without you, everything would just not work.
People should definitely drink more of you
every day.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:23 AM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2004


I've hit my 5,000 customer! Toss out the balloons, throw the confetti. Just wish I knew who you were oh blogexplosion surfer!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

Who Are You?

I have to admit that I have a great time taking those silly little tests; the one's that tell you what kind of food you are or whatever. I love seeing how close to me, or what I think of me, they come.

I suppose many others enjoy these tests as well as the tests are quite popular.

But sometimes as I am taking the tests I wonder; this is how I may see myself; is this how others see me?

I feel pudgy. I know many people see me as thin. I don't know whose vision is correct, but I know the dichotomy is there. I wonder in what ways my view of self differs from the view of other people.

Of course no two people ever view anything the same way; we don't even see color exactly the same (as born out by a friend who actually saw a different color value from each eye--she still saw green as green from both eyes but the differed in tone.) Every person has a different response to the same stimuli; probably the difference is much greater with a human being where there is a constant interplay of reactions. I respond to a person not only on the basis of how they act in my presence, but on my historical social interactions with others.
And it is the same for everyone. Someone reminds us of someone else and a behavior that another would dismiss or take no notice of becomes significant, for the good or bad. And no one person is the same in every environment.

But still, there is a core personality that should stay basically the same, to everyone, possibly but to ourselves. I suppose when the dichotomy is too great we are talking about psychiatric and sociopathic disorders.

But in general, whose is the truer valuation of a person; the person that looks in the mirror or the person that is seen by others?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:55 AM | Comments (3)

October 11, 2004

It's Raining!

Or it was. Twice. Today. First rainy day of the (Jewish) new year. I don't know why that makes me smile but it does. I pretty much decided last year that I didn't like the rainy season in Israel; cold and wet wasn't for me. Still, the smell in the air did it.

I'm grinning.

Splish splash!!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

Christopher Reeves Died

Christopher Reeves died Sunday of heart complications, apparently a commone problem for those who are paralysed.

I just find that very sad. He didn't let his injuries stop him. His injuries spurred him on to become an advocate for spinal cord research and stem cell research.

Here is the URL for those wanting to donate to his foundation; a wonderful thing to do in his memory.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

Kids? Who Needs Them?

That was the debate that flared up among several bloggers recently. I'm not going to go back and reiterate the whole discussion; it really isn't necessary. It took place between several moms/dads and "childfree" people.

They are difficult, children. Last night the Artist woke with a bellyache and needed soothing; this from a mom who had only gone to sleep about 2.5 hrs before and who was set to wake up 2.5 hours later. Mom's five hour sleep was cut down to something like 3hrs total.

The Monkey protested going off to school; she was scared she said. Possibly it had more to do with the fact that mom's new temporary job kept her from being home when she arrived home and mom's mom job required her to leave at about 6 to take the Artist to her new (formed by the tenth grade class), twice weekly group for new Olim. Having come here only last year she qualifies for extra help and Hebrew learning practice. Then mom came up for a quick snuggle and went back to help the Artist with her math homework. This was when the Artist was still going to go to school today.

They are costly. They break things. We no longer have a full set of dishes.
They whine, have tantrums and can give one a headache faster than a concert at full blast.
They drive you nuts.

And I guess there are quite a few people who haven't had kids and don't intended to have them might legitimately wonder why anyone would want one, let alone more than one.

So how can you get rid of your right arm? Right arms bother people sometimes; they ache, they get bitten by mosquitoes, they get sunburned, bruised and a host of other pains that come their way.

They drive me nuts; but they fill me with wonder and excitement and joy and hope. I seem them and I see a world; a toss of their head and I'm taking off to the stars. a smile, a snuggle and hug and I am in Eden. How can anything compare to my children?

I know they are the best children in the world. No one else has children like mine. Oh, I know that is what some people think, but I know they are wrong.

And every mom and dad knows that about their child.

They are the gift that breaks the heart every moment of the day. And I can never quite understand what I did to deserve them.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:25 AM | Comments (6)

October 10, 2004

Once There Was a Silly Ole' Mom

Thought her kids would like Peas and such
Now everyone knows that kids hate peas!
But she wouldn't give up....

It has been 23 years!!!! Comeon you guys! One of you has to like them? With mashed potatoes or rice? PLEASE?????
Why the heck is that so important to me. Maybe it is the thought of a balanced diet; like, you need a bit more than krbys and tomatos guys! Try them, you'll like them!

Yeah, that's on tonights menu.
I'll eat them
And if your kids do eat them, don't tell me. I want to believe it is everyone's kids.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:33 AM | Comments (3)

Vacation is Over!

Vacation ended and my children are estactic about happy to okay with resigned to

They are back in school today, okay? And it only took two crowbars and a stick of dynamite to get them out of bed.

And I've a new job for this week only, unless I can work something out for the Monkey's care; taking care of an elderly man; light housekeeping and feeding him lunch. I think that is about it.

We shall see how it works.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2004


I've just finished Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. It is the second time I've read it and I was just as thrilled by the adventure this time around as I was the first time, perhaps even more so. Of coruse I had to do a websearch on Neil Gaiman and came across this:

You are Neverwhere! You are dark, intriguing, and
lenient. You might make people feel
uncomfortable, either because you are
intimidating or you dress differently possibly
both. In reality you are a nice person, but
people tend to make snap judgments about you
and think they can push you around. You
probably are idealistic and dream of a utopian
society. The friends that you have are the kind
that last forever and you are fun and
easy-going when people bother to get to know

*~Which Neil Gaiman book are you?~*
brought to you by Quizilla

it pleases me to think I am the novel that I just read, though perhaps my having only just finished the book has more than something to do with it.

One main feature, as can be ascertained by the title to my blog, is doors. Door is also the name of one of the heroes of the book.

As I put the book down I realized that the theme of many books I love have to do with doorways, literal or figurative, into other worlds. It is a common enough theme, and takes on many forms; from Alice's adventures to Harry Potter, to a book fantasy that I've got roaming around in my own head. A book is the door in The Neverending Story; a mirror in Alice through the Looking Glass.

I've always wanted to find one of these doorways, for part of me hopes they do exist, as part of me believes there must be something else just below the surface of the world we spend our days in. Sometimes I can almost feel it; when the weather is right or a scent lingers in the air, or a sound that lingers in my brain seem to tell me; there is much more here than meets you think.

Of course, if such a door opened, would I really be brave enough or foolish enough (which is it?) to enter? Would you?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

I Exploded!

BlogExplosion is this great new way to generate traffic to your site and to find some really great blogs to read. I've already got a 1/2 dozen or so blogmarked on the blogexplosion site to read at a later date. And it has increased my traffic in just two days. Try it, you might like it! And it is so easy to do, and the staff is quick, prompt and helpful.

If you use the link above to sign up it is helpful to me.

I'm having fun. My sitting area is also getting numb. There are so many blogs out there, so little time!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:23 PM | Comments (1)

October 08, 2004

I Won't Growup!

I have a Simple wood bracelet, a cuff, that slips over my wrist, etched in a diamond and dot pattern., made for me by a friend in a gift exchange. It is understated; the light wood, the darker brown etching is all there is to it.

I love it. It makes this lovely clicking sound when it hits against my metal watch; I find myself moving my arm deliberatly just to hear it, it brings smile to my face everytime.

I have been told by more than one person that I am somewhat childlike. I don't know, perhaps it is true, but I think most of us have simple pleasures, things that cost almost nothing yet make us happy.

What are makes you happiest? What is priceless in your eyes?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:07 PM | Comments (6)

Proud Israeli Speaks

Ismail Khaldi is a proud Israeli citizen He is also a Bedouin. He has served in the IDF, the Defense Ministry, and the Israeli police. Ismail has just come back from a two month speaking tour in the USA and Canada. I think he has some important things to say; go listen.

Also, Theo Dov Golan speaks on the truth about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

World-wide Attacks On Jews

From Reuters: (similar article appears today in the NYT.

Sept. 5, 1972 - Palestinian Black September infiltrates Israeli team quarters at Munich Olympic Games. Two athletes die in initial attack and nine hostages, five guerrillas and a West German policeman killed in later shoot-out at Munich airport.

Sept. 19, 1972 - Black September letter bomb kills Ami Shehori, an attache at the Israeli embassy in London.

July 4, 1976 - Palestinian and leftist West German guerrillas hijack Air France airliner in Europe and divert it to Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli commandos strike and kill guerrillas while rescuing 98 Israeli and Jewish hostages. Three hostages and the head of the commando unit die in the violence.

Dec. 31, 1980 - Bomb blast wrecks the Jewish-owned Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, killing 15 people and wounding over 80.

June 3, 1982 - Israel's ambassador to Britain wounded in an attack blamed on Abu Nidal's Palestinian Fatah group.

Dec. 27, 1985 - Guerrillas of Abu Nidal's Fatah Revolutionary Council attack El Al counters at Rome and Vienna airports simultaneously, killing 19 people.

Sept. 6, 1986 - Arab gunmen kill 22 worshippers in a raid on Istanbul's Neve Shalom synagogue, an attack blamed on Abu Nidal.

March 7, 1992 - Israeli embassy security chief in Ankara dies in a car bomb attack. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.

March 17, 1992 - Car bomb smashes Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.

July 18, 1994 - At least 96 people are killed when a bomb explodes at a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.

July 27-28, 1994 - Car bomb batters the Israeli embassy in London, injuring 14. Twelve hours later, another car bomb at a Jewish fund-raising group's offices in London injures five.

April 11, 2002 - Truck explodes near ancient Jewish shrine of El Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, killing 14 Germans, five Tunisians and a Frenchman.

July 4 - Egyptian kills two at the El Al airline counter in Los Angeles airport before El Al guards shoot him dead.

Nov. 28 - Fifteen people killed in car bomb attack on hotel frequented by Israeli tourists in Kenyan port of Mombasa; two missiles miss an Israeli airliner taking off from the city.

Nov. 15, 2003 - Car bombs explode outside two synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 people.

July 30, 2004 - In the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, a suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his waist strikes the Israeli embassy killing at least two local people.

Oct. 7, 2004 - Suspected car bomb wrecks hotel at Egyptian border resort of Taba, killing and wounding Israeli tourists; blasts also hit two other Egyptian resorts on the Red Sea.

Condemnation are expected from, well nowhere really. They will always come with a tag and an excuse. If they come.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2004

Taba Hotel Bombing

The Taba Hilton, located in the Sinai was hit by a terrorist bomb today; the hotel was filled to capacity. Many its patrons were Israeli's who went to the Sinai during the Succot holiday. Egypt at first reported the explosion as a gas leak. At least 30 have been killed and 40 injured. The wounded are being evacuated to Israeli hospitals. Egypt initially delayed rescue attempts by Israeli emergency personel, but MDA has now been allowed in.

According to Arab radio, Hamas has claimed responsiblity.

There are reports of two more blasts in nearby areas.

Many Israeli's have been making their way on foot to the border.

Arutz 7 has extensive covering and complete updates on the bombings.

Other sources of information can be found here and here

Please G-d, just please. No more. Help the injured. Comfort those who have lost their loved ones.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

Oh Why Don't I Like Me?

My own blog wouldn't talk to me. I tried to access her and she kept telling me she wasn't there. Liar! I knew she wsa home and just hiding behind the sofa.

Maybe she knew my brain was blank; at least of big important things to say. Well, if that is how she feels I'm sending people elsewhere to read:

David Boxenhorn from Rishon Rishon gives a great explanation of Simchat Torah/Shmini Aseret the holiday that just ended for me. I don't blog about the religous aspects as much because he does such a good job of it.

Meryl Yourish makes some very astute comments about Israel, the UN and the Paletinians. (she also has some cute pics of her cat.) I humbly agree.

Hate those blood tests? You've got invisible veins? Medical science has heard you! And AMCGLTD will tell you about it. Read the article as well.

And NATURE IS PROFLIGATE has a very interesting piece on bird courtship, herbs and sex selection. I love this stuff. I'm reading two books now that relate; THE WOMAN WHO NEVER EVOLVED about dominance and submission in the animal world and how it relates to humans, and NATURAL PARENTING. Does anyone else find this stuff absolutely fascinating? Anyway, after reading about the birds, follow her link to the Loom.

Rambling's Journal 's deals with a very grim aspect of abortion. A friend of mine who became a nurse-midwife can testify to the fact that a child was born alive at 5mns after and abortion and simply left to die. Horrible, just horrible. I understand abortion for medical reasons, I understand abortion due to rape or incest. I understand an abortion because the child would live an incredibly horrific life due to whatever genetic illness it was suffering from (Tay sachs etc.) I might not agree with abortion in all the above cases (for me the health of the mom is the only reason to allow an abortion) but I don't understand the persistence in killing the child or not doing all one can to help it survive. It is out of the mom then, her rights to terminate stop and the baby should receive all the help it can.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:30 PM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2004

Brag Alert

Last night the woman I walk with said "I'm sleeping in" sounded good to me, and after yesterdays tiyul (trip) I thought I deserved a sleep-in also.

I woke about 4:30; groaned. Turned over. Tried to sleep. "Maybe I should walk?" Nah...sleep, sleep dream. Dug down in the covers and half slept. Half slept an hour away, and decided

I want to walk I want to get out and excercise those gams.

I didn't do the complete run, but I got out there and pressed myself to move. quickly.

Wow, I like this!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2004

The Trip

The Yishuv were the celebration took place is a new one; anyone wishing to come to Israel and be part of this young community would be very happy. The view is wonderful; on a clear day you can see the Dead Sea. Right now they are still living in caravans but I'm sure someday soon the actual house -building will begin.

Now on to the events of the day.

We start off at 8:45 in the morning,, meeting up with Other Mom and her kidlets.

We reach the bus stop at 9:00. We wait for the bus. And wait for the bus. And wait for the bus. Bus arrives! about 15 minutes late.

We get on the bus and head off for the main bus station. One hours ride. Then we shop a bit for a
few things necessary; the bus we need won't arrive till 11:30; there are suppose to be three special buses just for us going to the Yishuv to celebrate and fly kites day.

We wait for the bus. We wait for the bus. Hip hip hooray! Bus number one comes. Many people get on the bus. Other Mom and We wait for the next bus. Next bus arrives. But there is no room on this bus for our group either. We wait for the next bus. Bus number one takes off. Bus number two takes off. Buses number three and four and five arrive but they are not our buses! Oh no! We are the group that waits and waits and waits and waits okay; and hour later we get on the bus. An hour later we get off the bus.

Our first stiop, after bathroom trips was the Magician. We were right in time for the first show. He was a stupedous magician; he made himself disappear for an hour! Luckily the management told after about 30 minutes of waiting that he would reappear in time for the second showing.

Okay, it was nice and cool in the building. We headed out for lunch.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, or chicken sandwhiches., and fries. Not the most extensive of menus. The girls both had their hot dogs, ,and I elected the chicken. 45 minutes later, and the kids had taken their food and gone to watch the magician who had finally poofed into existence., while oOther Mom and I waited, and waited and waited for the fries. I think they had to go to idaho to get them.
But finally they were finished, the food was paid for, and I went up with the fries while Other MOM went off in search of drinks. This later took a phone call to settle some issues (slurpees or soda.) or would have taken a phone call only the phones cut off at the crucial moment. One of Other's Mom's children expressed a wish for her mom. I went in search of mom.

Other Mom came up the hill having made the decision on her own.

Other Mom and I didn't see each other.

I come down the hill and Other Mom wasn't there and the phones are still not working, so I went back up the hill.

I find a child searching for his mom. I search for his mom. I am unable to find his mom. But I found someone who knew who he was and who his mom was. Child and neighbor went off in search of mom.

I get to see the tail end of the magicians act.

Everyone heads down the hill but me in search of the othe activities for the day; I'm saying my after meal prayers.

I go in search of family and friends. I can not find family and friends. I wander around aimlessly for awhile and then try a caravan. I am about to leave said caravan when two children attack me. They are mine children. But where is Other Mom? Other Mom went in search of other activities to see if they might be better. Other Mom joins us and says other activity looks better. We head off to other activiity.

Other activity is making jewelry. We wait about 1/2 hr before we can get supplies. We get supplies and head outside to make said jewelry. Other Mom's son and oldest child went to make kites. Oldest child and son return with said kites. Other Mom's son trips and gets a nasty gash on his knee. Said gash looks serious, but son doesn't want to go to the doctor and isn't to happy when the doctor came to the child. Many, many minutes pass as Other Mom tries to convince her son to let the knee be examined and cared for. There are also man other concerned souls about over-seeing the whole examination. But eventually knee is given the a-okay, and the crowd disperses; and by that time, though my two are only half-way finished with their project TIME IS ALMOST UP. Okay, my two are on the slightly slow side of finishing projects. Finally, time is up, just as The Artist adds her last stone.

We clean up, we have another bathroom break. We refill water bottles. We have missed the big finale (kite flying) We start off for the buses. We buy cotton candy. We get on the buses. We wait 30 more minutes on the buses. We finally start to move.


Time is now 5:30.

We arrive at the main bus station at about 6:45, having missed the last bus. More shopping. Ice cream. Coffee for the older people. Wait. Bus comes at 8:10.

Just as we are about to get on the bus The Monkey says

Will it take long enough to get everyone on the bus because I have to go to the bathroom.

It is an hours ride.

Bye bye bus!

Next bus 8:40.

Reach home 9:40.


Dh arrives home. Why aren't the kids in bed yet?


Typical fun day fallout and fight.

Little one's off to bed.


but really, it was a fun time. I mean they got necklaces out of it and are all happy and excited and stuff.

And we are all going to sleep late tomorrow morning.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)

Let's Go Fly A Kite!

I got to go wake up the little creepy deeps and get them dressed because it is off we go to a new Yishuv to make and fly kites, candles and apparently, for the adults get a massage.

Massages. Cool. I am just got to stretch out and float off.

I have high hopes for this day.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:54 AM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2004

The Truth: Children for sale

My two girls spent about 2 hours cleaning their room; This can be broken down into easily understood segments:

15 minutes of fighting about who was or wasn't cleaning
1/2 hour of drama and asking if they had to pick this up or that up or if it was clean yet
20 minutes of general fooling around.
40 minute break, following dramatic demonstrations of their exhaustion.
15 minutes of actually picking up clothing, stray papers and toys from the floor.

And yes, the Monkey really did walk down the street yelling as loud as she could

I was going to write a post heavy with emotion about how wonderful the state of being a mother is, but I don't think I can pull it off today. Maybe next week. Next year?

Maybe the best way to say I love them is to say despite there having done all and more than the previous post, I'm keeping them. The price for these drive me crazies? All of heaven and earth, and all of time. Won't take less and I'd refuse even that if it were possible to offer.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:40 PM | Comments (2)


My children cheerfully clean their room, without fighting or arguing or any dramatics, the first time I ask them to do so. I don't even have to ask. They do it on their own. Their rooms are never really messy.

My children never really fight.

No one ever says YUCK!!! when I serve dinner.

No five year old of mine has ever walked down the streets of the Yishuv shouting at the top of her lungs "WE CAN'T SPEND MONEY!!! WE ARE POOR! WE DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!!!"

They always say please, thank you.

They always go to bed on time. They wake up smiling and happy. They are need no encouragment to get out of the house and off to school promptly.

They never forget to give me notes from the teacher. They never lose such notes. They always do their homework.

Nope. My kids are just perfect. And how are your chidren today?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)


I woke before dawn this morning, at about 4:30., while the skies were still dark. I like the stillness of early morning, when no one else is awake. It makes me feel as if I owned all I saw. A silly impression, I know. But when you look outside and there is no one stirring, but you know there are people all around the world is yours in a manner of speaking, because only you are partaking of the space about you.

Isn't that at least an aspect of possession?

I was not to own the world for very long however. At 5:15 I was meeting a friend for the first day of my new exercise plan. We would walk up the hill and meet another friend, and together walk through the Yishuv, waking up sleeping muscles and strengthening ourselves for the day.

This area is perfect for exercise; it is full of hills and valleys; walking up and then down, mounting stairs and almost falling down steep inclines, does wonders for the leg muscles, not to mention the heart. And here are hills surrounding us, with their cloaks of mist and the sun emerging red and fiery between them. The sounds of birds; as if one were in an aviary, brings music to the ears. The air is crisp and cool at that hour; a soft smell of dew; the sky lightening well before the sun rises, as if it is leading the sun in procession.

The talk was mainly "women's talk"; family and food. Too many dismiss such conversations as trivial and if that were the only topics I ever head I would go mad. But this way of connecting and seeing other's lives is an important function of being a friend; for what is really more important than the day to day trivialities that make up our lives?

Big thoughts are important; but how we function day to day, our own personal hurdles and triumphs, make up the heart of our day. And without the heart the brain can not function.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:06 AM | Comments (2)

October 03, 2004

The Great Debate

Without going into who I think should win the election, who I think won the debate?
Hands down, Kerry. He looked more presidential, he spoke with greater authority, he seemed less redundant. Bush looked like he had gas pains or was sucking on a lime or both.

If only a debate actually had something to do with who was worthier of my vote. But it doesn't. The ability to debate and hold one's own in a discussion is important but not the only value I look for when seeking a leader of the free world. Character and principle are more important; what is the driving force behind the person who seeks my vote? What does s/he want for the country? For him or herself? What kind of effort are they willing to put forth on behalf of the USA? The free world?

We are a sad sort of world if a single debate or three debates were enough to make us choose our leader. I do think that is how some people decide, but I can't believe it is the way of most of the country.

Or do you think I'm way off base?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

But the Ferret Bit Me

So, what do Israeli's do with their week of hofshe (vacation?) Day outings of course! So today I took my two little ones and went with a friend to the animal farm. No, not that one. Piggys weren't taking over. The CHAVAYOT is full of nice animals who allow exhuberant children to hold, pet and play with them.

Most of the animals on the CHAVAYOT were orphaned; all were raised from birth with humans so the animals are accustomed to the presence and affection of human beings. The animals ranged from birds, some so tiny I could hide them in the palm of my hand, to an emu, a deer, and a llama.

The experience is of course fun; my children enjoyed the rabbits and the Artist is certain she wants one as a pet. My friends children couldn't get enough of the snakes. My girls also oohed and ahhhed over the new born mice.

And there is an educational side; children are introduced to the animals more formerly, and the animals are used to teach a variety of social skills and values.

There is a third side as well; the animals of CHAVAYOT are used theraputically, helping everyone from a child with down's syndrome, to and elderly person, to a vicitim of terror. Treatment is used in conjunction with parents, social workers, psychologist etc. If the patient can't or won't come to the animal the animal is brought to the person.

It is amazing to me how a dog who does nothing more than allow itself to be petted can calm an Alzheimers patient, or how the warmth of a rabbit in the lap can put a shy child at her ease. Feed a deer, and a vicitm of terror feels connect to joy and life, and step a bit away from the horror he survived.

The world has so many gifts for us, and so many times it seems as if we ignore those gifts. I can't think of anything more precious or valuable than the expressions on my girls faces as they played and fed and petted the various creatures today. I captured them on film but more important I captured them in my memory.

It took us two hours and two buses to ge there, and nearly 100 shek to hold, feed and play with the varmints,and the ferret did bite me; but, as the commercials say, the day was priceless.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2004

Dear G-d, it is October

Could you please consider turning down the heat a bit?

Thank you


devoted but melting

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:43 PM | Comments (1)

October 01, 2004

The kitchen on erev Shabbat, when I was a child, contained the best of smells. Though we weren't Orthodox we did have the traditional meals; chicken and chicken soup on Friday night, with challah and wine and rice or other delicious sides.

And sometimes, on those late Friday afternoons, I would come home from school and hear a crackling from the kitchen and I knew what was cooking...

Chicken fat, chicken skin and onion; the Jewish version of pork rinds. Gribnes. This coat your arteries with an inch of fat treat was a favorite among all of us children and we would fight for the pieces. Just a little piece, that's all anyone could get---there were four of us and I think only one chicken, and most of the skin stayed on the chicken; my father, for he is the one who made this dish, would use the tush and the bits and pieces from the back and from the neck. I can't remember the last time I ate it; or why my father stopped making it.

Now I pull off all the skin from the chicken, try and get rid of as much of the fat as I can--I can't imagine leaving it on. It is the only way my family will eat chicken; my kids can't stand the taste of chicken with the skin still on. I think the idea of gribnes would make them puke.

Odd how things change. Odd how we change.

What has dropped out of your life?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:39 PM | Comments (4)

Enough Said

via Arutz Sheva.
Succot begins, and two young children, Dorit Aniso, 18-months, and Yuval Abebeh, 4, die when a Kassam rocket fired from PA controlled gaza struck the street where they lived.

Succot morning; and Shulamit Batito, 36, is jogging down the road between of Nisanit and Alei Sina; and is murdered when a terrorist opens fires on her. One memeber of the emergency combat medical unit team, Staff-Sergeant Victor Ariel, 20, is murdered when he goes to attend her. Another memeber of the team is severely injured, others sustained less threatening injuries.

And at 3 am Nahal Brigade soldier Staff-Sergeant Gilad Fischer, 22 was killed in a grenade attack.

Why is Israel not allowed to destroy our terrorists without having a considerable part of the rest of the world condemn us for violence?

Come on UN; condemn the terrorist; condemn those who attack medics as you condemned Israel for stopping ambulances at check-points, even though it has been proven that they often harbor weapons or terrorist.

Come on UN; condemn the terrorist; for targetting young children and unarmed citizens.

Be something other than a mouth piece for terrorist.

Funny fact? If the Arab countries hadn't attacked Israel there never would have been a Palestinian people.

via Arutz Sheva.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:13 AM | Comments (0)