April 30, 2005


Or at least my writng is, for as a pen-friend wrote me just recently "...I was a bit surprised it arrived due to the fact it was set on fire."

A myriad of possibilities swirl through my mind as to the cause of this event; a machine that went cablooie? A careless smoker sitting on bags of letters? A curious postal worker who, sans any other means of light, and reluctant to use steam, held a candle behind my letter to enable him to peruse the contents?

I shall never know, as, I presume, my friend does not know what occurred or her letter would have elaborated a bit more as to the origin of the blackened paper.

You can conclude what you will. I shall bask in the delusionary glory that my writing was so wonderful that it caused the paper to explode in flames; spontaneous combustion.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2005

Why I'm Embarrassed by My Whining

Focus your prayers on these children. via Elizabeth fromRavings of a Coorporate Mommy

Over 400 children are starving themselves in Sweden in, for, as Elizabeth states Their passivity is the tool they have and they are wielding it in desperation.

They have been faced with two options, and have chosen death as the prefered alternative to living in whatever hell they were living in before.

I have seen such this before, with a single child. before; watching a child waste away before ones eyes alters the soul. Each week that Sherry would come to my house she was "less". Less aware, lless resopnsive, ess there. It is impossible to describe the horror of hugging a child and finding, enclosed within our arms, only bones, to see a young face look like an old woman. For this to occur on the level of 400 children?

I can't breathe in such an idea. I wish to run from the vision, to anull it from my minds eye.

But what is it that I can do? Pray. Appeal to those who are in charge to have mercy on these souls.

Owning a house, having a working sound system on my computer, is nowhere as near important as these worlds that are being slowly destroyed.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:38 AM | Comments (1)

Sound Go Bye Bye

Another entry into the whine department. The sound on my computer went bye bye. SOMETHING happened and my wonderful computer is a media for sight only. No more jazz to sweeten the air, no more radio programs. The SHADOW is silent. According to the computer everything is GO; the sound system is working, but, as I can still hear my kids fighting and the t.v. I know it isn't my ears.

Oh well. I guess I better get accustomed to the souonds of silence.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:02 AM | Comments (2)

April 28, 2005

The Four Questions

Or five, six, ten. Judaisim, at least the Judaism I know and love, encourages questions, questioning. If you don't understand something, if you think something doesn't make sense, if you have trouble believing X or Y is true; ASK!

I suppose that either some branches or different, or that some people within certain communities have been left with the impression that questioning is wrong if the questions assume a degree of doubt.

I don't think I could survive a branch of Judaism that would condemn me for thoughts and feelings. I would have to oust myself at this point. With all the financial crisis that we continue to go through, often my feelings surge about the idea that G-d has decided we are on the "do not answer" list. I hate the lack of money, the difficulty in paying our bills, our inability to purchase this house, to build it up, to make it something I want.

That last is a real kicker. I WANT THIS HOUSE! I want it so badly, it is a burn inside me. And we can't pull it off, not now, not with the slave job my dh works at. Which he hates. Which I hate, for many reasons, not only the pay scale, but the treatment of the workers, the hours, the you-name-it.

And we can't buy the house. What does G-d want from me? From us? What are we doing wrong?

And I am really angry with G-d about this. If I could just get a reasonable answer.

And other's can say all they want "Just remember G-d is always doing for your good" or some version of this thought, and it doesn't settle anything inside me.

I'm still angry and bitter.

And then there is the other part of me that knows G-d loves me and wants what is good for me, and can handle my being angry and bitter. I love G-d. I know G-d is there for me, even when I'm not that pleseant to be around.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:51 AM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2005


Guess where I was today? Here!
This family outing a direct result of a special program put on for the benefit of soldiers in the tanks division and their families. We got to see where my dear son is camping out under the stars (really, very pleasant camp grounds) and then went proceeded to take a six-kilometer hike. We went up a hill, and then we went down a longer, way longer hill, and all I kept thinking was: yep, we got to reverse that when we start back don't we? Climbed a mountain following a trail of flags set by my son and his troop planted flags, one of which cost a fellow soldier part of his finger (OUCH!!! The boys had a quick memorial service at the spot), sat and rested for a bit on top of the mountain with my army son and my soon to be army son (dh and the two girls went to the museum quite early) and then went back down the mountain. Going down was harder than going up; I fell. I now have two large bruises on my calf and an inch long scrape. Together everyone, awwwwwwww, poor baby!!! (Note to self; get self a pair of good hiking shoes. Sandals just don't cut it.) All along the trail, in addition to the finger chomping flags, were little touristy attractions; on Israel, on tanks, on migrating birds.
Cool huh?

After finally having dragged my old carcass up that long and leg aching hill, and then down the shorter hill (soldier son and almost soldier son having long since deserted me. Once again AWWWWWWWWWWW, we all met up and went to see the tank museum featuring a fifteen minute movie all about tanks and the soldiers who operate them, a bit of a memorial to past soldiers. A great movie, even if I couldn't understand it--the film had everything in it; including elephants. (Elephants, tanks, get it?)

Dh had to go home. We stayed for a bit then accompanied soldier son back to his camp area, the Monkey complaining she needed to make. The bathroom near the camp however had a line of soldiers. Rachel Ann thought it better to head back the way we came and see if the restaurant had a restroom. (It did, natch). All the way back the Monkey kept complaining; her legs hurt, she was hot and she had to go to the bathroom. At the top of her lungs. The Artist was also not feeling well, as she let me know in a "life is over voice.". Neither received much sympathy from mom. Evil mom.

We then headed home; G-d favoring us with the quick arrival of our first bus on this two bus trip (miracle of miracles, but two short bus rides!). On the second leg of the journey moms lap turned out to be too small for the heads of two children, one of whom has the tendency to get car sick (the Artist) the other who has the tendency to want what her sister has (the Monkey). The Artist of course managed to actually lie quietly. The Monkey was true to her name, hence the smallness of moms lap.

We came home and had Kosher l'pesach pancakes for an early dinner, and now I'm chasing the two little ones, rather unsuccessfully (cause I'm talking to you) off to bed.

My hands were less achy all day. Perhaps because the myriad of uses to which I put them to normally; dishes, typing, writing, cleaning toilets, just didn't come up as I was marching along for two hours (Yes, it took me about 2hrs to do 6 kilometers, that include about 20 minutes of waiting time up on the mountain. We were actually waiting for one of the other soldier's father. I could have gone on, easily. Shut up, I'm sticking to that version of truth.)

Anyway, the kiddos really do need sleep now. Actually mom needs them to be sleeping, so off I go...hope everyone had a wonderful day.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:39 PM | Comments (3)

April 26, 2005

Bad Hands Bad Hands Go to Your Room!

Several years ago the Artist came up with a brilliant idea to soothe her sister, the Moneky, whenever she bumped herself against something; she would shake her hand at the object (say a chair) and say firmly "bad chair, bad chair, go to your room." which, unless the injury were serious, resulted in peals of laughter and a happy child.

Since Pasover began, my arms have been aching like crazy. I had carpal tunnel problems in my right hand years ago, Now both hands have cramped up, the ache, which can almost bring me to tears, goes from wrist to midarm, and sometimes into my back: and yeah, typing ain't helping.

I hate this. It interferes in everything I need and want to do, from writing letters to writing my blog and responding to other blogs--even reading is a problem as I have to click the mouse to go.. (I'm taking breaks as I type this.)

Anyway, that's how life stands at the momment. Banishing them to go to their rooms didn't work. Blast it all.

On a more cheerful note, I saw this pinned to a soda-machine dispenser on the streets of Israel:
Kol Kosher L'pesach Everything Kosher For Passover.
It did give me such a kick to see that!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:10 PM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2005

Pesach So Far

The dogs peeing red (he stole a beet and ate it whole. Glad I witneessed the theft or I'd be crying to the vet right now.)

The Monkey has planted an apple seed (please grow, please grow). She has also found a diamond, Really. She insists. I adminred the stone of course and sigh over the innocence.

The Wit is off to have an X-ray. He "did something" to his ribs while on base. Oy vey. Hope he finds the place without too much trouble.

The Artist jsut woke up. Sleepy-head! Poor kid couldn't get to sleep last night. That or she was reading in bed for too long.

The Agent is still asleep. Just wait till he gets into the army!!!

And my arms are still hurting. Got to go!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2005

Another Horror Case

via Beekeeper: a child. A severely disabled child will be allowed to die if she stops breathing, against her parents will, and despite the fact that she has already defied doctors expectations in terms of development.

What do we come to when we order people to die because of how we think they must feel?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

April 22, 2005

Well, That's All Folks!

At least until after the first day of Passover. I still have cooking to do, washing the floors, dishes (actually I'm going to try and palm that off on dh and the kids) and making sure all the laundry is done. (It better be!)

For those who celebrate Passover, may you have a glorious seder! For the rest of you, have a wonderful weekend! And for all of us, may we be worthy to recieve the Moshiach (Messiah) and may peace come to our world swiftly.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:08 AM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2005

Top o'the morning to you; (Quiz Time!)

via mozemen's blues

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!

You drink everyone under the table.

Who's Your Inner European?

Now if only I could have the red hair I'd be happy.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:09 PM | Comments (2)


I overdid it. No choice really, but my right hand is now striking back; I had problems with carpal tunnel in the past -- the aches and pains have returned. Oh darling husband, do I have some work for you! (Rachel Ann smilingly presents her dh wiht stacks and stacks of dishes that need to have a yeas worth of storage dust cleaned away.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2005

Shalom! Hello! Who are you?

You come, you take a peek you leave. Without so much as a hey how are you? Well R.P. has this post, based on an idea from Mia, which she took from Eric. asking who are you? Those of you who stop and read, who are you? Are you a lurker? Do you come often? Here by accident? Just passing through? Do you blog? Do you want to? Come on and say hello; introduce yourself and give me a clue.

I'd like to know.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:58 PM | Comments (8)

I'm really getting a kick

Out of listening to old time radio stations on my 'puter while I clean. They are so over-the-top emotionally, that I often break out laughing! But I also have to admire the art that went into making these drams; the sound effects, the sylization of speech so Mr. Scott could be differentiated from Mr. Runner, even the clue-you-in music. How little they had to work with, and how much they produced, and how long lasting their entertainment value.

And they've helped keep me sane while Pesach cleaning!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:12 PM | Comments (4)

April 17, 2005

Dear Children

Ima is going to have a nice long hot bath now. Please do not disturb unless someone is on fire, bleeding profusely, or in danger of losing life, limb or major body part.

Ima is one nerve away from bansheeism.

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

Off To Read

Nothing much to read here except an annoucement that I'm coming to visit all my dear friends who I've neglected these past frw weeks. Hey, I've been busy! But my house is getting there. We are down to brass tacks now; fridge and stove. While I've been cleaning I've been listening to 365 live and enjoying some old time radio.

WOW, talk about funny! I'm getting a kick out of wh at my parents use to listen to. Some are just so corny; heavy on the morality, light on almost everything else, but fun.

See you all soon!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:26 AM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2005

I died and went to Chocolate Heaven!

Taking a break from cleaning, cooking for Shabbat and tearing my hair out to say:

White chocolate on top, dark on bottom and in between chocolate nugat. Now that is good.
If I can't lay my hands on one after I die I'll know I didn't make the cut.

Oh and a question for all my music lovers out there; what is your favorite free, online radio? I've tried Virtual Tuner, and 365: what is the best. Are there any you can access from desktop for free? I tend towards jazz and classical if that is of any help.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:24 AM | Comments (3)

April 12, 2005

Comment Party

Okay children,
Mommy has to clean for Passover now. And Mommy found out that The Artist has been shirking on homework. Mommy has lots of work to do, so she is leaving you to play nice by yourselves.

Please do not draw on the walls. Please do not throw chocolate milk on the walls. No you may not play with mommies knicknacks. And do clean up when you are done, mommy has so much to do as it is!!!

Oh, and have fun ;-)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:36 AM | Comments (6)

April 10, 2005

Looking to Purchase

Some self-confidence. I certainly don't have enough of my own. Must come in a significant quantity to help me recover from teaching/parenting failures.

Ugh; teaching does not suit me. I am not what one may call a leader. I have some good ideas on how to teach but trying to put it into action. I am dishwater fun. Yeah, that exciting.

I had this great idea for my English class. The girls. The supposedly easier (as in better behaved) kiddos. I presented my idea to a fellow English teacher. SHE GAVE IT THUMBS UP!!!! Simple idea, easy to put into play, portable game that could be used by those who were on different levels. What was this oh so exciting and fun (this woman imagined) game?

I wrote words on tongue popsicle sticks. Lots of different words. Elephant and blue and run and what not. We would build sentences with the words! I would put a sentence out and the girls would each take five sticks from the bag and make their own sentences from the words that were there. They could put the words on top of existing words or build down or what have you. If they could not make a sentence they had to take another stick. First one out won.

Yeah, they loved it. HAHAHAHAHA. The only thing more fun would have been boiling them in oil.


After a very quarter-hearted attempt at this spirited game we played our version of mother-may-on, where before they can take a whatever step forward they must spell a word or tell me which word is the adjective or what the past tense of I GIVE UP IS. (Okay, that wasn't one of the words but maybe it should have been.)

Oh well, at least I know what I'm not qualified at doing.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:42 PM | Comments (2)

April 08, 2005

Moral Question

Under what cirucmstances is it okay to break the law? I don't mean jaywalking, or grand theft auto either, I mean something in between. No, I'm not thinking about committing some criminal act, but on another list I'm engaged in a debate about a specific act that some people regularly engage in, probably equivalent to stealing a pack of gum from the store. Which leads me to the question above because I'm curious as to what everyone else thinks.

Many laws are routinely violated because the consequences are not severe enough to warrant vigilance on the part of the authorities, so the crimes continue, sometimes right under a cops nose. (like jaywalking in most places) If they are enforced it is bound to be because either there is a major clean up in the area, or because the person arrested is suspected of another crime and this is the only way to hold them.

Other's are difficult to monitor; certainly something would be done if the authorities could, but the expense in catching the criminals outweighs the cost of the crime itself.

The quesiton really resolves around what makes us act in accordance with laws we may not fully embrace and what would cause us to act against them.

So again, under what circumstances would you violate a law?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:19 AM | Comments (4)

April 06, 2005

I've Nothing To Say

And you can't make me!
Actually I have plenty I'd like to say but some things have to stay between me and the wall, so its time for one of those exciting quizes or meme thingees. Trouble is I can never find a good quiz and my mind is too full of stuff that I can't say that all other creative thoughts are bottlenecked. You didn't know that could happen did you? Well now you do!

Okay, here's the question. PLEASE ANSWER!!! Dang I always resort to begging---that's 'cause I've nothing to bribe you all with. Here tis:

Name five words you think SHOULD be in the English dictionary--you know words for things that if they have a name no one but the genius who was in your elementry school class would know.

Come on, get those creative juices going. Like I said, mine are waiting for the traffic cops to clear the accident away.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:12 PM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2005

If I'm Not Back In Two Hours

I am cleaning out the fridge today, pre-pesach preperations. If I'm not back in two hours call the cops. I'm probably being held hostage by the broccoli-cheese concoction nobody liked the first time.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

The Problem with a Good Book

The problem with a good book is deciding how to read it. Sometimes that chioice is made for you; long plane/car/bus ride and nothing else to do, or conversely: READ IN MOVING VEHICLE ONLY AT YOUR OWN RISK (or those whose laps are next to you). Time constraints and other obligations also put a damper on how long you can read.

But if you've hours ahead of you and no other issues, should you just lose yourself till the book is done? Or should you tease yourself by prolonging the enjoyment. Uh, uh, uh...only three chapters a day. Put that book down now!

Read fast and oh, the fun is done! When can you get to another good book? Slow and... well that can be agony. How can you do anything else while your waiting to find out what happened to Shaw? Does she buy it? Does she survive? And how....
Ah the sweet agony, the delicious tension, the promise that of escape all waiting for you tomorrow or later that evening....


Sorry, I can't hold out any longer.
Off to read!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:03 AM | Comments (1)


I used to be a good feminist; I saw right-to-lifers as right-to-hold a woman's womb in their greedy little hands. Pregnant? Damn well better bring that baby to term regardless of the damage it might do to the woman who was pregnant. And wasn't it cruel to keep a woman hooked up to a machine tha did her life for her? Dying with dignity, giving birth to a wanted child, these were moral rights.

Then I read the story about Amy Richards and part of me said---WAIT!! What bothered me so much about the whole incident was not so much Amy's stated reasons for having an abortion, but the comments of those woh supported her, one of whom aquaited a fetus to snot.

But still, you know, do I want those right-to-lfiers kidnapping my womb and holding it in their hands? And look what they did to that poor woman in a coma whose hope rested in an abortion. IT WAS A PRIVATE MATTER!!!! They should have left her husband, the one who loved her, alone. Let him make the decision.

And now here we are with Terri Schiavo. And it is not Michael who bothers me; ill can be said of all in the case, and much would probably be taken out of context. But the comments of others, those who support the death of Schiavo.

She is nothing. She already died. Who would want to live like that. She can't feel anything. It has been tried in various courts and all the evidence points to. It is legal. End of sentence. Period. I am reminded of the Twillight Zone episode "THE OBSOLETE MAN" So was of no use, so lets kill her.

Ignore any evidence whic would indicate she had some consciousness, such as: Nurses testimony that she could eat and did respond to pain and pleasure, other neurlogical specialist who viewed the tapes and other documents, ignore the testimony of anyone who suggested that Michael Schiavo wasn't thinking of his wife's wishes, but his own. Ask yourself; if she wasn't able to take food by mouth, why post guards to prevent the event from happening? If her parents wanted to try, or wanted to hire an nurse to help them try, what would the problem be? If she then choked, well she chocked. She wasn't "there" anyway. Furthermore ignore questions such as this: If she is dead why not simply bury her? If there is no "she" inside the body to feel pain, to recognize that the body is being entombed, why care?

And we know the answer: Because if she could feel, if we simply boxed her and buried her it would have offened the senses of most human beings. She obviously was alive. There was obviously someting inside; what this being was capable of, what this being recognized, whether this being thought of herself as "Terri" or had the mind of an infant, makes little difference. This was a human being who had not yet died. That she was a burden, well, I can not deny that she was a burden; she made life difficult for all concerned. She needed care and could not give back in a way that most of us would consider Yet, as I pointed out in another post, there are different ways of giving. Terri only gift to us was to recieve the love and care of those who were around her.

It seems to me that we have entered a culture of death, where life is not a gift from G-d, nor a presumed right, but a privelege, granted to those who pass some sort of test.

What makes us human? When does life begin? When does it end? What are the rights of humans within those parameters? When and why can they be abridged?

There are a lot of ethical questions that are headed our way, and we need to answer them.

But part of me doesn't want to have them answered; what will most people say?

Have we slipped into a culture of death?

NOTE: A recent poll indicates that most Americans are not in favor of the actions taken by Florida et al in disconnecting Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. That does give me some hope.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:34 AM | Comments (1)