May 31, 2005

What is Going Wrong?

A 12 year old girl strangles her mother in the midst of a fight about the girls messy room. A 9 year old stabs a playmate, because she wanted the ball the other child had.

What is happening to this world? How did we descend to such a little that the normal squabbles and frustrations of everyday life could result in a child committing murder.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:37 PM | Comments (7)

Teach Kids Peace

I have blogged several times concerning my abhorrence of the mistreatment of Palestinian children, how they are used as weapons, sent out to kill by those who should be protecting them, taught that death is glorious when they should be talking about how much homework they have or pretending to be artists or zookeepers, whose songs are full of murder, hate, and blood, when there is so much else to sing about.

Now there is Teach Kids Peace (from their site)

Teach Kids Peace™ is an international human rights organization dedicated to ending the Culture of Hatred that is being taught to children, and to encourage the promotion of peace education for children in conflict zones, though raising public awareness and calling on world leaders to take the required action to prevent this form of child abuse.

It is time to stop training children to become killers.
There can be no peace when the children are nursed on war.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

Tomorrow Is The Big Day

Tomorrow the Artist is off for her overnight.
Um, she's ready, I'm not so sure I am.
Putting on my happy smilely face, and I promise not to hug her as if she were going off to war.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:20 AM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2005

Are You Beating Your Wife?

It is not your fault. At least, not if you are a Palestinian. Why then, its the fault (get ready, you'll never believe this) of ISRAEL! (via an excellent post by Mark of Auterific)

Yes, feminist tried hard to make spousal abuse an excuseless crime; yes, work may stress a guy out, he still can't punch his wife because she burned the beans. Yes, maybe she did embarass him. Knocking out her tooth wasn't the proper response.

However, when it comes to Israel-- well we take the blame for any crime.
The WCLAC-Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (one office located in Jerusalem----how's that for irony?) has recently issues a press statement to wit:

Press Release Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling The Occupation, patriarchy, and violence against women 12 May 2005

Within a period of a month, five women, Shadia Jidawi from Tulkarem, Yusra Al ‘Azamy from Gaza, Faten Habash from Ramallah, Rudaina Shukirat (pregnant 8 months), and her sister, Amany Shukirat from Jabal Mukaber, were killed for challenging patriarchal norms.

Challenges to patriarchal norms, within the context of conflict and militarization, are often answered with threats of violence and in worst cases, murder. Women are invariably most vulnerable. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), the increase of violent measures against the Palestinians by the Israeli Occupying Forces has not been matched by any increased accountability to international human rights and humanitarian law. This lack of accountability and justice seeps into the consciousness of Palestinian society where some Palestinian men transfer this entitlement to commit violence to their own families in order to reassert their authority and power. These men--no longer able to find or even reach employment because of the restrictions of movement, no longer able to even feed their own families--are forced to swallow their dignity and accept help from foreign development agencies and humanitarian aid agencies. Their use of violence becomes a coping mechanism that addresses their own inabilities to perform their traditional roles as providers for their families, that addresses their loss of dignity and “manhood,” and finally, their loss of control and authority over their women.

Within this context of the systematic breakdown of social institutions and because law is not enforced, women become the tools of the patriarchal elite to reclaim their power. Traditional roles and responsibilities are further entrenched. Girls are pulled out of schools and forced into early marriage. Development of institutions, systems, and legislation that could protect women comes to a standstill. The empowerment of women becomes a threat and a liability and women’s rights organizations are vilified and seen as trivial.

It is between the forces of patriarchy and militarism that the lives of these five women and all Palestinian women are positioned and it is only through addressing and understanding these forces that we, as women’s organizations, and civil society, can hope to change the lives and futures of Palestinian women and Palestinian society as a whole.

It really isn't the fault o the guy who hit his wife, but Israel. It isn't like men in other Arab societies abuse their wives. Heaven forbid we should think like that! It isn't the Islamic/Arab culture (opposed to the religion, which is different).

It is the fault of Israel (or Zionist,or Jews. We are sort of interchangable).

Spousal abuse cuts through all religions, all ethnic groups, all socieites, and abusers will do what they have always done. Find someone, anyone, but themselves to blame. Work, their spouses poor cooking, infidelity, the bills, the guy down the street, and now, Israel. The blame game alllows the abuser off the hook, makes the abuser the victim. If the WCLAC really wants to stop abuse of women in their community they will stop pointing fingers at anyone but the one who throws the punch.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:34 PM | Comments (2)

Thank you Pam!

Of Pamibe for all the help you have been giving me with my banner. I like, I like! So nu everyone, how do you think this place is developing? Suggestions? Criticisms?

Linda, do you like what we've done with the banner? Ro, thank you again for all hte work you did for me, and for your help. And all the other's who have given me advice and help in setting up my blog.

My family doesn't understand why I like blogging so much. I think they don't understand how wonderful long-distance friends can be, and how much someone whose voice one may never hear and whose face one may never see can become so important in one's life. Friendship does not depend on distance, but on concern, caring, and the willingness to be part of another person's life.

Thank you to all who read and to all who have helped me.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:24 PM | Comments (8)

May 27, 2005

You Heard 'Em

But just in case you haven't, go ahead and read what Mark of Auterificand Joseph Alexander have to say about Bush's promise to Abbas, and ask yourself, are the Palestinans really going to spend the $50 mill on housing and infrastructure? Even if that money isn't used to directly finance suicide bombings and the like, it will certainly release more funds to the death to Israelis fund. I agree with Joseph's comparison of Bush to Chamberlain.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:07 PM | Comments (2)

Yummy Tummy!

We are having company for Shabbat. (The oldest two are vamooshing btw. This wasn't planned, it just happened). Anyway, here's what I'm serving.

1.Mediteranian carrot salad.
2.Spicy-hot olive salad
3.Fruit salad
4.Red cabbage slaw (a bit sour/salty)
5.Cole -slaw (a bit sweet)
6.sweet and sour beets
8.Cold salmon with a green sauce
9.Chicken snitzel, Italian style

You think that is enough?
I enjoy cooking/preparing food. Just don't make me bake!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2005

Quick! Quick!

1. Closet Extremist has a great debate post up. I'll be answering over there, later today, but, briefly: Johnny, Judaism doesn't really work as you describe. It is not a matter, in Judaism, of leaving it up to G-d in terms of repentence and forgiveness. One must make restitution or ask forgiveness from the person one has harmed, if a person was harmed, and making great effort never to commit that particular sin again. Of course we keep on trying and failing, but there is in Judaism, "something we can do about it." We are also suppose to be "our own worse critic".

Okay, I've got to go teach, rush home, get ready to go to Latrun (to meet the Wit once again) come home, clean and cook for Shabbat, and send the Artist off on a 10pm to 2am barbeque. The Artist, btw, is totaly psyched about going on the overnight. Kids!!!

Anyway, I know my place looks, well doesn't look so hot now (I will forbear from swearing) and I won't be able to do too much more until Sunday at the earliest. The banner is going to be my problem. The colors are, at least to me, pleasing for the most part, I need to tweak (and I would like to hear back from you how the colors and set up appears to you. The grey is going btw), but the banner....grrrrrrr...The only software I have is paint. Oh well. Linda (she made the banner in the first place), if you are reading, do you have the banner sans the green to send me? I love it, don't want to lose it, but my other computer crashed and the banner sits there, quite possibly never to be retrieved again. If I have to find another banner, I honestly don't think I can find one as lovely as you made for me. I really wanted to thank you for the work you did for me.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:41 AM | Comments (2)

May 25, 2005

Some Interior Decorating Going on Here!

Sorry for the mess, I hope it will all get cleaned up soon.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:11 PM | Comments (2)

Decided:(subtitled Please Don't Explain.)


The Artist, tears streaming down her face. I'm not going. I'll be crying the whole night. I'll go if my reward is I don't go. I'll be too afraid. Are we going to have to sleep outside? I'm too scared. I won't go unless you or Aba(father) can come.


The Artist, face all smiles I need to know what I need to bring. Toilet paper? Eww, we're going to go outside? (giggles) A cable car! I'm afraid of heights (covers grinning face). They are going to give us food? I hope it is hot lunch. Okay, bye.
as she trots off to school, permission slip in hand.

Expected after the trip

The Artist, face happy and a bit sad Why did we have to come back so soon? It was so much fun! I wish we could have stayed a week! It was the best time! Do you know what I saw?.

Ima wonders if in her next life she can come back as a bird.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:01 AM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2005

Will the Real Palestinians Please Stand Up!

If you would like a historical perspective on who the original Palestinaians were read this post by Elder of Ziyon.

thanks Soccer Dad!!!

Furthering the conversations is this post from IsraellyCool

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:49 PM | Comments (1)


I am a year old as of yesterday, my blog that is. I missed my blogversery! How could I have done that? Where are my presents? Where is my cake?

Anyway, this was my first pathetic post.

And the dh still doesn't read my blog.
Revenge tactics needed.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:56 PM | Comments (5)

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Do I insist the Artist take part in an over-night trip with her school even though she is afraid to make the trip because of her shyness, on the basis that if she doesn't she will, mess up her social life, not to mention miss a great experience that she very might well regreting if not for the rest of her life but for a number of years but if she goes she will end up enjoying herself emensely, and gain confidence in herself?

Damn, where did I leave the book of answers anyway?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:23 PM | Comments (3)

May 23, 2005

Dear Palestinians

It is not nice to blow up people. It is not nice to teach, incite or otherwise encourage your children to blow up people. It is abhorrent. Good, moral people do not employ their children as guided missiles. People who really love their children do not use their children as guided missiles. Please stop abusing your children.

a concerned mother.
(And one would hope, the rest of the world.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:29 AM | Comments (1)

May 22, 2005

Whoopee! I'm It! Someone Tagged Me

I've been tagged by Mozemen! Here's the rules if I tag you!
Pick five and fill in the blank then pass it on to three (or more!) victims friends (and no backsies!):

If I could be a scientist…
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be a world famous blogger…
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
If I could be married to any current famous political

If I could be a doctor
I would strive hard to make certain the "Golden Years" were truly golden, and not a time of fog and pain, each moment one that could be filled with joy and discovery, one where one could learn and give till the last breath.

If I could be a writer I would bring to life all the worlds that live within me; all the strange people and exotic places, setting them loose to lift the spirits of the disenchanted, to amuse the disgruntled, bring tears and smiles to those who cannot cry or smile. I would send them to live in the minds of others that they may think beyond themselves, grow and in turn help others to grow in joy and wonderment.

If I could be an innkeeper I would have a little bed-and-breakfast by the sea. I would cater to famlies with well-behaved pets, to parents and children. I would serve hearty, trusty meals, with the taste of home and love. The rooms would be large and airy, there would not be a single t.v but instead beautiful gardens, a craft shop, lots of programs for children, families and adults, and a library full of books, known and forgotten. Hot coffee, tea and chocolate would be available all the time. And at night all the lights about the outside of the inn would be low as possible, just enough for safety so that one could take moonlit walks and look up to see the stars.

If I could be a librarian I would never come home--well except for a bath. I would have programs throughout the day; music, readings, art programs.
There would be plenty of quiet nooks for a child or adult to cozy up into to read. Everything would be on one floor, the children's library in the back, on a slightly raised platform so a parent could set their child down in saftey and find a book on their own.

If I could be a painter I would paint all the scenes I have that drift behind my eyes. I would paint the woman at the door, looking outward to what I don't know. That would be for the viewer to decide. I would paint a young woman lying in bed, covered with leaves of gold and red. I would paint the white trunks of trees, peeling to reveal deep grey. A blue porch, partially viewed in front. Blues, greys and whites. Nothing more. I would paint dreams for others to dip their imaginations into, so they can cross into countries of their own making.

And I'm tagging: letter b
pincushion and Anne RobinP Muse and Meira.

Don't let me down now guys!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:45 PM | Comments (6)

You're NOT Going Out of the House Dressed Like That!

Dressing fashionably is a skill a girl begins to develop at about age 10, perfects at about 16 and, at least to hear my children, and the children of my friends tell it, loses at about the time one's child turns 16.

Most moms apparently have no taste. And while a smart parent eventually learns to tolerate, if not love, the combination of purple flowers and orange stripes (quite fashionable among the 4-6 set), teenagers are of much stronger stuff.

Moms of the teenage plus crowd have no such luck. One is obligated to stand before a tyrannical judge for complete assessment of ones dress before ever leaving the house or appearing before the child's friends. Woe to the mom who shows up at the child's school or to pick up a child from a friend's house who has made a fashion error (which is quite easy for those with children over age 14 to do.) A cardinal parental sin will have been committed. We will have embarrassed our child.

"You are wearing those glasses?" gasps the child in utter horror and disbelief. "How could you wear those glasses???? They are hideous!!!!!! And that shirt! " Here the child shakes her head and sighs, wondering how mom ever managed before said child's good sense took over, and how will mom manage alone once she, the ever capable and oh so wise daughter is gone for good, living her life in her own apartment.

Instructions are given. "Never tuck in your blouse. People over 30 should never tuck in their shirt or blouse." She intones distraught over a fashion faux pax which is, apparently unforgivable. "And never, ever by clip-on sunglasses again. EVER!!!"

The list goes on. Mom nods obediently and rearranges her wardrobe in accordance with the directives levied by her child. Of course mom can't help but to make more mistakes, or, unfortunately, to fall back upon old, bad habits, without the continuos watchful eye of her helpful spawn.

And so, inevitably, the day comes, when the child is living free and on her own.

And mom can gleefully tuck in her shirt, wear that stupid shirt again, and horror of horrors buy clip-ons.

At least until said child comes to visit.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:17 AM | Comments (4)

May 20, 2005

Pardon Me?

This headline is rather telling, isn't it?

Israel's Decision to Retaliate Returns Tension to Middle East
By Cihan News Agency
Published: Friday 20, 2005
Top-level Israeli military officers met as Palestinian armed group HAMAS attacked Jewish settlements, and decided on immediate reprisals for these kinds of attacks. Anti-Sharon slogans were chanted at the funeral of a Hamas member, who was killed by Israeli troops as Palestinian groups committed two counter attacks on Israeli settlements by using Qassam missiles. One person was injured in the attack. Meanwhile, the Israeli Military Court sentenced an Israeli Sergeant to 18 months imprisonment for killing a Palestinian trying to fix a TV antenna on a roof in October 2003.


I guess the Qassam missiles were just an attempt at a friendly conversation? There would have been no tension if Israel had just let the bombs fall and keep falling and maybe kill a few people. Nope, self-defense is evil! EVIL! At least if it is Israel defending herself.

Really Israel. For shame. Next time we are bombed, remember to send flowers.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

Run for your Lives! Ants are Taking Over the World!

At least that is the feeling you would have gotten if you stepped into my kitchen this morning. AND I WASHED THE flOOR LAST NIGHT! (And yes we sprayed). To no avail; they went after the dog food and a couple o crumbs that I had missed when sweeping.

Every day for the last couple of days we have been dealing with these creepy crawlers. Dh is out buying vinegar now; it is suppose to destroy their scent trail. Wash the floor, spray again and hope we can get rid of them.

Just what I need erev Shabbat, right?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2005

So My Girls are Blogging Now

So sorry, but you can't go read what they have to say. They've got private blogs. Please believe me when I say you are glad you can't see the Monkey's blog. Her color choice is, to put it nicely, blinding. All neon colors and they are and I think they at war with each other. May the best color win. So ar she has not written in her blog, and there is a good chance she won't her interest in blogging at this point more mimicry than desire.

The Artist, being older and more subdued, has picked colors that are a bit more harmonious. She is also writing about her daily life, occasionally, something I intend to encourage. I do hope she gets to the point where she wants to let everyone in on the thoughts bumping round in her head, but for now, it is great that she is writng. Of course pen to paper is also good, but there is something freeing, at least for me, about the internet, and perhaps there is for her as well (though she has made several stabs at the old fashioned, key bound, type of diary.)

Which leads me to a question for everyone; how many of you keep a pen and paper journal/diary? A private blog? How many of you have tried to keep a journal or diary but were never dedicated writers until you began to blog?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:36 PM | Comments (5)

Vet Set On Fire Saved By Breast Milk

and the quick thinking of women.
via the email

A Vietnam war veteran, Mr. Francis Abrams who had his wheel chair set on fire by some pieces of human trash while riding a bus in Staten Isle. The teenagers, obviously skipping school (obviously having skipped school for most of their lives), ignited a plastic bag on the back of the chair, and when the Vet, an amputee who lost his left leg (according to another story both legs) while serving in Vietnam, screamed for water, a new mom, equipped with a bottle of breast milk, and her friend, with a bottle of water, doused the flames, saving not only the life of Mr. Abrams, 57 years old, but probably a good number of the people on the bus.

The teenagers fled when bus driver pulled to a stop and called 911, but were later caught.

Okay; I am really greatful to those ladies for saving the lives of whoever was on the bus.

But what gives with those teenagers? What was the mental process mind that would allow them to even think of setting someone aflame as mere prank? And what is with the charge of arson (I agree with that one) and criminal mischeif. How about attmpted murder? Because exactly what did they think would happen to someone who was bound to a wheelchair if theycaught fire?

How does a mind reach a level so low, so discordant with common decency and human htought? How can anyone be amused by this kind of an action? What was the payback to them? What did they hope to gain?

What are these teenagers going to be like as adults?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2005

Laundry and Dishes, Laundry and Dishes

My life is being ruled by laundry and dishes. Well I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!. I have decided to take the only course left open to me. I am hiring Sydney

Wages: three square meals a day, a free trip to Israel and all the diapers she can pee up. Hey, I think that's fair! (and we have a cute, old, slobbery dog. That has got to count for something!)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005


Maybe you are pro the disengagement. Maybe you think this is the last or the latest best hope for peace in the Middle East. I of course strongly disagree with you but arguing the issue isn't my issue today.

This is: Those who are pro-disengagemetn, aren't you in the least bothered by the recent acts of our government in various forms, referred to here? Isn't there something nagging at you about the preventing of people who want to pray at the Kotel from entering if they are wearing orange? Because if it does I have a suggestion. Please think about it.

Buy yourself a nice green t-shirt. Write on the T-shirt (in white or black) DISENGAGEMENT YES! and then below, in orange write, SILENCE NO. Let those who are opposed SPEAK.

There are two issues involved here; one the question of whether the disengagement is moral and effective, and two whether the government has a right to harrass those who disagree with its action. We may disagree on the former, can we really disagree on the latter question? Because if we do disagree, what can't we say next?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:14 AM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2005

Baby Gazing

A friend had an appointment and asked me to sit for her sweet 6mn old. Hey, could I say yes fast enough? (Love cuddling babies) It started out quite fine; we played for a bit, then she snuggled down in my arms and went to sleep. After a while I managed to get her in the crib without waking up again, and I went downstairs where a stack of unanswered letters awaited. "Really" I wrote near the end of the letter "How many jobs can I get that pay me to write letters and ignore my housework?"

Just as I'm writing these words (I kid you not) I hear a bit of snuffling noises coming from upstairs. Mind-readers! I think all babies must be mind readers; se had woken up. I changed her, and she was fussing a bit, but that is fairly normal for a just woken up child, and took her downstairs.Wheree she fussed and fussed and fussed. A bottle didn't help. Playing didn't help. Singing... I think singing made it worse, but then a crow dwells within my throat and I can't blame her for that one. Finally she snuggled down in my arms again and fell asleep, allowing me to finish off the letter, (with her in my arms) read a bit and then... she woke once more. Bottle, no, snuggle no, play no. Stupid conversation about a cookbook--it looked like a good recipe (must borrow those books). I've already filled you in about singing. Dh came by with a cup of coffee for me (we live right next door) and she gave him a brief smile, then back to sad face. I went to sit out on the porch, trying to settle her (look at that pretty sky! Such intelligent conversation. No wonder she was pouting!) when mom and dad came home.

Of course to fussing. Doesn't that always make one feel good?

But she really is a sweet baby(and brainy baby. I'm pretty certain this little one was saying "mama") and I did finish off one letter amongst the many I still owe, and read a lot of great stories by R.A. Lafferty (strange writer), and for my troubles earned forty shek.

Not bad!

I'm cleaning the bathroom now. Back to my mundane world.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:33 AM | Comments (1)

Care To Comment?

What is gained by trying to force silence on those who would protest? Does Sharon and company feel these actions will legitamize the disengagement in the eyes of those who stand opposed to his actions?

Or does it make clear to those of us who are against the disengagement how very wrong it is. Make us stronger in our disenchantment with the way Sharon and company are running this country. Make us more determined than ever to raise our voices against not only the disengagement but the destruction of democracy within these borders.

Silence is not golden when wrong is before us; we can not simply shake our heads and allow wrong its say. As for those who agree with the disengagement, do you really want the above going on in your name?

Care to comment before that right is lost to us all?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:44 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2005

Doggie Woes

We have a dog. We have a very good dog. He is kind, he is gentle, and he is very, very old (almost 13). Old men often become grey. Old men often have difficulties walking. Old men often have poorer memories. Old men often are a bit leaky. And the same for old doggies.

Coming downstairs to find our gentle beast has sprung a leak is not very fun. Except for the above difficulties, he is a happy old man, and I would like him to remain a happy old man for as many months or years to come as possible.

I also don't like yellow puddles on my floors.

Dog lovers; ideas? Knowledge that you can share? What can I do aside from blocking off an area for him to remain in and covering said area in newspaper, or attmepting to diaper him at night?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:39 AM | Comments (3)

May 13, 2005

Law and Disorder

Greg of Rhymes with Right links to a case of justice gone wrong.

Summary for those who don't want to read.
Carolyn and Llyod are living together. Carolyn and Llyod decide they don't want to live together anymore. Llyod starts clearing out. In the process of clearing his stuff out he feels the need to show his now-ex what he thinks of her. He chokes her. Then leaves again, with more boxes. She does what I would have done; locked the door and armed herself. So Llyod breaks down the door and starts choking her again, at which point Carolyn shoots downward to warn him off. The bullet lodges in Llyod's pelvis and he dies from blood loss.

End of story right? She defended herself, there should have been an investigation, but "self-defense" becomes the outcome (notice broken door and chocke marks etc.) fini.

Nope, for defending herself and not becoming a statistic, the woman gets three years.

Why? According to the D.A. she could have called the police (and in the meantime he breaks in and chokes her to death) or left the apartment (where? Do you mean seeing her flee might not trigger some sort of reaction on his part?)

He BROKE DOWN THE DOOR. He had plenty of choices to. Such as calling the cops and saying; "I can't get my stuff out of her apartment." Or calling her and saying "What gives?" Or asking a mutal friend to intervene. Or getting a court order to get the rest of his stuff. Or calling her and saying "Okay, just put it out the door and I'll come and get it in an hourNo, he BREAKS DOWN THE DOOR AND CHOKES HER!

She didn't chase him about with the gun, she didn't come outside with the gun, she was in her own residence, and she had a right to defend herself. He had the choices, and when he faced a door slammed and locked in his face, he could have left.

But he broke, entered, and tried to kill her. And paid with his life.
The story should have ended there.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:26 AM | Comments (2)

I Did Better Than I Thought

via Letters from NYC comes this little quiz. I made two mistakes ; as with one of them I had checked the right answer first then reconsidered and choose the wrong answer I would say; " always go with your first instinct", but the other one I got wrong I had briefly considered changing to what would be the right answer, shooting that fish is out of the water.

Anyway, I think the quiz is more about th contest than showing great poetry knowledge, but it was fun.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:55 AM | Comments (2)

May 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Israel!!!!

Israel is 57 years old! What a great and gracious lady. I'm so glad to be in her embrace.

Happy Birthday Israel!!!

Those who haven't visited her, should. Warm, wonderful, full of surprises, she is the best place to be.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:03 AM | Comments (2)

Wish I Were The Last To Know

I want to strangle this piece of garbage.

Really, what more can be said about this monster? Why do people like this exist?

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

May 11, 2005

Erratically Yours

At least for a little while, as my computer has, I think, bitten the dust. This is my dh's computer, from which I shall have limited access. Seeing as he mostly likely had something to do with my computer biting the dust, he can't be too particular.
In any case, I shall try and stop by my own blog at least a couple times a week, but until my own is resurrected, or like a phoneix, a new one is born from the old, I shall, as I wrote in the title, be erratically yours.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:43 PM | Comments (1)

ISRAELIM, READ PLEASE! Reach Out and Touch Someone!

Or, at least I'm going to TRY and do that! Long, lost relatives, so to speak (they have always been pretty certain where they were) are living somewhere in Israel. They are my father's cousins, children of his mother's brother, who immigrated to Israel at age 19 (the brother age 19, not my father) which would make it about 1930's or something.. At this point my great Uncle, Mair Valinsky is his name, would be about 92. He had three children: Israel Valinsky, about 60 years old, Miriam (unknown married name) about 55 years old, and Moshe Valinsky, about 48 years old.

If you live in Israel and know these people, EMAIL me, please! If you have a blog and live in Israel, post this message, however you can please. I would really like to find my relatives. (If you are my relative or think you might be, EMAIL me and we'll get in touch.)

thank you!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:21 AM | Comments (6)

WHY Blog?

Via Feminist, via Trout Fishing, via For Myself and Strangers comes this series of questions. Go for it!

Sherri requests that

if you keep a weblog, I challenge/beg and plead with you to copy these, answer them, and challenge others with them. If you do it, please post a comment to let me know. I know this is ripe for humor and some of you will succumb, but I'd be curious about serious or semi-serious responses. (I'll answer these myself in another post)

Why Blog? Quiz And remember, be honest. This is for posterity...

1) Why do you keep your weblog/blog/online writing thingie: for fun, for fame, for money, for popularity, or for another more obscur reason? What about the weblog gives you what you want?

2) Imagine that your weblog becomes wildly popular: your hit counter skyrockets, your comments are overflowing, and everyone is emailing you about everything you post. Name 3 positive things that could come of this, and 3negative things.

3) What's the worst possible result you can imagine (short of being electrocuted or having your computer take over your brain, and who says it hasn't already?) from keeping a weblog?

4) What do you do to prevent that worst possible result from happening?

5) List 5 reasons that would make you stop keeping your weblog for a period of 6months to a year.

6) List 5 reasons that would make you stop forever.

7) Describe your definition of a "successful weblog".

8) Is yours successful by your definition?

9) What pisses you off most in other weblogs? What pleases you most?

10) Make a list of 10 weblogs/journal style websites that you wish your weblog/website/writing site was like.

Go on, try it.

My answers below:

1) Why do you keep your weblog/blog/online writing thingie: for fun, for fame, for money, for popularity, or for another more obscur reason? What about the weblog gives you what you want?
For pleasure. To communicate. To express myself and develop friendships with people I may never see. For many of the same reasons I penpal.

2) Imagine that your weblog becomes wildly popular: your hit counter skyrockets, your comments are overflowing, and everyone is emailing you about everything you post. Name 3 positive things that could come of this, and 3negative things.
Positive effects:
1. I well known, or even not so well known magazine or newspaper asks me to write a column for them. I become rich and famous throughout the world.
2. People start throwing roses and bowing before me wherever I go. I sign many autographs.
3. Some extremely rich, elderly person, who has no relatives, finds solace in my words, and decides to put me in his/her will. After many years of life (120) s/he dies peacefully is his/her sleep and I become a multi-millionaire, purchase and build up my house and start an orginaztion to help train and begin businesses for those who are impoverished.

Negavie effects:
1.Spam e-mails
2.Spam comments
3.Spam pings

3) What's the worst possible result you can imagine (short of being electrocuted or having your computer take over your brain, and who says it hasn't already?) from keeping a weblog?
carpal tunnel syndrome? Eyestrain? Loss of ability to communicate with spoken words?

4) What do you do to prevent that worst possible result from happening?
Pop my wrist, rub my eyes, bring a pad of paper and pens everywhere and claim I'm mute.

5) List 5 reasons that would make you stop keeping your weblog for a period of 6months to a year.
3. It starts being a pain, not fun
4. I actually do get a paid writing job and need to earn my keep.
5. Somethings I don't want to think about.

6) List 5 reasons that would make you stop forever.

1. I'm kidnapped by aliens and their computer won't talk to earths computers.
2. My hands break off and start a life of their own. ((shades of Clive Barker)
3. I become a mermaid. Computers and water do not mix.
4. The end of the world as we know it.
5. Somethings I don't want to think about.

7) Describe your definition of a "successful weblog".
Faithful readers and commentators. I think for me success would be a sustained readership of about 50 people, not that they would have to read and comment everyday, but that they would be there frequently.

8) Is yours successful by your definition?
No, not yet. Maybe it won't be, but I have a lot of good friends who read all the time and that makes me happy.

9) What pisses you off most in other weblogs? What pleases you most?
I don't read weblogs that "piss me off". If I don't enjoy the path of a weblog I simply don't read it. That doesn't mean someone else won't enjoy reading it (which is why I try not to criticize a weblob, even if I criticize a particular post.) As far as what gives me the most pleasure; it would be wit, interesting topics, something to think about, even if I don't agree with the hosts position.

10) Make a list of 10 weblogs/journal style websites that you wish your weblog/website/writing site was like.
Oh, I hate questions like this, however, if I must limit myself to 10.
1.Snooze Button Dreams (he's just fun)
2.Rishon, Rishon. I wish I could convery my religious thoughts as well as he can.
3.Alas A Blog. Even when I disagree with him, he writes well, and respectfully. I like a good debate, not slam dunking someone else's opinions into the ground.
4. A Scratched Pearl (damn good writing)
5. The Glass Wall (good writing and sketches.)
6. Light and Dark (some very interesting conversations)
7. Feminist (good writing, good topics)
8. Mozemen's Blues (and I'm jealous of her spining/crocheting/kniting abilities)
9. Random Pensees (love the cute kid stories, and great topics all around)
10.The Flying Space Monkey (because he is utterly ridiculous and laughter is the best medicine.)

It was hard to choose ten. honestly. But this is about style, not just substance, and while I quite enjoy othe blogs the style is not something that I ever feel I could emulate no matter how populare it is. It is just not the style for me.
now you go ahead and try.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:47 AM | Comments (3)

May 10, 2005

And Now Some Words From My Cousin

This is a letter, published in the Jeruslaem Post, by my cousin who is living in Gush Katif, she prays, for many years to come. Yishar kocach Oreet!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:24 PM | Comments (1)

Yom Hazicaron

Today is Yom Hazicaron, (from sundown tonight till sundown tomorrow)Israeli Memorial Day, when we give thanks to the countless young men and women who gave their lives so that we can live.

The Yishuv gathered at the kicar (traffic circle)at the entrance to the Yishuv , shivering in an unexpected cold snap, our eyes on the speakers stnding beneath the olive tree planted in memory of one young man from the Yishuv killed by terrorist several years ago.

Prayers were said, speeches given, and a statement of hope that we may soon see a time of peace, where no more need die.

That is our ardent wish; to live in peace, in our land, free from fear.

May we all live to see the coming of the Moshiach (Messiah) and may peace come to the world.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:21 PM | Comments (0)

Blog Hop

via Pax Nortona and Alas a Blog (for the links)

Joel had me hopping over to
Lauren to learn why she isn't blogrolling anymore.

She (partially based on a post by Shelley)
makes some good points, and a blogroll, to have one or not, is a personal decision. I have peoiple on my roll who I enjoy reading, even though they don't have me on their roll and even if I disagree with their writings. Interest, that the person has something to say, is what encourages me to put them on my roll, not "group think".

HOWEVER, I think to toss the blogroll based on Shelley's original argument is flawed. To me this is a case of throwing the "baby out with the bathwater". True, the biggies get tagged a lot, but it is via blogrolls and the ecosystem that I have found some of my favorite blogs. Some are quite popular writers, others are "low men on the totem poll." What I care about, rather egotistically, is if they interest me, not the rest of the world. But I wouldn't have had found many of them simply by reading another's blog or doing a google search.

Ampersand directed me toward things I would rather not have read. I know, head in the sand is not good, but sometimes Amp, I'd like to bury my head.
These are horror stories, real horror stores, the kind that leave me feeling hopeless.

A post about the
abuse of children
sanctified by no god that I would believe in via Echinde of the Snakes.
And abuse of a mother and her children by the courts.

There is a lot more out there to digest, but my stomach is churning. Abuse is horrific, when sanction by those who should be ending it, it is a great evil.
The question is, what can we do? Those in the USA may have some means of protest. Go to the jail where that woman is or was incarcerated, disrupt the court trials of the offending and offensive judge, keep up a letter campaign until the judge is disbarred and the children given to their motehr, write to every paper in the city of the "religious leader" who recommends abusig children as a method of discipline and demand that whatever shelter he is running be turned over to an actual human being. But will that really help?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2005

Hafganah!!!! (Protest) For Teachers

The Misard HaHinoch (Education Ministry), in its infinite wisdom, seeks to fire 4,500 teachers from its payrolls.

Exactly who and what services are they going to cut? My daughter's class is about 30 or so girls. This is normal. There are classes that reach 40 in some parts of the country. Will classes now reach college-size proportions? Or do they seek to cut the arts, music, sports and other "non-essential" departments, essentially leaving children with a gaping hole in knowledge and development? Not to mention the fact that these "non-essential" classes provide a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as a possible avenue of revenue, for those students who are less academically inclined.

Will parents have to make up for the shorter hours by scrambling to find babysitters and alternative, paid for care, so they can continue to work and support the family? Or will children, young children be left alone for a large part of their day? By how much will the welfare rolls be increased? Charities are already stretched beyond their means? What will happen to the children, and the dependents of these teachers who are counting on their parents' salary, often mother's salary, to keep their heads above water?

This is one of those "penny wise, pound foolish" concepts. I hope it remains just an idea and, for the sake of all, remains just a silly idea that someone once had, and is less to molder in a folder somewhere on the shelves in the Misard HaHinoch offices.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:25 AM | Comments (1)

May 08, 2005

Happy Mom's Day Mom!!!!!!

Thanks for being there, even when I didn't want you to be.
Thanks for teaching me right from wrong.
Thanks for the nights you stayed up when I couldn't sleep, because I was sick or sad.
Thanks for giving, and giving without thought to your own need.
Thanks for being my mom.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

Here's a Beautiful Mother's Day Message

To all the moms who chose life.

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

May 07, 2005

I'm Selling

A piece of Challah bitten by Kid Caesar (my dog). Opening bid at $10.00 (USD) plus shipping and handling. I do not guarantee the Challah (bitten by my dog Caesar) will arrive in unmolded condition. His saliva will most likely have dried by then. It may even be stale. It may be in crumbs. But I fgure if has about as much value as this.
via balloon juice.

Next week I'll be selling some bottled Isareli air, and some bottled sand from Israel. Both opening bid for both, $15.00 (USD, plus shipping and handling). Bid now and you get them for only $10.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:13 PM | Comments (2)

May 06, 2005

The Forgottten Rachels

This is an excellent rebuttal to all the swooning tBritain is doing over the hate-monger Rachel Corrie.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)

Is this not Are ther more?

I think this is the ultimate in Chutzpah.
I also wonder if these two were acting alone or there is something more nefarious to their presence in a land they hate.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005


Yom HaShoah

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

My Day

1 Discovered that potato crisps and vanilla pudding tastes good (one of my students was eating this combination)
2. Found out I'm not teaching tomorror (and I didn't teach today) Glad someone gave me advanced warning!
3. Walking home bumped into a friend and found an hours cleaning job. Thirty five shek isn't anything to laugh at!
4. Got the mail, and a penpal letter, with stickers! YEAH!!!
5. Finished cleaning and started home, met a woman struggling with her bags, so I grab one, and found that she lives in the house with the garden I so love. She showed me around her garden and I got to taste all her wonderful fruits and she plucked me the sweetest smelling rose and another flower. Truly, a taste of Gan Eden.
5. Lost my stickers, probably on my garden tour. Oh well.
6. Got home, ate pizza and rice (yeah I know, more weird food combinations).
7. Dh went to meet the Monkey after school and send her home (he goes off to work) he also bought her a treat (going back to school was a bit tough on her). I went to wait for her on top of the "fifty stairs".
8.Dh calls and says the Monkey and the Monkey's friend were on the way home.
9. Another of the Monkey's friends past me by. She told me sometimes her finger hurt and sometimes her thumb hurt right here. I took this to be a hidden message telling me that someday I would be rich and famous. Don't ask the connection, it is either too complicated or too simplistic for anyone but me to understand.
10. Monkey and friend show up, finally. Mom suspects playing in the play ground, but Monkey tosser herself into moms arm and all was forgiven.
11. Monkey and friend have party. Monkey orders up a feast. I limit her to chocolate milk and her snack. Mean mommy.
12. Monkey's friend's mom comes. Mommies talk. Mommies talk about how to redo Rachel Ann's kitchen so she doesn't overwhelmed.
13. Rachel Ann's private student comes; 1/2hr late. Rachel Ann has sort of stopped expecting this girl to come because she is either late or doesn't come all the time. But Monkey has a return visit to Doctor in 1/2 hr. Rachel Ann will tutor for 1/2 hr.
14. Monkey and Monkey's friend drive Rachel Ann crazy while she attempts to tutor. Rachel Ann attempts to tell the story of Goldilocks and the three bears in English and Hebrew, and tries to teach her pupil about ten new words. Is this really working? She wondersr? SHe is pretty certain we got the words "girl" and "boy" down. Maybe "chair" and "bear" too.
15. Monkey and Monkey's friend and Mommy all head for the doctor, lets call it near running. Luckily along comes a car and gives us a lift. We are only there 10 minutes late. And the nurse made sure to hold that time for us.
16. Monkey's throat is better; but Monkey's ears need cleaning and the the doctor starts talking about a blood test. Anemia. Monkey has a heart murmur. Mommy is not happy to hear these words, and she will worry for the next however many days till something is definitive.
17. Moneky and mommy and Monkney's friend leaves, Monkey's friend goes home. Rachel Ann's hat flies off. and she tosses her hands ineffectively over her head until she realizes she has a hood and can cover her hair that way. Monkey retrieves Monkey gets hat.
18. The Artist calls. Says she has a problem. Mommy doesn't need more problems. The problem is that the door was open and the dog is gone.
19. Luckily the dog is easily found.
There is still more left to the day, but it better be filled with sitting around and being dull.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:16 PM | Comments (2)

May 03, 2005


I followed a link on inblognito to here. WOW!!!!! If she wrote my history books I'd know a lot more about the past now.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:05 PM | Comments (3)

The Best Parenting Advice

New mom/expectant moms and dads, read "">this before you pick up any other parenting book. You won't be steered wrong.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

Maybe it is the Medicine

Maybe it is the medicine, or the pain (she has both strep and the fungus infection), or a combination, but for the past four days the Monkey has woken with one of these.

She isn't the best of sleepers; sleepwalking is not uncommon with her, and usually occurrs because she has to go to the bathroom but hasn't quite woken fully yet, and she has had episodes of night terrors before. I think she actually sleeps more deeply than most do, and so isn't able to rouse herself fully when necessary, and perhaps this is a contributing factor toward both states.

But she hasn't had only one night of regular sleep since Friday night. Two nights ago was the worse; the look on her face was such pure terror it chilled me. What was she seeing behind her eyes? What monster was threatening her?

It is so hard to deal with night terrors because one's natural impulse is the wrong one; if first attempts at calming don't help (her crying could be a simple nightmare) silence, and just lying beside her, touching her lightly or not at all is the best response. No talking, no hugging, many times rubbing her back or shushing sounds are the wrong choice. To have you child screaming and staring out at you and not being able to pull them onto your lap and snuggle close is a nightmare in and of itself, but touching only brings kicks and more screams.

Last nights episode lasted about 1/2 hr, though it seemed longer, and ended with her wanting to go to the bathroom, and snuggling down beside me in bed, finally drifiting off to sleep once more.

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

May 01, 2005


To whomever invented Daktarin, that wonderfully yucky tasting balm, that has seemed to have worked magic after just one dose. The Monkey, after more then 24 hrs of non-eating and drinking nothing more than water is eating rice, and now wants tuna fish.

mom is glad.

This does mean of course that the next two days she is home are not going to be quiet ones.

Oh the laundry doesn't get done.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)

Oh and Before I Go

Ten points to the one who guesses the author and book of the quote below. What will ten points get you? TEN POINTS! What, doesn't that make you feel honored?
(and yeah, I'm stealing the idea from Jim Look to the right and a bit down on his blog.)

Here's the quote:

"To my mother the world was a vast quilt whose stitches were always coming undone. Her worrying somehow worked like a needle, tightening those dangerous seams."

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:17 PM | Comments (4)

I Really Didn't Want to Know

So Friday the Monkey says her throat hurts; but she is eating and drinking and running about---mom says DRINK WATER. Friday night as we sit down to the meal s he complains that her throat hurts, and this time there is some pow to it; she isn't eating. Not even Moms delicious and oh so nutritious chicken and matzah ball soup.

She isn't playing and running about; she is moping and lying on the couch. Ze lo normali (That isn't normal) for this little imp.

Later she is warm. She is in a lot of pain, tired, but can't sleep. She wakes five or six or seven or I lost count times during the night.

We take her to a nurse Shabbat morning (went to the woman's house) She sees no red, but does see pus: "Bring her in Sunday." We bring her in Sunday, but the doctor is not there till this afternoon. I bring her in the afternoon; and we wait, and wait. Finally, about 40 minutes later we see the doctor..

From the bloomin' water bottle!
And Ima kept telling her to drink.

7 days on Augmentum, 4 days on this cream that I have to rub, or get her to rub on her lips, mouth and tongue (and oh she so loves this stuff! That's sarcasm by the way folks) AND 2 days out of school, I have to bring her back on Wednesday.

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:10 PM | Comments (1)