October 31, 2006

Does This Count as a Blog Entry?

I'm totally exhausted.
I slept well last night, basically a good 7 hours or so.
I woke exhausted.
I worked exhausted.
And I'm falling asleepppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp
as I type.

I think I need intervenous coffee.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:32 AM | Comments (923) | TrackBack

July 18, 2006

My MARRIED Daughter

Made me promise not to stop blogging. EVER. Well okay, as long as my mind and arms hold out I'll try, but I'm not promising to write from beyond the grave.

So what can I talk about? The war....told you where to go for that, and basically things are status quo here; my immediate family is safe, my people are not, there's not much I can do but pray. I'll let you know what is happening to my sons when I know. Right now one is in the Jordan Valley and the other near Tel Aviv.

I'm working as hard as I can to keep us moving backward, finacially, as slow as I can. I'm not sure it's working. There is laundry everywhere but where it should be; in drawers and closets. Dishes are having children. Toys are rioting.
As I said, status quo.

So what else is happening at our happy household?

Today we, meaning The Artist and The Monkey and I, met up with some homeschooling families. That should give you all a clue as to the educational direction we may take come Fall. We aren't positive yet...but the families were a wonderful mix of people, and The Monkey eventually warmed up and spoke and played with others. The Artist of course did not. It will take several such outings to get her to actual voice the words HELLO!!!!

I kept trying to get her lips and vocal chords and lungs to move in unison and the others moms told me, nicely, that maybe I should just step back, and to tell the truth if it were someone else's kids that's what I would have told them. Give her time, give her space and she'll start mingling...but it being my kid and all it is hard to step back and chill. Next time in I'll just have to pretend she isn't mine and take the advice. We shall bring a book for her to read and one of the moms is going to bring her a Nancy Drew book. That brought smiles. She, the she being The Artist spoke through me...at 5 this was cute, but it bothers me at 12....step back mom and breathe deep.

Can we ever really disconnect as parents and stop trying to mold and grow? Putting those two words together doesn't sound to hot...but you all know what I mean. Can't stop trying to make it better, trying to get them to appear to others as perfect as we know they are.

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Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2006

What's up with us

Well I guess just read the news. We are not in the north and there are no bombs flying here, but I've two sons in the army and yeah I'm worried. One was briefly moved to the Lebanese border but then moved down south again. The other is in a state of readiness.

I'm praying for the safety of my sons and the rest of those in Israel. I'm not doing anything different than millions of other moms and dads.

I want my sons safe, but I also want this threat stopped and now, or no one will ever be safe.

So...I just want Israel to go in and do what she has to do and not worry or give a damn about the opinion of any country/leader or other being, except for G-d.

My Hashem protect us and defend us.

That is my prayer and that is where we are.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2006

Interesting Quiz

Music and personality

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2006

Funky Radio

One of the things I do while working, to keep myself from going absoulutely nuts I listen to radio programs. One of the new stations I've been listening to is DECODER RING THEATRE via podcast. I've listened to two funky shows: the Red Panda, 50ish superhero with his sidekick, the Flying Squirrel, and BLack Jack Justice, the hardboiled detective and his right hand, Trixie, the Girl Detective. Think 30's all the way.

Fun, funky and just too good to be true. So swing on by and get an earful.

Oh, and if you listen to radio programs, versus music on the internet or talk shows etc, tell me what they are; blasts from the past or lightspeed future, they give me a kick and help me work faster.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

The Cat House Down The Street

When I was about 11 or so my cat had kittens. Three I think, but I can't recall for certain. The time came as when kittens no longer needed mom and the parents (mine, not the kittens) needed a bit less expenses. So we did what every child is made to do in that situation; we put the kittens in a box and went door to door with the hopes (on the part of our parents at least) that a combination of pathos and winsomeness would induce some poor, sentimental fool, to take at least one of the kittens off our hands.

Door to door we went, without much luck, until we reached one house where, though refused, the lady of the house suggested "That house around the corner. I know she has a few cats; perhaps she'll be willing to take in another." Unfortunately there was no answer and we returned with three still unwanted kittens. Not to worry, I assured my mother "The lady that has a cat house down the street wasn't home, we'll try again and maybe she might take one."
Luckily the plate my mother was holding wasn't so important.
Then she explained the meaning of the phrase I just used and why it was inappropriate to our neighbors/

Flash forward about 37 years, to our home here in Israel, where we also have three kittens in need. We aren't having much luck and part of me is secretly glad. The Wit accuses me of being a Cat Lady to be and he is right; I could easily see myself takling in one cat after another, one lost sad pup in need of a home. I can see twenty litter pans and plates full of food and water scattered throughout my home, while bills pile up unpaid and the house slowly deteriorates into a horror.

Good intentions can so easily go wrong.
But I want to save the world. I wish I could do more than I do and sometimes I feel overwhelmed.
Who do I, with our limited funds, help? Who gets the support and who must seek elsewhere? How much to this person/group/cause and how much to that?

Sometimes it just seems so hard; I wish that it could be more like taxes. You get a list of needy and a given amount of time and or money owed for each that you file promptly, with possible penalties for failure, along with your taxes. Then I can dismiss the ills of the world and go on with life a whole lot easier; I already gave, it is here in black and white. See?

I don't have to think about Dafur; not on my list. I spent my quota on Katrina, or the blind or the starving. I am AOK in the charity department, in the caring for humanity department. No worries there!

Effort can be directed, by the governing body, at the most important issues of the year, and the world as a whole can eliminate one sorrow at a time from the global pain list.

Of course there are flaws. We aren't suppose to be able to dismiss someone else's pain so easily, even if they aren't on our list. We are one world and the pains are shared, or should be shared, somewhat, by us all. We should feel joy about ending or even minimizing the pain of another, even a little bit. So I guess it all has to stay a bit messy and disconcerting.

I guess there really is no other way.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006


If you could take back one thing you said to one person, what would it be and to whom was it said, and what would you say instead?

I know what I would take back: I was waiting outside a Shul in New York city, a rather well known Shul, waiting for my husband to arrive so we could go in and listen to a Torah lesson. A strange (in many ways) woman came up to me, very angry, her face set and hard, and she began ranting about Mikveh, how she hated it, how she didn't really go but only told her husband she went and actually she just went for a walk around the block, on and on...and I sat there stunned, not at all certain what to say. I must have responded somehow, gave some answer to her anger, but I can't remember the exact words.

Then she stopped; her face took on a look of disdain: "You'll probably be one of those who has ten kids!" she spat at me.

"No. Six" I snapped back, because this was what my husband and I had talked about, and I, at that point, was anxious to show I wasn't the kind of woman who just had baby after baby. At that point in my life I wanted a career; children nursed for 6mns, then set to the care of a babysitter, me off doing some good for someone else. "Six" I said, making believe I really was the one in control of the situation.
And if I could II would take back, and would answer instead.
"I'll take ten or I'll take twenty, or half as many or three times agian. I will take whatever G-d gives me and be happy for the blessings I am given."

Now, older, wiser, I wonder how I could have thought that I could named a number of children as if each and everyone granted wasn't worth all the world, as if G-d wouldn't know the right number for me. I wish I had known to appreciate the blessing of carrying, bearing and raising even a single soul in the world.

I have been blessed by my five.

Sometimes I wish I did have this great career where people were amazed by my ablities and accomplisments; plaques and testimonials on the wall, a fat pay check.

But I got my blessings, and I am the luckiest mom in the world.

And I take back everything I said to that woman.

Thank you G-d for blessing me as You have.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 27, 2006

Ho hum My Day (mostly)

Let's see if I can make it exciting....

Worked. Worked. Worked.

Did dishes.

GOT A NEW COUCH!!!! (well, a new used couch. The people we got it from also got a new used couch. Everyone is happy. But we had to lug it home from down the street. Now to get rid of the old couch, which is not give-away-able.)

Worked. Worked. Worked.

Did laundry.

Worked. Worked. Worked.

Fed kittens.

The Monkey came home. Played; two rounds of Go Fish, I Doubt It (aka as LIE) which is not really very exciting with just two people) Gave a bath. Made dinner. Made supper (we are going European/Israeli style here). Bedtime snack. Put the Monkey to bed. (snuggle time). Big kid, aka The Artist was at a birthday party till late.

The Artist is going to bed on the new couch.

I'm reading the SHINING.

Yeah I can sleep after it; but it is a good read.

And the couch is exciting.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 10, 2006

This Does Sound Like an Intersting Site

I found a message in my mailbox telling me how wonderful a blogger I was (okay, I'm a sucker for such) and asking me to review their site, and if I  liked link to it.. So, having a bit of savvy in me I realized "okay, I'm probably being buttered up, but at least she/he didn't spam me." and went to it.

I haven't had a chance to fully examine the site, but it does look interesting; It takes articles from various newspapers around the world and translates them into English. I like what I am seeing so far.

Please note, as you will read in the "about us" section, that the site doesn't endorse the articles, they are translating, not giving an opinion.

I like what I see so far.

Here's an "about us" explanation.
here's the site.

Let me know what you all think. (And maybe let them know as well!)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You Haven't Heard From Me Because:

A. I suddenly inherited two billion dollars from an hitherto unknown billionaire for whom I once did a small favor. I am traveling the world and having a grand ole' time chomping down on epicurian delights, sipping the finest Kosher wine avaialable, purchasing fine jewels and silk dresses, hobbnobing with the rich and famous.

B.  Large alien ants have been terrorizing the area. They ate my phone lines.

C.  I've been busy with work and my computer has been giving me problems; slowing down, not able to find pages, in general conking out on me when I need it the most.

Yeah C. though maybe a bit of  B as well. Part of the problem I believe is the phone company. I switched internet providers (for my personal e-mail) and internet access, but still we are having troubles. It can't just be me;  I amd my friends have been having trouble logging into the work site as well. Extremely frustrating to have spent fifteen minutes tracking down a name/phone number/address, and just as I am about to enter it into the system. "Data base error!" (work's end) or "Server Not Found" (our or the phone lines end) or whatever the heck the computer wants to yell at me.

ARGGGGHHH and 1/2.

Although maybe it has been for the better. I don't get to read the news as much and therefore my stomach has been better. Did you see the story of the young boy who almost lost his eye because of the visciousness of the police in Amona?  I am so disheartened. Thanks everyone who has written in with support for our country (and me!)

BTW, if A ever  happens I'll let you know before I leave on my trip and I'll keep you updated on all my antics. With pictures. Hey, with multi-billions I should be able to buy myself another camera, right?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 09, 2005

Still Waiting (update)

For that job in Emerald City.

So far I've been working like mad; I am slllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllow right now but hopefully I'll get faster and better and then I can get back to not cleaning the house a bit better.

My girls have been very supportive; even when they just get potatoes and sandwiches for dinner. They've been fantastic; helping me with a lot of things without complaining.

I did do some stumbling during quick breaks and found this and this : it is great for the kids and those of us who have never grown up. Great stress relief. Especially the first link. You just can't go wrong. The littlest one's can always create something beautiful.

I haven't really been keeping up with anything else...news has sosrt of flown over my head, though I did hear about the deaths in Natanya. And a soldier was stabbed to death as well. Yep, this giving up land is sure decreasing the violence.

My daughter's Bat Mitzvah is next week. I need to bake a couple of cakes and find out what else everyone else is bringing.

That about wraps it up...

have a great weekend everyone.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:26 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 09, 2005

Confession Time


I have a confession to make. I probably should not have posted that last post. I was extremely upset by Nick's post and my mom worries kicked in.

I should have done what I finally did and I should have written to her directly without making a post on the subject of my own.. (she did answer).

Everyone engages to some degree in risky behaviour; we'd all be living in plastic-meteor proof bubbles if we wanted to avoid risk entrirely.

I still feel the way I felt before about her behavior but I should have told her privately instead here and on the blog and I apologize to her for that. It was rude of me.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:26 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 09, 2005

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

September 23, 2005

I So Rule!

I just fixed the bathroom sink.


Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

A Sign of Good Health or Is it Pathetic

That I still cry when I hear Puff the Magic Dragon?

I'm going to post my thoughts on the Peta thing Sunday. Please keep giving me your thoughts. I want to hear everyone's thoughts and ideas on the matter. Feel free to spread the word.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005


Do I help a friend move into her new place tomorrow or do I go clean windows for 35 shek an hour tomorrow. I'd really rather help a friend. I don't like doing windows. No matter what you do you always find a streak somewhere and you end up washing the same bleepeddy bleep window for 20 minutes trying to find all the dingaling streaks. (sorry, don't want to displease the Agent with my language. He lives in this house you see.) I do not think they would want to pay me for washing the same set of windows for an hour, but they would probably be displeased to find streaks....still that is a potential of about 70 shek (because that is about how long they want me to stay.)

I guess I could do both, but frankly, I don't think I would have the energy for it....
argh. I hate dilemmas. (Okay, I just spell checked dilemmas and it was right but it looks so wrong. Argh. Hate that too.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

Well if You Can't Tell

I'm feeling a bit depressed and unwanted lately. The job hunt is still on which of course means no one wants me in that way. I'm feeling older by the minute. No one is reading me anymore, probably because I"ve become so onesided and dull and meandering and depressed and it has seeped through into all my posts.

I'm just an angry, blue, broad lately and they are not fun people to be around.

If I could just get a job, get my house in order, lose those last bleeped bleep pounds, figure out what the heck my kids want from me, write something that people will want to read!

I'm stuck in a rut and can't get my car(cass) moving.


Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:33 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 23, 2005

Please Don't Sing

Women, according to Jewish law, are constrained (depending on the cirucumstances) from singing before men. This is a blanket statement which, like most laws is dependent upon whom one asks for the actual parameters of when and under what circumstances and before which men and well, suffice it to say, everything depends. This law is referred to as KOL ISHA (kol--voice, isha---woman.)

We are more lenient, the we meaning my dh and I and family, restricting the "not listening to" to times of Shema/davening and love songs in general. (And dh says I shouldn't be listening to the love songs of a man either.)

But that isn't what this post is about. See, the thing is:

I sing like a crow. I've no vocal abilities whatsoever. I am probably one of the few women in the world who is told by her children when they are as young as age 2 "Don't sing Ima." More of a plea. A desperate plea.

Probably a good idea to comply. Singing much past that time is likely to do irreprabable damage to their ear drums if harm wasn't done already.

I can not carry a tune. I can't even find the tune to pick it up in the first place.
But I love to sing--I think a requirement of us crows...why those two genes would go together I've no idea---, and I'm apt to break out into song at a moments notice, simply in response to a single word.

"THAT'S NOT A SONG!!!" The Wit shouts. Poor child. Most of the time it is at best a corruption of a half remembered song whose tune is questionably related to the one I'm trying to belt out. I have subjected this chld to such torture with my vocal chords that I am fairly certain that one of the criterions for his future wife will be that she is mute; or at the very least will take an oath that she will never sing. What have I done to the child!!!

However, my sister R. sings beautifully. She is in fact an opera singer (and a pianist par excellance) and insists with the proper training I too could actually produce something approaching a melody.

She's a nice sister to lie like that.

Oh well. Aside from poor singing I'm absolutely pirfict.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:38 PM | Comments (3)

June 02, 2005

Anyone Want

A head cold? It's going cheap; in fact, if you are needy enough, if there is just something you've got to get out of, I'll give you it for free.

I know I can't use it--too much to do to be dragging around like I just woke up from the grave.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:00 PM | Comments (1)

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

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 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 21, 2005


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

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 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)

March 28, 2005

I Just Don't Know What To Say

Someone is dying, there, realistically, isn't a whole hell of a lot I can do about it, and yet I just go on doing. Everything seems so false and lopsided. I don't know if that makes sense or not. Someone's being tortured to death---whether you agree with that or not it is how I feel, and yet I just go on. And next year, you know what? How many of us will really remember this?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:21 PM | Comments (3)

February 11, 2005

Wake Me In Two Years

At least that is how I'm feeling now. Better than yesterday when I felt like being woken in about 6 years. Nasty thing this, but I think I remember being sick like this last year as well.

So I apologize to everyone whose blog I haven't been reading. I really am finding most things taxing and that includes reading blogs. My days have sort of been spent on do what I absolute must and then fall into bed.

I wish I could schedule sicknesses. Wouldn't that be great? Imagine if you were told you had X amount of sick days during your lifetime and you could schedule them according to your wishes; take a year off from life when you were ten for instance, or a week or two every year. I'll take these two Monday-Wednesday please! coordinating them with my husband so that we can cater to each other.

I'd freeze food ahead of time so I could spend the whole day in bed and wouldn't have to watch the world spin as I cleaned chicken. Make sure that all the laundry was folded and put away ahead of time, lay in a stock of fresh tissues and tea, call all my friends and let them know not to ask me to go with them those days "sorry, I'll be sick in bed. Can't do it."

Work would become rather interesting I expect "boss, I've every other Tuesday this month and next schduled for illness. Better not have that client come from Japan those days."

Or teacher to students "and if any of you is schduled for an illness next Wednesday, change it; that's the day of the big test."

I just have visions of everyone flipping open their calendars and checking out the big red Xs "You can't have that week in July!!! Its Dad's birthday remember????"
Or "GREAT!!! Next Wednesday is Tanya's birthday and I was due to have a cold! Where can I fit that danged cold in?"

Okay, this is rather deranged thinking, if it can be called thinking at all.

Can we just blame it on my illness and leave it at that?

Off to read people who are making more sense!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)

February 09, 2005

I'm Sick

Still have to work though.
And my ds is coming home from the army.
Blog when I can.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:12 AM | Comments (4)

February 05, 2005

I Hate it when I goof up!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know everyone does, but can't I just hold a pity party for myself? Have to go undo the mistake I met.
I thought I was giving my girls in my English class a good grade. Think again! I misunderstood the grading system (based on 6 levels rather than five!). I am so embarrased! And I"ll be blushing like crazy tomorrow when I try and explain it all to the principal!!!

Hope I still have a job tomorrow!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:56 PM | Comments (2)

January 29, 2005

All Shabbat

I was thinking about a great post; well, what I hoped would be a great post. It wasn't going to be about my life, or something cute/annoying/worrisome etc. It was going to start off with a line from a nascent story growing in my brain: to wit---

"Thursdays you would find me in the conference room at Mellon and Broth, collecting from all the would bes and hopefuls the entries for the bi-monthly contest, obviously an advertizing gimmick, sponsered by one of their many products. The contests ranged from "tell how Mina-amber tissues make your life better" to "The most beautiful window in your state"; prizes the expected, money, fame and a quantity of whatever the product sponsering the contest. Getting one's name and a picture or copy of one's poem in "Home Matters" magazine, a subsidary of you guessed it, is nothing to sneeze at. Recipes, health advice, parenting advice, love advice--- trendy, and conservative, it has quite a pull. But still, for most of those who win the contest, making it into the magazien is about as high as they will ever go in life."

Well, that's the start. I don't know if I should even attempt to go further with this... Still, I see the story in my head, craving the attention of the outside world.. Then I think of all those other stories penned by people who should have kept them contined and never given them permission to roam, and wonder prehaps if my stories don't have more in common with them.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:16 PM | Comments (2)

January 26, 2005

Bodily Functions

Yesterday, last night really, I was to have a book trade party at my house; everyone come, bring one's unwanted books, and take home new unread novels.
I had quite a stack of my own books that needed new homes, and I was quite sure
other's also had books in search of new readers.

So I had everything ready, warning the lMonkey that she must remain quiet and well behaved upstairs, a treat for following instructions.

I set out two tablefuls of books; organized by genre, set out some coffee and tea, and a bit of dried fruit. And I prepared the kitchen to hold the four legged member of the family, just in case others who came were not as enamored of him as I was.

And this led to the first disaster. Inadvertantly, and without my awarness, a bottle of oil had fallen, developed a crack, and was oozing out its precious wealth onto the floor behind my cabinest (originally bookshelves, now holding my dishes).

The dog found it first; sniffing, as he has a wont to do, to find whatever of the good stuff we may not have put away and out of his reach, he discovered this unexpected bounty and began to lap it up.

My question to him (which, no I really didn't expect to be answered) "what are you into" turned into a groan as I realized the amount of oil which was now coating the floor. All that work and...

Oil, dog, bowel system. Really, must it be spelled out? And people coming, hopefully, in 1 hrs time!


So I wipe up the mess, and wipe up the mess, and wipe up the mess. Oil is a demon when it comes to being cleaned up; it much prefers to remain where it is, indolent upon whatever surfaces it has reached. 1/2 a roll of towels and a soap and water bath take care of it though and of course the dog wants out.

Knew it.

Three times in 1/2 hr.

This does not bode well!

The bowel-challengeddog gets locked in the kitchen. A blanket gets tossed in, along with a prayer that any whining he does may indicate his saddness to part from the company of others and not a great and unavoidably (no pun intended!) need being answered all over the kitchen floor.

I go sit on the couch, and grabbed Sophies choice, which will be entered into next months book trade. And I wait. And I wait.

And the first person shows up, takes a copule of books, we talk, and then the Monkey wants tucking in.

Hey, she was quiet for a whole 1/2hr; this is good behaviour!

And then I wait, and wait, and wait, and someone else comes, takes a few books, we smooze, and another two visitors, mom and daughter.

That's it folks.

So my friends and I are talking, discussing options for pulling in tons of money and becoming multimillionaires from whatever enterprise we finally enter into when the Monkey comes round the corner from upstairs, and starts down.

No disobedience here, the child is asleep. I try and direct her to the bathroom, but she isn't moving; maybe she doesn't have to go but is attracted by the noise?
I pick her up and get a kiss, her arms almost limp about me, and carry her over to the computer where I was trying to pull something up to make a point in my discussion, when I feel this twitch.

Yep; Niagra Falls here, "she's peeing" I announce rather needlessly as a flood rushes down through my hands, over my skirt and a flood develops at my feet.

"She sure is!" one of my friends concurrs, adding that amazement that I am so unfazed about the incident.

Hmm, I wonder if I could put that particular skill on my resume?

I clean her up, tuck her onto the couch (she is still quite asleep and will not I remember this in the morning), and clean the floor and myself, and luckily, since both women are friends, conduct the rest of the meeting in a robe.

Such was my evening.

Anyone for a book?
(the kitchen flor was fine for those that were worried.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:24 AM | Comments (3)

January 21, 2005

In The Meantime

I picked up a couple of sweet rolls from the makolet, made myself a nice cup of coffee, and sat down by the computer to take my mind off of the very terrible yesterday when I received this call...In Hebrew.

"Hello. Are you looking for work?"
I am so I answered yes, but not with housework anymore, "I have problems with my knees. What kind of work did you need me to do?"
"This is work for me and not my husband, right?"
"You have problems with your knees? What kind?" Question appeared odd, but depending on what he wanted me to do I figured it made sense.
"We need someone to order pictures."
"Order pictures?" I'm thinking it is the bakery/photo guy and they need help making sure the right pictures go to the right person, or a free-lance photographer doing the same. And yet there is a little niggle there, this job sounds odd.
"Yes, order pictures."
"I could do that."
"Yes, we have two kind of pictures."
"Two kinds of pictures?" These vibes now they are getting stronger.
"We have pictues of daughters.... you understand? Daughters..."
"Okay...." I'm ready for the punch and here it is...
"And women with out clothes...."

Yep; my first dirty phone call in Israel. What a way to cap the week. Anything else G-d before Shabbat? Please let next week be a mite better!!!

Hey, at least I was able to carry on the disccusion in Hebrew. I guess that's something.

BTW: just wanted to add, I doubt if the photos he refered to were real. He was just trying to talk and keep me talking, and because of my limited understanding of Hebrew he probably kept me on a lot longer than most people would. I don't claim to understand the mindset of these perverts, but the basic pattern is to continuously drop more hints until the undeniable sinks in---whatever form their conversations takes.

I do wish I had some ID on the phone. I could have then at least reported him.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:44 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2005



That about sums up the day.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2005

And I'm 47!!!!

Today is my English birthday (I was my mom's late birthday present.). I was going to write this post in the morning, but instead I abandoned you all in favor of this woman and shopping in Jerusalem!

I was hoping to find some fiber for my spinning, but alas and alack there was no to be procurred. Instead I bought some homespun and some orange thread for my protest bracelet. (made my daughter one, and she added oranger, clear and white beads)

And I got a lovely fiber gift from Moze! Some cotton and flax fiber AND seeds to plant, which will hopefully grow and give me tons of cotton to spin. I watched as Moze spun up some cotton; she is a superb spinner (she showed me the wool she is working on for her socks) her work is so lovely and smooth! Something to be envied. She even makes her husbands tzitzit!!!

We also stopped off at my favorite bookstore, Sefer v'sefel, and of course, I bought more books. One book was for my English class so I get work points!!!

Anyway, if anyone else wants to honor me on my birthday, here are three requests.

1. Give a bit of charity
2. Smile and say something kind to three people who you feel like frowning at
3. Do something lovely for yourself. Take a hot bath, sip some good wine, or get that book you've been wanting.

Have a wonderful day!!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:36 PM | Comments (13)

January 08, 2005

Crash! Pop!

That's the sound a wine glass makes when it gets knocked off the counter and one shard flies through the air popping a balloon.

Crash, and OY VEY! Sound made when a second glass gets knocked over and breaks in the sink by the same klutz (namely yours truly) who broke the first glass.

Ack! This is me spilling milk onto the microwve turnplate.

Ping..Oh! This is the sound of me dropping the thread as I'm trying to sew a button on my son's pants.

Bang! Plop! ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! This is the sound of me knocking the books on the shelf onto the floor.

I think I'm going to go watch t.v.. It is probably safer.

(btw, did you know you can make farina in the microwave? I do now; and it tastes pretty good.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:24 PM | Comments (4)

January 07, 2005

My Morning So Far

1. I woke at 5:00 to prepare the chickens only to find we had no chickens; they had been left in the store when the rest of the delivery arrived.
2. I washed the kitchen floor. It is now covered with little green veggies; so when is the best time to wash the floor? Isn't it always going to get dirty? Why can't it repel dirt for at least an hour?
3. The floor is covered with little green veggies because I made homemade tabouleh---well, I bought the bulger, but I checked and clean and soaked it and chopped up the veggies and added everything. I use to buy it ready made or in the boxes, but mine taste so much better. (Hear the conceit!)
4. I cleared all the dishes from the sink. Same situation as the floor. Honestly, if I told my dishes once I've told them a thousand times "WASH YOURSELVES"
5. My dh retrieved the chickens from the store. I am now cooking them. With roses!!! Yes, I know I'm crazy but I was at the shuk and they were selling dried roses, and this is what the guy said they were used for and I wanted to try it.
6. I made farina and it was good.
7. I made mushroom soup yesterday from scratch. I know the title says "My Morniing So Far. I just wanted to see how well you were reading.
8. I spun some wool. Hey, I spin with a spindle! Did you all know that?
9. Dr. Phil wasn't on. I forget; he isn't on Yom Sishi (6th day or Friday). I got mad. So I watched a bit of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance. I knew it is totatly stupid, but I was mad..and no it doesn't make sense. Are you still reading?
10. I typed this post.

I did do other things, like answer e-mail and go to the bathroom, but I firuted ten items was enough.

Have a great one! And Shabbat Shalom all.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:16 AM | Comments (6)

January 05, 2005

What's Good for the Goose

In the interest of fair play, things I do to drive my loved one's nuts.

1. I lose my cell phone and purse almost every day. I've developed at least three or four places to put my purse, and the cell I want to keep in the purse, but more often than not the cell and the purse have a fight and both tend to wander.

My normal course of action is to become quite agitated and try and get everyone to drop everything to find said items. The phone is easier; I call it. I think 1/3 the "missed" phone calls to my cell have been me, trying to locate the dear. The only reason I know where my phone is now is because dh took it upstairs to recharge it.

2. I clear people's plates/cups and the like before they are ready. I get into a mood, do a clean sweep, and is it my fault they are still eating or in the process of making a sandwich?

3. I have apopletic fits over missing toys. This is a catastrophic event, and I will tear the house apart trying to find the other car to the "Traffic Jam" game, or a piece of puzzle. Of course said missing piece also requires everyone stop and help me find it.---who knows? The fate of the world may depend on my finding the skirt to one of their magnetic dolls.

I'm sure there are other things, but these are the ones I thought of right off.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:48 AM | Comments (1)

January 04, 2005


That's how many people are home right now. Just me and the Monkey, who is. for reasons only understood by other five year olds (excuse me 5 1/2 year olds) carrying a napkin wrapped egg around in her "mitriah" (umbrella. And she is of course singing about it...or at least I think that is the song.

It is weird feeling, just us two bopping about in the house. The Wit is in the army, the Agent is at a class (for his GED), the Artist has something or other going on for school taking place at a friend's house, and the dh is at work. The silence is almost sticky, and my imagination takes me to the future when this is the norm; no one here but me and one child, and by that time, by the time the Artist has vacated the premisis for Sheruti duty (community service rather than strict army duty, a right reserved for girls) the Monkey will be 12 and probably out with her friends most of the time, certainly not hanging about mom!

All my babies are growing up. How did that happen? I know I'm still only 23 ;-)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:16 PM | Comments (1)


Not as in place or site, as in body, as in this morning, between 6:40 and 7:40 I

1.Woke the Artist
2. Dressed
3. Cleaned the downstairs toilet and sink.
4. Switched the door on the downstairs sink cabinet
5. Cleaned toilet, tub and sink upstairs.
6. Stripped the sheets of the Monkey's bed.
7. Took down the laundry from upstairs, started another load, put the load from last night in the dryer
8. Walked the dog.
9. Helped get the Artist out the door.

All before my morning cup of burn-a-hole-in-your-stomach brew.

My dh
1. Woke
2. Woke the Monkey
3. Got her dressed.
4. Got her breakfast.

And I'm not a morning person.

This drives me nuts! My family dwadles terribly; from husband to the kids. I get up and move, they get up and move from one spot to the other, finally making it to where they have to go. I get tensed, I feel a scream in the back of my throat, and every morning there me pushing and nagging the Artist out the door; t she hurry up, come on, you are going to be late! I'm the shrew of the morning and I hate this job.

There must be some way to get the crew moving in the morning outside of dynamite, but I havent' found it yet. but quite frankly I hate this job. I don't want to spend my mornings nagging; I don't mind doing the laundry or the bathrooms, but I do mind having to make sure everyone else is doing what they should be doing. Or is this just, inevitably a mommies job? Something that comes with the territory, like finding lost mittens, holding the wrappings to candy bars, and wiping noses?

How many of you moms out there are the movers in your house? How many dads? What have you found helpful in getting everyone up and out of there in the morning? Or, are you like me, having to push everyone out the door?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:16 AM | Comments (1)

December 29, 2004

That Stupid Dog

That is always bothering my dog, bit me.
And drew blood.
The four legged devil was out; I walked past him, and he and another dog ran off to play. Then he came up from behind and bit my leg.

I am so angry.

I have never wanted to see a dog put down before, but this one is a definite menace.

I was actually walking home from accompanying a friend back to her house because of another loose dog.

Dh is going to talk to someone about it tomorrow.

I am so angry; I wasn't near this dogs property, I didn't have my dog with me, I wasn't facing him, I didn't run away: he just ran up from behind and bit me.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:43 PM | Comments (5)

December 28, 2004


A friend and I went into Jerusalem today to take care of some family business stuff, and one of the places we stopped at was the Shuk.

I hate shopping in general, but the Shuk! This place just gets your adrenaline pumping. The purpose of the Shuk this time wasn't just fun; we were pricing items, trying to see if it paid to go into the Shuk and purchase items there and schlep them back to our homes. It pays, even with the bus fare it pays. So we are trying to think of the best day to do our shopping, etc. etc. and we finally settle on a day, and why it is perfect, but then I say; "But come fall, the Agent won't be home! I'll have to get a babysitter and then it won't be worth it.

That's right FALL. I'm worrying about a season that we are just leaving behind us; a year away, when who knows what changes! (Like hopefully dh getting a new job, during the day, that pays tons of money so we can buy the house and do the upstairs...)

Not a week away, not a month away, close to a year away; the sword of Damocles is not hanging over my head, yet here I sit trying to decide if it is worth it to go into the city once a week with a friend, leaving a (poor me) free sitter behind if I won't be able to maintain this schedule for life.

I can what if something to death.

Yeah I know it is foolish; worse comes to worse we will, in about a years time, be back to square one; but there are so many other changes that could occur--and so many other possiblities; I could pay my friend to buy the food for me, saving some money but not as much as if I went in by myself, I could trade something for babysitting rights, etc.

Yet here I sit worrying over. I know I'm not the only one to do this.

So how do you handle forks in the road?Are you a 'what ifer'? Do you worry about the future when it hasn't even started down the opposeite end of the street? Do you want a five year plan or do you go with the flow?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:41 PM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2004


Today was a fast day, Asharah b'tevet, the Tenth of Tevet, memorializing the begining of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the Temple.

Sitting here I try and imagine whtat it was like when the Temple stood and how our ancestors could have seen the Temple, participated in her services and messed up so badly. How did the distance come between them and G-d.

There are days where I feel very close to G-d, and days where I feel more distant. Today I felt more distant. Maybe it was the worry for my son who'll be entering the army quite soon now, maybe it was the rant I had yesterday, leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth, maybe it was simply that I feel tired from the fast, maybe it is a combination. Whatever it was I was feeling wrung out and finding it hard to make that connection.

So I searched for something by Rabbi Nachum of Breslov; he always cheers me up. and I found something, this:.

The sealed lip

The disciple of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov went to him:
"I cannot talk to God."
"This often happens," said Nachman. "We feel that our lips are sealed, or that the words do not come. However, the simple fact that effort is needed to overcome the situation, is a beneficial attitude."
"But it is not enough," insisted the disciple.
"You are right. At such times, what you must do is look up and say: "My God, I am far from You and cannot believe in my voice."
"For, in truth, God listens and always answers. It is only we who cannot speak, fearful that He is not paying attention.

Which was just what I needed.

It is amazing what we really do have, all the gifts G-d gives us on a daily basis; sometimes I just forget to look.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2004

Ah shucks

Angie Wilson of It's A Wilson Thing posted a wonderful photo, and well, we had some conversation back and forth, and she asked for permission to post what I said.

You will also note that she has been nominated for a couple of catagories in the BOB awards; which she well deserves. Here's hoping she makes the cut to the short list. She is a beautiful lady who writes a lovely log.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:10 PM | Comments (1)

Help Needed

As in, I need help to find a job I (or dh or both of us) can do over the internet in spare hours, that will bring in some much needed mula. Does anyone have a telecommute job that is working for them, that anyone with a modicum of intelligence can do? I can't have specific hours as my jobs are spread out over the week, different hours for different days. Suggestions? Anyone?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:34 AM | Comments (1)

December 13, 2004

Well *Thanks*

My dh has off from work today and tomorrow, and since free days don't come often...where we can go and do something...well, we had plans.
Never plan.
Last night I woke twice with, how to put this delicately? THE RUNS! And this morning. And then I'd have thrown up this morning if I had anything left in me.
Guess what we AREN'T doing today.
And we can't go out tomorrrow because my dh is doing stuff with the oldest son, prior to his going into the army---going with him to the eye doctor, to get his drivers test.

*groan* It is one thing to get sick, and another to get sick on ones special day out.

Pity party being held here.
(as Rachel Ann trots off back to bed.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:43 AM | Comments (2)

December 11, 2004


I need bifocals.
And my eyes lately can't focus worth a *&%^.

I was suppose to be young and beautiful forever.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:27 PM | Comments (3)

December 10, 2004


I moved here to Israel more than 1 year ago. In some ways it seems as if I have lived here forever. I can't imagine living anywhere else, and when other's tell me they are going back to the USA, whether for a short or long term I tend to feel pity, even though they are happy about the trip. Perhaps later, after I have been here awhile that will change, and I will look forward to a vacation in the USA (or other place in the world) as well---maybe what I am feeling is the euphoria of having fulfilled my dream.

Be that as it may, there are certain things I miss, certain things I would change if I could, with the wave of a magic wand, and one is foremost in my mind in these chilly days.

Heat; hot water, when I want it. Just turn on the tap. Scorching hot water cascading down my back, or filling my tub.

Here in Israel, as I think it is in much of the world, to get hot water during the cooler months, when the sun hides more than shines, one needs to turn on something. And not ones spousea (although that does bring up some rather interesting images). What one has to turn on here is something called a dood, and one has to do it about 1/2 to 2 hrs before any great expectations of more than ice running from the taps.

A bath, a shower, washing the dishes, doing a hot load in the wash must all be planned, and scheduled, because hot water gets used up and then one must wait again.

This presents little problem for those of organized body, mind and emotions, but, I've never been an organized girl. Ask my mom! My thoughts fly, I am more random than planned in how I clean and cook, schedules are anathema to my personality. (Oddly enough I am not normally late for planned events, it is simply planning and scheduling my own life that is difficult.)

There are ways to circumvent the dood; there is something or other (I love my grasp of technical terms!) that ones hooks to ones shower head or to the washing machine of voila! hot water on demand. Should we become wealthy enough (as in rich uncle who we never knew dying and leaving us untold millions) we shall install such devices and I will celebrate the day with steak and potatoes. Till then, I will have to learn to schedule in that which it would never have occurred to me to schedule before--washing the dishes, washing the clothes and washing moi.

All changes are a matter of giving up and gaining something new, and I'm curious as always.

If you are a transplant, what is it that you have lost? What is it that you miss from "the old country" (or city or town)?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:29 AM | Comments (2)

December 07, 2004


Yesterday a man came to the door with a FEDEX package. No one has come to the door with a FEDEX package in the entire time that we have been living here. I knew
immedately what it contained; without a doubt it was the book I had begged for and one of my readers, Greg, from California Hammonds answered my plea. I began reading it last night, right before I turned out the lights, and I plan on reading a single chapter each evening, slowly, so that I can savor every delicious word. The writing so far is terrific; I know it is only the first chapter, but the book is great.

As I closed the book I began thinking about how many wonderful people I have discovered through this medium, virtual friends in internet vernacular. Virtual friends who have supported me in troubled times, uplifted my spirits when I am low, laughed with me at life's foibles, shared my anger, my joys, and triumphs of myself and my family.

Virtual friends?

According to Webster's dictionary virtual has several meanings

1 : being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted

Are the people I've met on the internet and towards whom I feel a bond of friendship "not formally recognized? No. I refer to them as my friends all the time.

The second has no application to the situation at all.

2 : of, relating to, or using virtual memory

My friends aren't just bits of the data stored in my computer, revived only when I sit at the keyboard.

And they certainly aren't

3 : of, relating to, or being a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from indirect evidence -- compare

even metaphorically..
The friends I meet online are friends whose spirit touches me; and isn't that the truest form of friendship? Must I touch another to have meaning to them and for them to have meaning to me?


So here's a words of thanks to a REAL LIFE friend, Greg, for his lovely gift, which I shall appreciate for years to come, as well as to all those who have reached out and touched my life and provided me with kindness and love over the years.

December 05, 2004

Brag Alert!

I had my short period with my English class today. I was trying to come up with an "everyone can play game" and in a sudden burst of what I hoped was inspiration and not dud, I came up with this game; I would bring a bag of little things- dollhouse dolls and furniture, a marble, a candle, pen, and various other
small items such as that. Each child would then close their eyes and draw three items from the bag and make up a sentence from the items they withdrew "the boy fell off the chair and banged his head on the book, the elephant ate the apple and went to bed etc. We would then build on the sentence. "The little boy with the blue duck and so forth and so on."

So we gathered together, and with a bit of trepidation I demonstrated what was to be done. It was a hit! Even my most reluctant English speaker had something to say---they were fighting to talk! We managed a mini story out of each sentence but the last (because we ran out of time, not for lack of things to say!) They WANTED their sentences expanded.

And not only that BUT afterward the regular English teacher (she teaches the Hebrew speaking girls)came up and complimented me on the idea and said that she might use the idea in her classroom!

And I just stood there, trying not to grin like a three-year-old kid just given a lollipop!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:50 PM | Comments (1)

You're A Blockhead Rachel Ann!

I just don't understand. I'm not listening. ERMPPPPPPPHHHHHHH!

At least according to the Artist, that is the problem. I just don't get it, and she is right.

The party is today and we are talking over the games that are played; potato race, pass the bag, various games. I say, "We'll divide the girls into two teams..."


"We'll divide the girls into two teams; how else can you play with thirty girls?"

"Listen, Ima, two girls race. And then the girl that wins the race gets the prize."

"Two girls? But what do the other's do?"

"They watch." (Duh!)

"They just watch?"

"And then you pick two more girls. Whoever wants to play."

"But honey, that means if all the girls come from your class we have to give out 15 prizes." (Mom is trying to calculate that in her head. Are all the games like this?)

"Not everyone wants to play. And not everyone gets picked."

"Not everyone gets picked?"

"Look Ima" (frustration builds) "Everyone puts their fingers in the air like this" (she puts up one finger, the Israeli version of raising one's hand "And you pick two girls..."

"But you only pick two girls?"

"Well, after the two girls race, you pick two more"

"But what do the other girls do?"

"ERRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGG. They watch. Or they play other games."

"They just watch? They play other games at the same time?" (mom is trying to figure out how three or four games could be going on in the room at the same time and how she is suppose to monitor more than one and, even though the presents are only a few shek each, 15 gifts for each game? Mom is feeling a bit batty)

"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH! Never mind! You don't understand! You aren't listening!"

And we go through the whole thing with just a few minor changes over and over again. But only two at a time? That means 15 gifts. What do the other girls do?

(Now mom knows she is being dense but just can't wrap her little mind around this. It isn't that she isn't listening, or has trouble comprehending basic English.. But hte concept itself---The girls just watch? Not every girl plays every game, not because she chooses not to do so but because she doesn't get picked? That can't be right.

That isn't how it is done in the states. In the states you have a few games. Everyone plays. One person wins. That's all. Won't the girls be upset if they don't get picked? Won't they be angry? Won't they be hurt? This can't be right. It doesn't make sense.

But, after a quick call to one of the girls in her class who speaks both Hebrew and English, she is right. In her party every game was played twice; two winners, not 15. And to take care of the disappointment, there was the pass the present game where everyone passed a present around and won something small (a candy, a hair thingy) and the last person won something big.

That is the way it is done here. Culture shock. I'm still sort of scratching my head over this one (better this than lice!)

Culture shock. Not everyone can win, okay, but not everyone can have a chance to win? Not everyone can play at all?

Birthday parties are different here. Not everyone will bring a gift. Not everyone invited will come, and they aren't even likely to call. Any birthday gift given is likely to be bought by the girls themselves and likely to be small; a couple of girls get together and buy a cheap necklace, or a hair thingiess, or something similar. What child has more than a few shek to spend on something? With thirty girls in the class, no one expects to get their hearts desire from their friends.

Culture shock. This isn't the way I grew up. This isn't how it worked for my older children. The basic fairness and common courtesy that I was raised with and that my older children were raised with just isn't there---and it is hard to throw it out the door.

Not everyone will show up, and you won't know till the girls come trooping through the door whether there will be six girls or ten girls or the whole class. Not everyone will play every game even though they might wish to do so. You play every game a few times and move on to the next. Not every girl will come with a present. Some may, some may give presents later in the week, some not at all.

That's the culture here. Not better, not worse, just the way it is. Culture shock.
A small thing I know, but it is the small thing that we build our lives upon; courtesies, habits, manners, expected behavior--- and when they vary from how we have grown up, even in small ways, we can feel rudderless. At least I do.

How does this work? How can it work? It doesn't feel right.

But it is right, for here.

Welcome to Israel; I keep getting welcomed, sometimes with a joyful message, sometimes not. But just when I think I've found my center, I get rocked.

But I'm glad I'm here.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:11 AM | Comments (2)

December 02, 2004

Funky Socks

Well, she is right! Funky socks can make a body happy.

I accompanied the above friend on an errand to a place I hadn't been in before. After she was through with her tasks she asked me if I wanted to stop in this little clothing store: "They have some nice stuff and the prices aren't too bad." Why not? I shrugged. I had some minutes to kill.

It is quite a cute little store, with a curtained off area in one corner for trying on clothes. It was larger than expected, the store being out in the middle of nowhere really---surrounding the store were mostly businesses and doctors offices and the like---and they did have some nice stuff, and the prices weren't bad, just over my head at this point.

And there were these funky socks.-stripped, and stripped with hearts in lots of colors. Immediately her post on HOUSE OF JOY came to my mind.

"Hey look", I said, pointing the socks out to her "your funky socks." Then we went on to look at the skirts and the shirts gabbing about this and that.

But I kept going back to the socks. "Would they fit me?" I'm still a bit in the dark about Israeli sizes vs. American sizes---the store keeper compared my foot to hers and said she fit into the larger size, and as our feet were about the same size, so would I.

But 12 shek? Could I justify it?

"Oh go ahead" my friend insisted, pulling out a pair with purple and yellow stripes and pretty pink hearts, "see, these match your purple sweater!" The two purples matched perfectly. Now, I'd have to be a complete and utter fool to try and argue with logic such as that. *

Got home and pulled off my boring black socks and put the hearts and stripes on. And smiled. They warmed my feet and my heart, and every time I see my feet I start smiling again. Cost, 12 shek. Effect, priceless.

Like my friend said, she has begun a new trend.

She also has a new career in sales.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2004

The World Is Coming To an End!!!!!

Abandon all hope! Pray! Man the life boats! Ship a remnanet to Mars!!!!


The Monkey has lice, I woke up with a stiff neck, we are having guests for Shabbat (hopefully), but I haven't prepared a single thing yet, and on Sunday we are having a party for the Artitist's 11 birthday (up to 30 girls!) and the house is a mss. That's almost like the world ending isn't it?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:41 AM | Comments (3)

November 28, 2004

Hey Teach!!!!

I am really enjoying my third grade English class and, well I'm going to brag a bit here; I really did well today! On Sundays I have the five girls, who are on varying levels, for only 40 minutes or so; it really isn't possible to divide the class and teach two different classes in that time period. So, so, so, what could I do with one child who couldn't speak English well, two who couldn't read well, three who could both read and spell well, that would be fun for all, and educational.

We played a game. What is this? BUT in Hebrew and English-- fruits and veggies, today, followed by a handout, which was suppose to be done at home but ended up being done in class. If the mostly English speaking didn't know a Hebrew word for a particular item they asked the mainly Hebrew speaking; vice versa for the mostly Hebrew speaking. It was fun, a bit out of control at times, but they learned, worked together, and helped each other. The second game I chose didn't work as well (spelling words with letter cubes) but it was passable.

The lesson plan worked. I came home elated.

I mainly used the pictures from ENCHANTED LEARNING, but I could use other sets of items (occupations, plants, things to use in the home or school, various clothing etc,) if anyone knows of additional sites which have aggregates of particular items to print out I would be most appreciative.

I think I found a new talent.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:11 PM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2004

T-Day revue

Well Thurday we connected to my husbands family; we got about ten minutes of good talk in there before everone went off to eat and forgot about us! I did get to meet my oldest daughter's boyfriend. (Hi TG--which stands for The Guy.) It was nice to put a face on the man I've heard so much about. Picture this part of the production as having everone stand on opposite sides of a large open pit waving at each other. The Monkey fell asleep on my lap, after insisting she wouldn't (and after driving me nuts by wiggling around on my lap making it impossible to type.)

Friday. I woke early. Picture a woman waking at dawn singing something about a woman's work is never done as she slaves over a hot stove. Really pour on the schmaltz. I'm kind of exaggerating my role here, but what they heck. I'm going for it. (and dh did do the shopping.)

Smoke smoke smoke. Lots of smoke. No I did not burn dinner; rather the pan we were using sprung a leak and we had smoke filling the house as gravy drippings splattered the oven floor. Scene for the revue; woman wrestles with turkey. Turkey wins! Because time was short dh and the girls made the birthday cake. Oh, I didn't tell you? The Artist turned 11 on the Hebrew calendar last night; on the English calendar it is tomorrow. Somehow the turkey grease just misses the cake. We are lucky.

Lights flicker. BROWNOUTS. I think with every flutter of the wind the lights went on and off, starting with just before Shabbat (the Sabbath) and through the evening. Luckily dh thought to plug in the emergency light; this handy dandy device would turn on everytime the lights went out. So did the Monkey. Everytimne the lights flicked off t\the Monkey would shriek; half act half real fear. I worried about the cholent being turned into a lethal poison that would strike us all dead the next afternoon. I worry a lot about these types of things.
We of course sang happy birthday and had semi-ready cake. A bit underdone as it was in the oven when the lights first began their magic act; here and then gone. The cake was good though, and the icing, this white/dark chocolate spread made me go back for seconds. Put in high drama and an opera scene, played to the hilt. (cholent survived.)

I curled in bed early, got up late, read a decent mystery book (Winter Prey), started the UNCONSOLED byb Kazuo Ishiguro (good so far) and generally lazed. Happy music. Mabe Jazz.

And that was the day.

We've plenty of leftovers, and I forgot to serve the cranberry sauce. I know, how could I?

Altogether, a great weekend.
Back to teaching tomorrow. So far it is difficult but good.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2004


Anyone wanting to buy me a book by this author will be my best friend for LIFE!!!! Could it get any better than that? :-)

Gerald Schroeder
(good read on evolution and a Jewish point of view.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:46 AM | Comments (2)

November 23, 2004

A Jay Leno Moment

The rain is here; it is cold, wet and generally yucky. The girls get drenched going home. We've taken down the sweaters and raincoats, found gloves and scarves, realized that yes once again, we have delayed too long and the girls need boots. NOW! And my dh has purchased new unbrellas for those whose umbrellas have seen better days.

So my daughter was playing with one, seeing how it opened etc. etc. It is not one of those button kinds that snap open with a touch; old fashioned manual kind---so she handed it off to me to close. CLosed, strapped in, snug in its cloth and plastic case I notice the tag.

"HIGHEST QUALITY" it proclaims.

and all that goes through my sleepy brain is:

Doesn't that make it regular?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:13 AM | Comments (2)

November 19, 2004

The Class Went

GREAT!!!! I think. I had four children and 80 minutes to fill. I was suppose to have five children and two classes (3 girls in one, 2 in the other), but the compuiter teacher didn't arrive and one girl was absent. So child had me for 40 minutes; she reads well, but I think some of the words at leasat were memorized and not read. We will need to work on basic phonics, and I'm trying to right a high interest, low -level reding story for her. After 40 minutes of reading, and phonics practice I let her return to her regular class and worked with the other htree (rather impatinet to learn) girls.

The other three girls are on about a fourth or fifth grade level reading and spelling, though there are individual needs.-- handwriting practice, letter reversals---I had two of the girls clamoring for more "private time" when I would work with them and them alone. One girl wanted me to work with her during recess! I think she is rather a shy child and wants the one on one rather than a mob scene of recess.

Ugh part; room. As in room to actually sit and learn. We had to move FOUR TIMES during that 80 minute period---from the hall, to a small learning center room, to the science room, to the counselors area and then back into the science room (where we huddled in a corner of the room where no one could find us and kick us out! The girls got a kick out of that.) We will spend about 10 minutes each on individual lessons and 10 minutes on phonics-grammar.

Anyway, I"m spening most of my time thinking about the class, tring to figure out what to teach when and how. Should I teach all the girls grammar? Or will it be too confusing and more of a hinderance to the just learning to read girls? How do I entertain the child(ren) who are not learning with me at the moment, so the child I am learning with gets uninterrupted time? Seat work is possible for the three higher level girls (all recently come from the USA) but harder for the Sabras.

I never knew teachers had it so hard!

Sorry I'm being such a pathetic reader and writer these days; my energy really is going elsewhere.

Have a good Shabbat and wonderful weekend everyone.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:54 AM | Comments (3)

November 18, 2004

Stage Fright!!!

Finally, today, I'm going to start the English class with the third graders. My stomach is doing acrobatics, my heart is trying to fly out of my chest.
"come on Rachel!" I tell myself. "You've got a good plan! And they are little kids......"

20 minutes, each child, alone, to work on reading and spelling and basic grammar.

I am crazy aren't I?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:58 AM | Comments (2)

November 15, 2004

If Your Screen is like a Spiderweb

Know it is me, bashing my head against the computer screen.


I went today with a wonderful plan to fill the hour of learning.
First I was going to have everyone introduce themselves to me.
Then I was going to read Trumpet of the Swan. I was going to read the back of the book, the front cover, talk about the picture on the cover, talk about the inside pages, read the first chapter. I estimated 10-15 minutes spent on that.
Then I was going to have the children narrate back to me what went on in the story.
Another 10 minutes.
With leftover time we were going to talk about the story a bit more; how the story related to our life. Had anyone used a compass (a compass is mentioned in the story). Would you be able to keep the nest a secret? Are you like Sam? Do you like keeping things to yourself? I was going to show them all the pictures of a Trumpet Swan; ask them if they remembered what the name of a baby swan was called, tell them the male and female names of a swan. Show them a map of Canada and Montana.

In otherwise. I HAD A PLAN>

BANG BANG the plan is dead. Owing to a change in schedule. Which I obviously dind't know about.


I might not have a two hour class on Thursday which would blow the teach each child individually out the wall, and might just make it impossible for me to teach at all because there is no way that a child who has been reading English since she was four and a child who is just beginning to read can be taught everything the same. They need individual instruction; it is unfair to the children to try and teach them the same reading, spelling and writing course, and it would be irresponsible of me as a teacher to make any sort of promise that I could help the girls progress and develop under such conditions. Under the given circumstances the most I could offer the girls would be ten minutes of individual work in reading, spelling and writing. I can't act that irresponsibly.

I'm going go hold my head under the water for a few minutes here so my screams don't destroy the hearing of everyone within a hundred kilometers of here.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:01 PM | Comments (2)

November 09, 2004

I Found Them!

Both of them; little black peds of footsies. They are my favorite sock to don whenever the weather gets chill, and here in Israel while it may warm up outside, the houses are built for the cool, and reatain the coldness.

Yesterday I was feeling quite proud of myself; I had managed to reach the bottom of the hamper! There was only one load left in the washer which I transfered to the dryer this morning. I folded, and put away everything and in addition I organized my aron (cabinet) and all my clothes were neatly folded (folded side facing out), socks were rolled, everything was neat and clean and lovely!

Good housecleaning day.

But I couldn't find both my favorite footsies---Just one. The other I assumed had joined all the other lost and missing socks in whatever world they end up in.

But the other one turned up in the last bit of laundry; so I grabbed them up, put them on, made myself a peanut butter sandwhich and a cup of coffee and felt...well felt like I perfect.

Sometimes it is the small things that matter; it is the little comforts that are so easy to ignore that give us the most pleasure. I know that in nursing homes and hospitals sometimes these small little gestures of love; doing someone's hair or nails, making sure a child has a favoritre toy, can be instrumental in recovery, or when recovery isn't expected, easing the patients physical and emotional state. Just having a picture of a loved one on the nightstand can give comfort and calm.

So what little thing can you do for yourself right now that will make you happy? And what can you do for someone else that will bring a smile to their face?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:44 AM | Comments (3)

November 08, 2004

If You Wanted To See

Infantile, hysterical behavior you should have come to our house last night. We caught.....something. My son thinks it a bit big for a mouse. I thought shrieks and tears and a racing heart and a refusal to come downstairs this morning until my dearest husband completed a careful and through inspection of the premises, ensuring me that that 1)whatever it might be did not escape 2) whatever it might be did not have a coterie of friends and comrades ready and willing to risk their lives to set him free, was in fact reasonable behavior.

Currently said creature is caught in a live trap, the whole thing, trap and animal wrapped in two plastic bags, sitting on its side outside with a rock on top. Unless it of course managed to chew through the metal and leave through a hole in the bag without leaving any trace of its exist which of course is a completely sane concern upon my part knowing the vile yet intelligent nature of the beasts. Where are the assault weapons when you need one.?

They are out to get us!

I don't know how my husband will dispose of it, I only know I won't be there. And he better kill it really good!

Rachel Ann,
rat phobic,
signing off
(what is the word for rat-phobic?)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:01 AM | Comments (5)

November 07, 2004


Why did over 1/2 the USA voting population (and we don't know what the non-voting population had to say) cast there votes for Bush and the Republican Party?

I don't like Bush, I don't think in the long run that he will be "good for the USA" or the world for that matter, and I believed much like Frum Dad; but I'm much less sanguine about the Democratic party. and liberalism, than before.

The fact is the Democrats and Liberals are losing me. They are losing me because of the disdain they have for those values I hold dear.

The discussion on one e-mail list that I am on hovered around the votes cast against marriage rights for gays; a ban I thought ludicrous, and made clear that I thought ludicrous. While I'm not for gay marriages I'm not interested in laws being written or retained which codify the sexual behaviour of two consenting adults. I don't want marriage police in my bedroom to certify I am conduction my
sexuality in accordance with some state belief. But I asked about the possibility of such a vote not being a statement of fear, as some would have it, but about being a statement of beliefs that certain practices were forbidden by moral laws.

Another poster responded that it was immoral to believe that homosexuality was immoral. That using the Bible as the standard of one's belief was, while s/he didn't quite use these words, reprehensible.

And here is where I jump ship; into the water unfortunately because the Republican/conservative boat isn't anymore comfortable to me.

But I have a right to my belief system.

Many may protest; but isn't it the same thing? You are claiming that homosexuality is wrong and we are claiming that belief is morally wrong.

In some senses of course it is. Proclaiming myself as an Orthodox Jew means I've accepted this theory of moral life as correct and others as incorrect, and to some extent, morally superior. This doesn't really need to be said; the same is applicable for all belief systems including atheism. Christians believe that Jesus came and the New Testament overrides what I refer to as the Torah. It doesn't surprise or upset me that a Christian would believe that my system of belief is inferior to theirs. It is implicit. Similarly an atheist believes that religion is a construct developed for the unscientific and that reason is a proper basis for morals. I know I'm simplifying the issue here, and people can tell me more, but this isn't to state the whole structure of any religious tenet. If I'm offended by this then I lead too sheltered of a life.

In any case, while believing they aren't equal to my belief system, I can not judge the system itself as inherently evil unless its tenets are so at odds with my belief system that there can be no real acceptance. Similarly, I can't, under normal circumstances, judge one person as less moral than I am as a person (excluding the hitlers of the world.) Such judgments are for G-d. Nor can I deny a person the right to think the way they do or believe the way they do.

I can proscribe against actions; not beliefs and thoughts.

There are other issues as well. The concept of abortion on demand; it used to be a cozier place for me---and that was even after having children. But when I hear people refer to the fetus in the womb as having no more significance than mucous in the nose, I must wonder what this choice has brought us. Turning back the clock isn't an option; but neither is going on as we are going on.

Morally equating targeting killings and the suicide bomber is repugnant to me and I believe repugnant to most people One is the killer of someone who if not stopped will continue to murder then other is cold blooded murder. I do not have to understand why they are doing it to know it is wrong and to know if one continues to embrace such actors they will continue to murder. I really believe that the Israeli-Arab conflict (for that is what is at the heart of this) would have ended much more quickly and much less tragically for all if the killings were simply condemned without the understanding. Lack of sympathy would have required them to use words and compromise rather than killing to gain their desire.

But as I said, I'm not a Republican. In many ways I'm a liberal tried and true. I would much rather feed a freeloader than allow a impoverished person to starve.
I think quality health care is something everyone deserves and no one should be better served. I think that the disparity in terms of wages between the highest and the lowest paid should be much lower than it is. I believe in quality housing for the poor, for equal police protection for all, and for a good sound education for everyone (though much different than is envisioned by most people.) I believe that environmental are vital to everyone; that global warming is upon us, and that we will suffer as a world if it isn't held in check. I'm a proponent of stem cell research using discarded or unusable embryos.

Therefore, when I go to vote, I have to vote on what the immediate issues are today.

I just wish there was a party I could identify with more strongly; I wish that was the Democratic Party. It could be, if they would stop shoving me away. But don't expect me to dance with you if your telling me how ugly I am.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:18 AM | Comments (6)

November 04, 2004

Strange Dreams

Last night I had the strangest dream, a nightmare really. In the dream I had a package of pasta, the swirly kind. But somehow, though at first I denied it, I discovered they were infested with bugs.

I brought the plastic bag out to the yard and stomped on it with both feet hoping to kill all the insects within, only, owing to the nature of the bag, instead of smashing the bugs the bag burst open and the bugs spewed out---very much alive; large, pitch black on their underside, on their top half, a blaring, fiery red. They made a loud and fearful clicking sound; it wasn't hard to know where they were.

The bugs fled everywhere; I knew it was hopeless to catch them all, but I started on a campaign to eradicate them from everywhere.

At that point I realized that they were in fact everywhere; they were in flower pots on porch railings, they were in food supplies, they were in the walls of the houses and under the floorboards. They were in people's hair.

But, and this was the denouement of the dream, what truly horrified me was the acceptance of their presence; I sat with one woman beside a porch railing, a flower box next to her, obviously swarming with the creatures trying to convince her that we needed to work together to rid ourselves of this infestation and she only smiled at me and said "Oh, they aren't so bad really. I am beginning to enjoy their sound." And I knew that these insects had infested her--not just her hair, but were actually inside of her, and inside of many people, and that I there wasn't a way to free ourselves of their presence, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness prevaded me.

That is when I woke up heart pounding, a bit sweaty, wondering what it all meant.

Probably nothing I realize that, but still it left me shaky and perplexed.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:36 AM | Comments (3)

November 03, 2004

Woke Up this Morning (no, it isn't about the election)

Took the dog for a walk and found a dead cat in the middle of the road; it had obviously been hit by a car. No one has yet to pick it up, I"m not sure who to call, but I'm not intrepid enough to touch it... How does this bode for the rest of the day?

I am back to earning a bit of money now; the woman who teaches English to the English speakers for the upper grades was asked to teach another class, and she just couldn't fit it into her schedule so yours truly has the job.

I came with a whole syllabus; a complete plan of attack for approximately 10 weeks. TEN WEEKS!!! I spend several hours on this task that I could have otherwise spent on more fun things like my correspondence (which I have been negligent about---I've approximately 12 more people to write!!!) or blogging...I didn't get enough blog reading in yesterday (alright, I want my brain hooked to the internet for instantaneous and continuous access. Then I'd have enough.) No, I spent it reading a book, developing a series of questions and tasks related to the book, printing it all out, and then this morning fighting with the copier at the school to print out six wonderful copies.

The principle found me just as I was done.

She wants something different. She suggested newspaper articles; discuss and read newspaper articles.


So all the work went whoosh, swoosh, down the drain. I did speak with the students and except for one girl, the vote was in favor of newspapers.

So, now I'm developing a new plan of attack.

Think, my friends, think! 40 minutes, six girls at all different levels of English ability (some have only just recently come from the USA, some were born in Israel, some have two English speaking parents, some have only one English speaking parent.) The girls are in grades 7 and 8.

I'm going to bring in an article on global warming. The picture doesn't look so hot ---or should I say the picture looks hot, hot, hot! I am bringing in that particular article and a second one as well. Help me think of a couple of good questions to ask to get them thinking and researching and talking. For their first assignment I want them to write an opinion piece on global warming but I'm on suggested topics. These are smart girls but their language in many cases are sorely lacking.

Suggestions? I wouldn't want the reports to be longer than a single page; even a paragraph or two would suffice.


I kick into crazy overdrive and go overboard on everything I do.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:13 AM | Comments (1)

November 01, 2004


I am feeling incredibly lethargic today- molasses moving. The air has thickened and my brain has dulled and whatever curse is upon me has most likely been bestowed by the earth revolution of the sun bringing me, and the many inhabitants in this hemisphere to the darkening of days.

I become duller during the winter months; my mind more sluggish, thoughts mired on thoughts and unable to form coherency, to rersolve themselves into distinct concepts and ideas. I wander from room to room, flick on and off the television, read and put the book down, unable to delve into the life that is before me. I crave sleep, like a bear, my body and mind hibernating for the season. I crave dreams, escape. Everything takes longer to do; my movements slow and plodding.

But it isn't, or does not need to be an ugly time; winter to me has always been as a pregnant woman; everything turned inward, facing toward the life that is growing inside; what is to be. The ideas that bumble about and stumble into each other form new connections give birth to newer, fresher ideas.

It is a time of expectancy; and birth will happen---pregnancy is always a pause full of the future.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

Wish Me Luck

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

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

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

Thank You Paul

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

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

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

October 24, 2004

Fold And Learn: The End of Extinction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22, 2004

Is it Noon Yet?

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

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

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

What is your favorite comfort food?

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

October 20, 2004

RunTime Error

RUNTIME ERROR! Improper termination of program

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

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

October 17, 2004

So What Did I do all Day?

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

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

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

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

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

aaaaaaaannnnnnnn that's all folks!

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

October 12, 2004

Who Are You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 08, 2004

I Won't Growup!

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

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

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

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

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

October 06, 2004

Brag Alert

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

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

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

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

Wow, I like this!

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

October 04, 2004


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

Isn't that at least an aspect of possession?

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

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

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

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

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

October 03, 2004

The Great Debate

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

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

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

Or do you think I'm way off base?

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

September 29, 2004

This is the last post of the day; perhaps my last post period; or the last one anyone will read, having, after reading this, deemed me crazy. But I feel a strong urge to write. And I'm just going to write, without correction, close my eyes and post.

Ever since I was a child, a young child, I don't know of what age, I felt this fear about me, that the only place I was safe, as a Jew, was Israel. The Holocaust was not overly stressed to me--- my family did not die in the holocaust. All were in the USA. But, I don't know why, there was in me, since a very young age, the feeling that it wouldn't last long. That something, I don't know what, was to occurr in America and it wouldnn't be safe.

9/11 did not drive us here. I did not come because of what happened that day. It didn't really impact that way on me. Yes, I was terriifed and upset and mournful and enraged, but that wasn't it. I always felt that wayy. I thought I was crazy. I thought it me.

But more and more I'm hearing people echo my thoughts in one way or another. Not directly, not the same way. Just a fear creeping in to other's conversations.

I really am worried. I am really worried for every Jew, whether my direct family or not, who live outside of Israel.

Oh I am not claiming prescients. I have no great fame in that direction. Idon't reember a slew of dreams that have occurred that came true. I usually can't tell who is on line before I pick it up. I can't tell you what I think will happen, it is just fear. And the fear isn't for those who aren't Jewish, but then I am Jewish and that is how my feelings may be directed.

So, like I said, closing my eyes and going to post here's a plea; if you really can't make it to Israel now, please be aware, keep your eyes open. Be ready.

I love my family and I love my friends and I fear for them. And if you want to call me crazy that's okay, but the fear is there, and I wouldn't speak if the love wasn't there also.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:35 PM | Comments (3)

September 28, 2004


Do you ever feel unreal? As if you didn't count? As if you were but an extra in someone else's dreams? That you made no mark and would make none; that no one would find your grave? Do you ever feel as if you screamed, but no sound came out, or worse, the sound was there but no one cared?

Do you ever feel like that?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:51 PM | Comments (5)

All Fall Down

Yesterday was so fun I want to tell you! Whatever the heck we have laid us all out; the only two to escape the wrath of Terminator were my older two sons. I hit the sack at around 7 as did the Artist and the Monkey, neither of whom are very good at going to bed early. My dh followed soon afterward. Not only was our stomachs affected, but our muscles as well. I couldn't move; my arms and legs aching like crazy and walking across the room hurt like hell. I missed the parent teachers conference and my girls are going to miss the last day of school till vacation is over.

This has been a killer virus that has hit the whole community, some families twice. I felt very bad for my neighbor; the husband was sick over Yom Kippur, not fun at all!

I suppose that is one of the drawbacks of living in a small community. All the kids are in the same schools, play with the same people when they come home, we all go to the Makolet, work together, pray together. We are bound to share the bad as well as the good.

I still feel as if I've been knocked over by that proverbial mac truck. I am just hoping this is no a harbinger of things to come.

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

September 24, 2004

G'mar Tov

My prayers for the day; may everyone who is fasting have a safe and easy fast. May we all be written in the book of good health and fortune. May Hashem keep us all safe and may this be the year of redemption. And a special prayer for the soldiers who are risking their lives to keep us safe. I can't think of a more difficult day to have to don a uniform.

Rishon Rishon has given a wonderful explanation of Yom Kippur; not only am I loathe to try and do what is already done so well, but he does all that fancy Hebrew words and such as well! I can't top him!

Take care everyone...be well, and safe and healthy.

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

September 19, 2004


Never, ever go into a business relationship with a friend. We were warned about them before we made this deal,but the person who warned us had never been involved in a deal with them and the information was second hand. We should have cheked it out, because we now rue our deal with them.

We are not only left with out much needed funds but there is a deep bitterness in my heart about the whole issue.

What irks me most is I think they realize what a barrel they have us over; we can't possibly fly back to the US and make things right. Meanwhile we are losing money on an item we can't use daily.

Friends should not go into business with friends. One learns too much about the other.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:43 AM | Comments (2)

September 18, 2004

Thank You All

For your wonderful Rosh Hashanah greetings.It was so nice coming back to my nethome and finding all those messages.

I had a lovely three days of quiet and peace and introspection. It was nice getting away from the noise and the bustle and the worry. I realize as I get older the wisdom of not being able to turn on the t.v. or computer, or pick up the phone. Each week I have a mini-retreat from the world. This was a three day retreat because of the two days of Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat.

We ate most meals in, but one. I cooked up some great roasts, a delicious chicken, and lasgna.

Unfortunately the Artist is ill; headache and sore throat and we will probably have her throat cultured tomorrow. And tonight the Monkey began coughing; I hope she isn't getting sick as well.

Other than that, a perfect holiday.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:32 PM | Comments (1)

We Had Steve For Dinner

Like a lot of couples my husband and I are, well, we don't always see eye to eye. He likes it cold, I like it hot, I think coffee should be taken intervenously, he thinks it is a posion whose only purpose is to keep one awake. He takes five teaspoons of sugar. I take one.

We differ also on our interpretation of Jewish law and what is important, what should be done.

Dh rule in this regard, but I am not voiceless.

Like all families we do the apple and honey and dip the Challah into honey instead of salt to indicate our wishes, hopes, prayers for a sweet year.

But there are also lots of other "simonim"which many other families do; foods put out on the table for Rosh Hashanah that are, well, I guess the best way to explain it would be little prayers.There's the pomegranate, because supposedly the pomegranate has 613 seeds, and there are 613 mitzvot, there's the beets, because the word for beet and the word for remove are similar (in Hebrew/Aramaic) and we are asking that our enemies be removed. Go here and here are places to explore more.

And then there is the head of a fish or sheep, that we would like to be like the head and not the tail.

Dh does not like all the little simonim. I like them. But for the most part they aren't done.

But every year I make a whole fish and serve that at the meal, head and all. (We are in agreement about the sheep head. BLECH!!!)

My dh doesn't really go for fish all that much.

Which brings us to Steve.

I set out the fish. The Monkey covers her faces and screams; "I can't eat him! He's too cute!" The Agent claims the fish is staring at him. The Artist just sits there, quietly looking down at her plate.

And the Wit launches into a long story about how poor Steve was the head of the class till I caught him and cooked him, thus cutting short a promising and productive life.

All and all he was good tasting; he didn't even need salt..

And afterward we ate George, the chicken.

(yeah, this is how dinner goes in my house. Please tell me its like that at your house too!)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:55 PM | Comments (1)

September 12, 2004

Vibes (aka as poor pathetic me)

Job hunting vibes; for my dh. I am seriously asking for them. Also, anyone who has a connection with a company that uses cobol/synon/AS400 and wouldn't mind a telecommuter.

My hand was aching last night; I sitll have to work. I know by the end of the day it will be worse. I can't continue with this housecleaning much longer. Something has to change; I am becoming, depleted.

So anyone with connections or suggestions please let me know.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:42 AM | Comments (2)

September 05, 2004

Rotten Mood Warning

Just a tirade, why me sort of rant. Not even a rant as I lack the energy to do much more than toss my hands up and go why me; as in, why can we never make ends meet? I mean ends, not pay for a vacation, but ends meet, as in the grocery bill ends meet.

I am tired of this. I work hard, my husband works hard and we make it nowhere; just when we are about to lift our heads above water another wave of something hits and we go under again.

So what does that mean? We are losers? We aren't really trying? It is all our fault if only we did what? I'm not saying we never treat ourselves or make money mistakes but we never go anywhere or do anything really.

In our 25 years of marriage we have been on exactly three real vacations; that is, not going home to mom trips; and two of them were paid for by my parents as they extended family vacations...my family, my sisters and brother and their family---one to Canada and one to Israel, 3 years ago.

Yeah, if you hear bitterness in there you are right. I am. I love to see new faces and new places.

My new clothes are generally used new clothes.
I can't remember the last time I bought jewelry aside from the cheap watch I'm wearing.

Yes, bitterness. And I hate that part of me, since I should be thankful for all the things I do have and all the chances I do have. People in other parts of the world are actually starving. There are children in Israel who are going to bed without dinner. And, all I have to do is remember this weeks events to realize, "Thank G-d, thank you G-d, for the blessings you have given me."

But does that mean I can't want...can't desire?

Maybe, maybe not. But here are 5 wishs:

1. A family vacation for 2 weeks, hotels only; someone else to cook, clean and the rest of it.
2. Ten new, never used books
3. three new outfits
4. A night out on the town with the dh; dinner, show and away we go!
5 A day at the spa. Just me. Me me me me me me me.

End of rant or whatever the heck this was.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:27 PM | Comments (3)

September 03, 2004

Philosophic Meanderings:AKA the Shoemakers Children

I am cleaning out the tub of the woman I work for in the mornings, going over any spots I see, checking for stains, scrutinizing it carefully for any marks I may have forgotten? I rub my hand along the porcelain; is it clean? Smooth? No grains of cleanser leftover? Anything forgotten? Is that just a shadow I'm seeing from the beige tiles or a stain?

My own tub I do 1,2,3. Chuck in some cleanser, scrub it down, a quick glance and then leave--on to something else.

I go to someone else, the work harder; I move furniture around, something I don't do but a couple times a year in my own home, take off books from the shelves, something I do rarely at home. And I'm inspired to do more, do it better, to please the owners of the house, so that they are left with something beautiful and clean. I work as hard and as well as I can to make the place nice for them, and when I turn around and things are nicer than before, I feel pleased. I also worry as I leave; did I do everything? Did I forget anything?

My own home would scare away the Adams family. Okay, it isn't that bad, but it is close. You should have seen the living room before I tackled it last night!

The more attention I pay to the houses I'm cleaning, the less I give my house.

The shoemakers children.

Why is my home short-changed? Is it just exhaustion? Boredom? Lack of inspiration in the form of money? Lack of appreciation? I don't think it is the money, because 1) were I working for free on someone's house, doing it as a gift, I would work as hard and 2)when I arrive at someone's house to clean I WANT to clean. I want the work done as nice as possible. Even if my clients wouldn't notice something if it were left undone, I still do the work. For instance, in my afternoon work I was careful to clean the legs of the floor fan.

As I was leaving my afternoon work the woman told me how much she appreciated what I was doing; I answered truthfully that I was happy to do it.

Is it simply a matter of appreciation?

I wish I knew; in some ways it is as if the care I should lavish on my home is lavished on the homes of others; as if I had a house-care meter inside me. When all the little mops and buckets were empty it meant my cleaning energy was depleted and I can't do more.

I really wish I knew; my home deserves more respect than I have been giving it.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:59 AM | Comments (1)

August 30, 2004

Remind Me Not To Do This Again

I knew not to mix ammonia and bleach, but I didn't know not to mix citrus acid and bleach. I figured citrus acid/ oragne juice, well they put stuff like that in bleach sometimes for the smell.

I will not do that again. I got a whiff of something that I knew wasn't good, rinsed everything down, toossed the rag I was using and opened all the windows and doors.

I'm still here so I figure I didn't do anything to bad, but I would like to know what I created.

Any chemist out there?

As an aside, the sink is clean.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:19 PM | Comments (8)

August 27, 2004

I Don't Want to Go to Work Today

Title says it all.
Whiningly yours.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:02 AM | Comments (4)

August 26, 2004


The woman I clean for on Mondays and Thursdays has two adorable children; a three-year- old boy, who is sweet and funny, and a 6- month- old girl. This little one sleeps in ten minutes snatches, has a smile and a laugh that would warm Scrooges heart. I knew this child before she was born and saw her when she was only a few days old.

Today when I went to clean the bathroom after her mother had given her a bath and found the tub still full of water. Not the little tub her mother has been using, the regular tub.

"She's growing up." I thought to myself.

Later her mother asked me to clean the baby tub. "I'm going to put it upstairs."
"Sure" I thought. I almost always did, but today I hadn't as the big tub was used.
I got out the cleaner and the sponge and set in to work; and I felt this odd little tug at my heart. The bathtub is no longer part of her life, or my life.

"She is growing up."

I feel sort of Auntish toward her, and her brother, watching them grow and change. Today, the little boy pulled out his new crayons and showed me, promising to draw me a picture using them. He's invited me to go swimming in his pool with him, showed off his new Tzitit (fringed garment worn by men, donned normally after a chid is toilet trained/or three), showed me his reward chart. The little girl favors me with her smiles, finds comfort sometimes in my arms.

It is a sweet experience for me.;the privilege without the work; one of the benefits of the job I do.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:48 AM | Comments (5)

August 22, 2004

Now You Know My ABC's

Robin of CCJELLYBEANS (check out her new look!) had this up, and I'm falling suit. I'm such a copy cat!

A Archery is a sport I took in highschool. I wish I had a set of bows and arrows!
B Buy me a Book, that will make me happy. My favroite authors? Ende and Liggoti.
C Chocolate, white and creamy, with or with out nuts, a taste that is dreamy.
D Dogs and cats, cats and dogs. I've always lived with one or the other.
E Eclairs; I love them, but haven't had one in years. The chocloate, the pastry, the cream. An inch of fat on each thigh but worth it, really!
F Flowers and plants don't last long in ths house.
G Graduated from college with a BA in psych, which has helped me not at all in life.
I Israel is my physical home of only 1 + years, but ever since I was young I wanted to live here.
J Jacks was a game I loved to play when I was a child; I was actually quite good at it.
K Kites; everyone should have a kite!
L Lavendar ismy favorite scent. When we buy the house I want to plant lavendar and roses.
M Momo, by Michael Ende is one of my favorite books.
N Neverending Story, is the one Michael Ende is most famous for. Read the book, skip the movie.
O Orthdox Jew is what I am. I wasn't raised this way though; we were conservadox.
P Penumbra is my favorite word; it just seems so mysterious.
Q Quilts; I've always wanted to make a quilt.
R Rachel Ann is my name because my mother didn't like Ann Rachel! I prefer it this way also.
S Serendipity is another word I like.
T Tidy I am not. Wish I was.
U Unicorns are my favorite fantasy beast. Wish they were real!
V Violins are interesting instruments. The Artist wishes she had one. I wish she had one also.
W Williard is one movie I will never see. I've a fear of rats!
X Xenoglossia means person’s knowledge of a language never studied. I like weird and unusual words!
Y Yarn is something I love to work with; crochet it or spin it from wool.
Z Zephyrs are lovely on a warm day. Or a cool day, depending on which you mean.

What are your abc's?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:35 PM | Comments (4)

August 20, 2004

Entrance of My Past-Life Lover

So I'm helping out a friend with a bit of fine hand work the other day; this is the day I am also all set to go for a wedding; the son of a good friend, and my first Israeli wedding. I had cleared my calendar, switched my afternoon work. Boy, was I hyped.

But first I had this little emergency to take care of. And it took delicate handiwork. Repteitive, delicate, handywork.

Did I ever mention I suffered from carpal tunnel in the past (Thank you G-d for accupuncture!) And I guess this delicate, repetivive handiwork tickled my brains bad humor and it sent me a twinge in the back. Ouch. Okay, ignore that. But then antoher one came, and another one came. Soon I'm doing the labor-woman breath: pwhh, pwwhh! No help. My back is getting very angry. I stopped, lie down on the ground a moment (really looks sophisticated to speard yourself on someone's porch. "Hit! Didn't you know proch lying was the latest fad?" Didn't do much good. I try working again, interspersed with wacky motions of back and arms, and lying on the floor and two ibruprofens; spasms are coming on strong. If I were a laboring woman I'd be nudging my dh and going "It's time!" But there would be no blessing at the end of this battle and while I tried to work it was just getting ridiculous. I was spending more time on the floor than on the work. It hurt to move, it hurt to stay still. I had a few seconds of releif and then BAM! Something grabbed the nerves in my back and pulled! Finally I had to leave.

Angry, humilated, guilty---I like helping, I like the feeling of it, but it was a no go-- I head home, phoning the Agent and telling him; KEEP THE BATHROOM CLEAR. I was headed for a hot bath.

This will do the trick. This HAD to do the trick. I couldn't picture myself riding in a car the way I was feeling. I wouldn't be able to maintain any position. NO! NO! NO!

Hot water. Ease myself in. Close my eyes to try and relax a bit. My emotions weren't helping my back any.

I'm just starting to relax a little when BANG! I look up and see the shadow of a bird in the window. Pebbled window for modesty's sake.

"Absurd bird." I think. I close my eyes and again BANG! What?

And I think back to a little incident with an e-mail friend. She had this bird keep banging agains ther window too. What was going on she asked? Me, being weird as usual wrote back "It is a past-life lover my dear. You rejected him. He no longer wanted to be human, but he sought you out and he has forgotten he's a bird! In his next life he'll be a moth."

Well it looks like my past-life lover was paying me a visit too.

After about the fifth bash his head against the window I started feeling a bit
weird. Apparently my past life lover was not only stupid and absurd but a perv.

No wonder I ditched him.

My back wasn't getting better and absurd bird was getting on my nerves. Out of the tub, down two more ibruprofen, slather on ben gay, try and lie down, try and walk around, a glass a wine. Finally a nap.

Woke up as if from a drugged sleep, which I guess it was, but the back pain and the bird were gone.

Wedding was lovely.

But if I see that bird again, I'm gonna kill him. Moth's are less noisy and messy.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:12 PM | Comments (3)

August 16, 2004

Guest blogged

Over at feministe if you all want to see it.
First time I've done that! (Depending on how it is received it may very well be the last time too!) I was ultra nervous of course; messing up one's own site is one thing, but no one wants to goof up someone else's place!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:03 AM | Comments (1)

August 11, 2004


Yesterday was so wonderful; I went into Jerusalem with a friends young daughter; age 14, so it wasn't like I was babysitting; more accompanying her because her mom didn't want her in Jerusalem alone.

Aside from Bazaar Strauss, where I purchased 4 shirts, 2 for each daughter, the only places we went were bookstores.

I could have stayed the whole day doing that!

When I came home my little ones were with friends, and my son was handling dinner (baked ziti, quite delicious!) I ignored all housework and dug into to my new purchases.

For 103 shek (which comes out to be about $25) I brought home 12 books, one of which was new, and a crossword puzzle magazine. Whee! Talk about striking gold! I'm in 7th heaven.

I bought
1. Rose Madder; by Stephen King (which I'm almost through already)
2 Mistress of Mistresses; by E.R. Eddison
3. Little Deaths; edited by Ellen Datlow
4. A Whisper of Blood; edited by Ellen Datlow
5. Death Dream; by Graham Masterton
6 Stephanie; by Winston Graham (no idea what this author is like)
7. Buried Secrets; Trish Macdonald Skillman (another unknown)
8. Barchester Towers; by Anthony Trollope
9. Under the Volcano; by Malcolm Lowry (again, whe? But looks interesting.)
10.Nectar in a Sieve; by Kamala Markandaya (started reading this. WOW!!)
11. A child's novel in Hebrew, hoping to imporve my Hebrew.
12. A book for The Artist, a Madeline L'engle book.

But what has really tugged at my interest, what I really think I'm going to fall in love with (as I have already dipped my fingers into her text and the taste is exquisite!) is Nectar in a Sieve.

It is a novel, written by a woman from So. India in the 1950's. It was her first novel published, third written. She died just this past May.

I love old books; I love the feel, the yellowing paper, the quaint pictures on the cover; but all that is dressing. Open the book of an unknown author and one is invited to take a tour of an unknown land. What will one find? Dull, uninspired gardens, dead trees and stagnant waters, with nothing but the scent of dust , rotting fish and dead flies? Or beautiful bays, mysterious grottos, a path through the woods that leads to a secret lake, fed by a glimmering waterfall, the air crisp, clean and fragrant flowers?

Here are a couple of quotes from Nectar in a Sieve; I leave it up to you to decide
the landscape.

My mother in the doorway, no tears in her eyes but her face bloated with their weight.
I had seen the slow, calm beauty of our village wilt in the blast from town, and I grieved no more;.....
The memories of that night are hard and bright within me like a diamond, and the fires that flash from it have strange powers.

I just skimmed through the book and found the quotes above; I'm certain there are better examples. I don't know whether I want to save this book for last or read it a bit at a time, or just read it in one gulp and then again and again. I do know that whatever else she wrote, I want to read!

Anyway, I"m going back to my reading; housework be damned! I'm extending my "vacation" as long as I can!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004


Today, in Jerusalem for BOOKS!!! Books, books and more books, as much as I can afford. I have two coupons for about 6o shek (probably not even equal to one new book, but maybe) and we will also go to Sefer v'sefel.

I love books.

(My alter-ego is off to Japan; but she can't read Japanese! She'll probably get one or two books there just for the fun of it though. Lucky lady; she has one room dedicated to books!)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 05:39 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

Sipping wine and reading a good book

Or my alter ego is anyway. In fact, she has been reading a good book for over an hour now. She is not trying to avoid finishing the dishes.

Four hours ago she sat down to a quiet dinner; she decided on dinner at home tonight: pasta in a light garlicky sauce, with parmesan cheese, a salad, with just a hint of raspberry dressing. Then she took her little Scot-terrier for a walk. Momo loves Jerusalem at night, and pokes her head into everything.

Back home she took a long, scented bath; there were no toys in the tub of course; but puffs and pumice stones and gels galore.

Now she is sitting in her ver clean living room, curled on the couch (deep purple with toss pillows in sage green with purple banding), her silver grey cat, Mist, in her lap. There are candles lit on the coffee table near by, scenting the room with lavender. Jazz is playing on the stero.

The windows are open to let in the light breezes of the evening.; white curtains billowing in and out.

In another hour she will tire, and slip into her clean bed. Alone, at peace, she will fall asleep.

She is probably very lonely too, and is probably fantasizing about a life with kids, hubby and noise. But I like my alter-ego sometimes; a nice fantasy to engage in when I'm feeling exhausted from the kids and all the work that results from being a wife and mommy.

Do you have an alter ego? What does he or she do?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:32 PM | Comments (2)

Lazy Hazy Days

I seem to have had that folkloric cat who steals one's breath come visit me at night. But it has not taken by breath, but all my energy. Unsatisfied, it also went after my husband, my chidren, my dog and my internet provider; none of us was up and working this morning.

Well, I must correct that; I was up, but my internet provider did not seem to be. I tried to open my administrative page to follow through with l&d's suggestions to correct a problem I was having and got an error message; and my e-mail stopped in the middle of downloading.

Annoying? Frustrating? Truthfully I welcomed the problem; unable to do what I wanted to do I did what I needed to do and went back to bed for three hours.

I need a vacation; I had sort of a mini one, as the girl I care for in the evenings went away to a special camp. But I mean a real, do-nothing, sleep till 10 if you want, read in bed or go to the beach vacation.

No dishes, no laundry, no anything to clean or scrub. I don't even want to go touring strange and unfamiliar places. And it would be nice if there were someone along who would handle the little one's needs.

I want to do nothing. I want to vege.

Though I wonder if I got my chance how long I would last before I started looking for something to do.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:16 AM | Comments (1)

August 08, 2004

Things Past

My grandfather died when I was 18, having slipped into a coma after a fall and never recovering. This was probably the beginning of my grandmother's decent into senility; her long vigils at his side causing mini-strokes that began to eat at her brain.

Before he died my grandparents lived in this wonderful Victorian house; lead glass windows, stained glass windows, a hall big enough to dance in, an upstairs that was easily divided into three bedrooms AND a full size apartment, where an aunt of my grandmother had previously lived.

It was a wonderful place for a child to play; full of closets and frightening corners that might. who knew? held ghosts.

Much of the time however, we spent in the living room; my grandparents on the green Victorian couch, holding court.

My grandfather was mostly quiet; interjecting advice or commands occasionally, but otherwise, silent. One day however, when I was about fourteen, he abruptly declaimed, into a rather dull conversation of politics and what not.

"You use to be able to smell the flowers!" And the room became silent. My grandfather began to cry."You use to be able to walk down the street and smell the flowers! Now you have to stick your nose right into them to smell anything. The scent use to be all over the street. You use to be able to smell the flowers!" and then he retreated back into silence.

The conversation began after a few seconds; not about flowers, about what I have no memory. But in that moment my grandfather went from being a stick figure to becoming a man; I imagined him when he was young, unbent, proud, walking down his beautiful street full of sweet scents. HE had brought his family there, bought a house large and comfortable where his children could hold dance parties. HE had given them a lovely neighborhood safe and sunny, where they could live with their heads held high. HE had, in a sense, conquered the world.

And I wondered what had taken the scents away; pollution was one thought.

It wasn't till I was older that I learned in breeding had replaced lovely scents with showy blooms; the outside ritz and glitz, replacing the inner sweetness. It seemed to me as if we had traded the most important for the least.

This is my fondest, though saddest memory of my grandfather. I wish he had been less reserved; I wish he had let us see more of him while he was still alive.
I wish I could have known at least a few of his joys.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:12 AM | Comments (3)