October 31, 2005


Do me a favor and go to Esther's (0f Outside the Blogway) and look at the pics of her vacation.
Now wouldn't you like to see some of them on a postcard (or a poster)? I particularly like the one with the ocean and the tree, and the mountain.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The Monkey stopped off at a friends house after school (another of those things I wouldn't have allowed to occur in the USA) called me to let me know where she is and asked if she could stay.

"Yes, but you have to walk home by yourself."
Pause: "What?"
"You have to come home by yourself."
"Maybe N's Ima can walk me home."
"That wouldn't be fair. You can walk home by yourself."
"But I don't know the way."
Ima thinks. "Can you get to the park?"
"Can you get home from the park?"
"Okay, then go to the park and then come home."
"Okay. I'll walk to the park and then home!"
Child happy, mom happy.

Why can't all my problems be so easily solved?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:26 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 30, 2005

Another 16 year old Needs Our Help

16 year old Tziviya Sariel has been in jail now for 2 months for protesting the expulsion of Jews from their homes and having the audacity to call for judgement by a Rabbinical court rather than a secular court.

A petition on her behalf can be found here.

Where are the world wide protests? Condelezza Rice, have you nothing to say? Amnesty International, here's your chance. Feminist? Leftist?

Come on, voices ON.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 29, 2005

Ah, the Joys of Mommyhood

There is nothing quite like the odor of vomit now is there? So much fun to clean up! Yes, like I said, nothing quite like it.

(sigh) The Artist is the one who is sick. The Monkey is rather nervous about walking to school alone tomorrow, so mom will accomapny her part way.

My alter-ego is grinning like an idiot. My alter-ego lives in a two story house, five rooms, one room completely dedicated to books. She has a creek in her backyard, a little black and white terrier, and a silver grey cat. She never has to clean up someone else's anything. She never has to put away someone else's junk. Her house always smells of laveder and citrus. She knows how to bake bread. She is neat and orderly. She is confident about aging. She is everything I am not.

Poor thing.

No one put their arms around her today and declared her the best mom in the world.

So I'll let her smile, I know who is rich.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

And You Know Why They Kill Don't You?

Five people are killed by a terrorist bomb in an open air market in Hadera.
Three are killed by a drive by shooting in Gush Etzion

But of course it is Israel's fault. If we didn't build the security fence and stop potential murders average, good natured citizens who wouldn't hurt a fly, from coming in there wouldn't be all this nasty killing business. If we would just open up those borders a little bit like Condi wants there would be many more dead but they would just be Jewish dead so who cares things would all be so nice and peaceful like a graveyard sunshiny and happy.

And I've been thinking; maybe they are right. And maybe, just maybe we wouldn't have murders, and rapes, and thefts if people were just a little more trusting a little more willing to open their doors to any old who walking the streets. Lets shut down the prisons; an obvious start to ending crime (according to Condi and MK P.S). And, to show their unwavering support of this most logical reformation process, to become role models for peace, Condi, P.S. please invite a couple of murders/thieves and what not to your residences. Make certain to use your best silver and china, you wouldn't want them to get the idea that they aren't trustworthy now would you, and don't lock your door when you go to sleep, and if they happen to kill you or your loved ones, make certain to put the blame where it belongs. On someone else. And invite, or in your will, encourage your loved ones to invite, more such wonderful people in.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:10 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

Reverse Pantology

Back in August, when the sun was hot and the living was easy, we, meaning dh and the girls, made a stop at the local (and fairly new) mall for all their back to school needs. Well, not exactly all, they still need winter stuff, but enough to get them started.

One pressing requirement; underpants. We got them each six pair new.

But, poor Tehila! She found so many faults with her new ones; they were uncomfortable, they pinched, they gave her a rash. They were bigger than the old pairs, and I tried lots of things to make them more comfortable--stretching them and washing them and tossing in fabric softener.

But alas and alack to no avail. Comfortable undergarments are a must, imho, and I sympathised, so we figured another trip to the store. Then today I pulled out a pair of her new ones, handed it to her and she gave a cry...

Here, I said, and stretched them hard. It seemed to help somewhat but;

Look she said, quickly getting out of and then back into her panties, but this time with the back to the front.

The label, sewn into the back was scratching and irritating her.

Well, then wear them inside out."

"Inside out?" she asked me increduously.

Voila! Problem solved. They are as comfortable as her own pair.
The solution was there all along; easily solvable when we had correctly named the problem in the first place.

Like a lot of life's problems.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 23, 2005


When we were in the States there was a cartoon about a little girl who loved pets way too much. Lets say she loved them to death.

I think the cartoon has come to life.

Poor Shiny, poor Chamomile! The Monkey loves them so much, she can't stop herself from picking them up and carrying them everywhere! Their faces take on this "why me" look, and if they weren't both sweet and gentle animals I would fear for my daughter's skin!

Shiny will have some respite; she goes home tomorrow. As for Chamomile, well a cat is wise and keeps her hiding places secret; there are places my loving daughter can't get.

She'll learn. She isn't cruel, just a wee bit enthusiastic. And the animals do realize they are loved.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

Things NOT to Do

Do not, when the dog you are babysitting comes yapping up the stairs at 4 in the morning, toss on your robe, forgetting a scarf or your glasses thinking joyously "She woke us before she peed the floor! She woke us before she peed the floor!"
She or your own dog has already peed the floor. Right before the front door.

Do not, having found your feet and the cuff of your pants wet, decide to let the dogs out on their own recognizance, forgetting first to check to make certain the gate is closed. You will find yourself, in lieu of a scarf, tossing on your hooded sweater (which makes quite a fashion stament when worn over a robe which you must hold shut with your hand) and blindly (as you are without glasses) rush after said dogs. You will find they are quite fine.

You however, have stepped into something else they left behind.

This is not the best way to begin a morning.

Trust me, I know.

In good pet news; Shiny made no more mistakes this morning, and slept in my bed. Chamomile has fully accepted Caesar, rubbing herself against his nose. Caesar, who is too dumb of a dog to ever really realized he had not been fully accepted in the first place, accepeted his acceptance with equanimity and grace.

Shiny is still unloved by Cham however.

In good and bad news about Chamomile; "the cat came back". We have been desperately trying to keep her an inside cat for her own protection. But it is good to know, as my dh found out this morning when she joined him on the cot in the Succah, that she will come back to us if she manages to get out. Despite the presence of an interloper.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Kni(tit)ed Wonders

What a great, slightly zany idea. For those who have had breast cancer, and lost a breast to cancer, or for the loved ones of the same.

I like her idea of writing on the stones....

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

Oh And In A Further Bid

To prove our insanity, we have taken on, for the duration of Succot, a lovable, old (14 years) small, white dog named Shiney. She is the dog of our Rabbi and wife, who are going away for this holiday season.

Caesar, who is fairly indifferent to anything except food, wagged his tail, sniffed him, and promptly took his nap.

Chamomile was a bit more put out. She approached him from the back, her eyes wary, her tail bottled up and ready for anything the dog might do. Shiney, didn't seem to notice. She came up closer, approaching the face. This is where I became a bit weary; I did not want to have to call a vet for an emergency eye problem! She sniffed, Shiney trembled. Really, all these cowardly dogs! She sniffed, Shiney wagged her tail; a new friend perhaps? She sniffed, made feints toward her, hurried back, went into the attic, mewled at us for our audacity to bring this interloper into the house. Wasn't she Mistress now? Did we ask her permission? Came back, came close and decided Shiney just wasn't worth the bother.

She is still not thrilled but has returned to one of her favorite nesting places in the attic, showing us that she is no longer too disturbed by our lack of good sense.

But what can one expect from a human?

Fewer kids, more animals.

My son the Wit has decided that I'm destined to become one of those "crazy old ladies with 14 cats. And do you know what happens to those ladies? They die, and no one knows it, and the cats eat them after a few days...."

I'm glad he has told me this; now I can start complaining that he never calls even while he still does!

Roast is in the oven, meatballs are done, borscht actually came out good (yeah me!!!) Just need a salad and we are all happy.

Chag Sameach everyone

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So What is Behind The Expulsions

According to Mozeman's Blues cupidity. Avarice. Greed. The worshiip of money.

I'm sickened. I think she has a valid point. Realize that those who lost thier homes, while getting compensation, are still paying off their mortgages (those who were renting do not receive any benefits) and her assessment makes clear a lot of issues that had been troubling me.

It brings to mind something I learned in this last weeks parsha; we enjoy the beauty and wealth of Israel when we keep the Torah. But when we worship false gods, and I see "Hollywood and gold" as false gods, we are invaded. G-d will never desert us, and this land will once again be ours forever, but how we punish ourselves with our denial of what G-d wants us to do.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 16, 2005

I Think I'm Giving Up On The News

Really, reading articles like the one I linked to below make me so ill. I don't see how anyone thinks one can deal with poisoned minds like this. It also makes me wish I never read such stuff in the first place. I wonder if it is better to be stupid. My stomach aches, I become testy and tearful. I would rather live in the delusion that the Palestinian loves his/her children the way I love mine, but I can't. Maybe at one time I could but there are only so many excuses one can give a group of people before you realize the evil is so deeply entrenched that you are dealing with a society of evil doers.

It is the holiday of Succot and I'm supppose to be entering the week with joy and instead there are images of death and murder and innocent children used by those who should protect them.

I am going to print out a sudoku, my newest hobby, and ignore the world for awhile.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So Once Again the Question Is

How did leaving Gush Katif (leaving many of the refugees homeless even now) bring us more security?

For that matter, how have the Palestinian people benifited?
Anyone want to trust such pieces of garbage raise your hand. I'd be glad to help them over to your neighborhood.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Succot Menu!

So here is what I'm cooking for Succot:

Evening menu:
Kubah in a vegetable soup
Roast and potatoes

Borscht with potatoes and cucumbers and scallions
Meatballs with cabbage and potatoes

Yeah, boring I guess. I don't do themes. I really have to learn to get more creative.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

Post Yom Kippur Update

Here's how my YK went:

The Monkey somehow managed to blow out the yartzheit candle we had going so we could make Havdalah at the end of the fast; so after the fast I borrowed a light from a friend, which meant I had to do the silly walk all the way down the block. (The silly walk is where you cup your hand around the flame, constantly turning your back against the wind, eyes on the wick and with a lot of prayer in your heart that the light does not get blown out. Which it almost did. Twice) We, as in I, but really I will try and find someway to blame husband and kids, managed to forget to shut the oven. Just what one wants over a fast, heat.

I did not fast well and did not spend most of the time in shul. I was feeling cold sitting outside, in the sun. I was also feeling very shakey. I decided it was better that I feel shakey and cold under the covers in my room rather than in shul, so I was home most of the day.

I broke the salt shaker trying to chase the cat off the table. We can not keep salt shakers for more than a few months. Something always happens to them. They break, we lose the little pluggy thing which probably has a name other than pluggy thing but I don't know what it is, or aliens from the planet Catapata steal it for their ghastly rituals. Whatever, haven't a set at the moment for either milchigs or fleshigs and I like salt and pepper shakers.

The cat is a monster. She loves to attack my hands. This makes it hard to sleep at times. She is also a sweetie pie and comforted me while I wasn't feeling well by curling up and purring in my arms while I rested. A cats purr is something special, especially from this cat who is more of a rough housers than a sit and look queenly type.

The dog managed not to pee on the floor, at least that I know of, which is good.

Now for Succot. WHAT AM I GOING TO SERVE!!!! My oldest son will be in the army, but he is coming home Chol Hamoed after his tekes celebrating the completion of his sheryon (tank)training. He will have about 10 days, most of whch he will spend with friends most likely.

dats all folks! I'm sure there is more but really I was kind of in the out of it state today.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 12, 2005

g'mar vhasimah tova

May everyone be inscribed for a good and healthy year, of body, mind, heart and soul. See you on Friday I hope!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2005

I Guess I Owe Her A Debt of Thanks

I was downstairs in the kitchen, turned about and saw the cat in the sink licking at the dishes. I guess she heard me gripping about the to the ceiling stack.

Yes I tried to take a pic, but couldn't find the camera.

You'll have to take my word on it; it was very cute.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Words of Wisdom

Aharon Benjamin posted the prayer below, and its explanation, in response to another person's blog. I agree with him whole-heartedly. As he doesn't seem to have a blog I'm just linking to his profile.

Prayer for Redemption

Psalm 104: Let Sin be Uprooted

Rabbi Meir, the second century Talmudic scholar, had a serious problem. The thugs in the neighborhood were making his life miserable. Desperate for a way to escape their harassment, Rabbi Meir decided that drastic measures were called for. He decided to pray that the ruffians would die.

But Rabbi Meir's wife, Bruria, wasn't pleased with this solution. Bruria quoted to her husband the verse in Tehillim:

"Let sins be uprooted from the earth, and the wicked will be no more." [Psalm 104:35]

It doesn't say "Let the sinners be uprooted", Bruria pointed out. It says "Let the sins be uprooted." You shouldn't pray that these thugs will die; you should pray that they should repent! And then, automatically, "the wicked will be no more".

Rabbi Meir followed his wife's advice. Sure enough, the neighborhood hooligans changed their ways, due to the scholar's prayers.

Why didn't Rabbi Meir think of his wife's sensible solution himself?

Rabbi Meir was keenly aware that people have free will to choose between good and evil. Otherwise, how can we be held accountable for our actions? An essential aspect of the universe is humanity's freedom to act.

If so, thought Rabbi Meir, what use is it to pray that these gangsters should repent? After all, it is a basic principle of the world that God does not deny or limit free choice. And these fellows have already chosen their path - one of violence and hatred. So what good could such a prayer accomplish?

Bruria, however, had greater insight into the souls of their unruly neighbors. There is no wicked person who wouldn't prefer to follow the path of righteousness. The wicked are just misled and coerced by their evil inclinations. No one is absolutely corrupt, to the extent that he cannot be influenced to improve his ways.

Bruria understood the greatness of the human spirit, which God created upright and good. We cannot alter the basic nature of the soul. Given this kernel of good planted in the soul - even in the most hardened criminals - it is logical to pray for Divine assistance that these people should succeed in breaking the shackles of their evil inclination. Such a prayer is like praying for the sick, who are incapable of healing themselves, despite their great desire to be healthy.

Perhaps this is why the verse Bruria quoted ends with the exclamation, "Let my soul bless God, hallelujah!". The soul thanks God for its portion: for being created with Divine wisdom and integrity, so that it cannot be totally corrupted and destroyed. Only the sins may be uprooted, and the wicked gone. But the soul, created by Divine light, will live forever.

[adapted from Ein Aya vol. I, p. 48 on Berachot 10]


Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 09, 2005

The Quake

I didn't read about this till just now. What is happening? My prayers with everyone there.

Too much, this is too much. This is way beyond normal.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ennui alert

What's going on in the world? What's going on in my life? I just feel like answering like my daughter The Artist answers when I ask her what she did at school today. STUFF.

I'm having trouble getting worked up about Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Repentence and my mind should be flowing to all I've done wrong and what I can do to right it and be better but instead I just feel like writing G-d a note and saying "Can I get back to You on this?"

The vet is coming tomorrow. The cat will thus be protected against rabies, and we will find out for certain that she is not pregnant already. I doubt she is pregnant but you never know! The family that had her before us claimed she had a boyfriend.

Maybe he'll be able to prescribe that little stop peeing on my floor pill for Caesar, and give us advice on what to do with Caesar's deteriorating eyesight. Also, what to do with Caesar when he has gone to the great beyond. Sounds morbid to ask but better now than when confronted by the fact. Anyway, the bill is going to make my eyes fall out. Anyone wants some pencils?

Job propects are low despite the wonderful help I've recieved from a reader of this blog. Not her fault, just not that many jobs to go around. I keep getting little bitty jobs here and there but so far no real bites (except from the cat). I am also kind of depressed about most likely having to take a job that I know doesn't suit my personality; the office lady type of thing. I really want a job helping people...I thought I had a possiblity for one, but no. Oh well, got to keep trying!

So that is life summary for October 9, 2005.

Yeah, see what I mean?


Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 07, 2005

Woke Up this Morning at 4am

The girls had a special thing going for school. They were to meet at the main Synagouge for Selichotprayers---a special group of prayers said during the time before Rosh Hashanah and in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

For the last two years Esther had gone to the Kotel to say the prayers, along with all grades from 3-6, but this year, because of budget issues, the girls were unable to attened. That gave Tehila a chance to go as well. The only problem was I didn't know about it till last night at about 8:30! I would have sent them to bed a lot earlier had I known, but they had decided to stay by a friends house till the fast of Tzom Gedaliah (handy link if you want to know more!) And then, partially owing to catitis (otherwise known as nocturnal animals such as cats really enjoy jumping attacks on one's arms while one is trying to sleep.) and partially on my part because I fell asleep in the afternoon during the fast.

Waking at that hour wasn't a lot of fun, let me tell you; and I think it worse for the fact that I only cat napped. I"m still groggy and it is 8:30. The girls won't be back until about 10; they'll pray and then have some sort of program and a meal. I have to get Shabbat cooked, something I would have normally started earlier in the week, but there was Rosh Hashanah and the fast.

Oh well....both boys were home for the holidays and that was nice. We had a lot of laughs and good food. And as tonight is Shabbat I'll get lots of resting in during the afternoon.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 02, 2005

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

According to Jewish belief Rosh Hashanah is the New Year for all the world; the time when everyone and everything is judged and our fate written down (and sealed on Yom Kippur).

Hence I wish to all my friends and readers, regardless of faith or belief, a year of joy and happiness, good health of body, mind, heart and soul, and enough money that you can have security and a bit of fun.

I pray that the world has peace and this year be the year of the Redemption.

I'll be back after Rosh Hashanah. Till then

L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem"

be well,
Rachel Ann

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

We've Got a Cat alright.

My feet were attacked as I went to sleep, my daughter's as she woke up and stretched.
There was a crash from the bathroom as she knocked off a container of stuff from the back of the toilet.
She got into my thread.
Arms make a good teething room (apparently).

Chamomile Quotes.
"Hmmmmmmmm...that soup tastes good. Oh, was that yours? Naturally I thought it mine. Where is mine? I don't see cut glass bowls anywhere."

"I see you have a DOG. Really, I must share my quarters with a DOG? Hmmmmph. Can't wait to jump on him and scare him half to death."

"My pillow. I have no idea where yours is."

We also have a cat in sink pic which I will post and send to the site as soon as someone shows me how to upload it from the camera to the computer.
Hopefully sometime before she turns six.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack