June 23, 2006

Work Can Kill

At least if you are working with the those lacking in basic common sense.

Correction fluid for the computer?
That would do me in as well.....

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

In Search of the Holy E-Mail Program

Or at least to find one that sits up and begs at my command.
I am trying to find a free e-mail program that can handle attachments containg adobe files which list things like

The Elephant Lovers Top 300 Best Elephant Logos in the Country.
Sent in three separate e-mails each about five pages long.

So I can find information/verify information like this:

The Putin Factory 345 Thirty-Second St. Newport CT. 000-555-000
And plug it into the system.

I also need to be able to write letters like this:

Dear Boss Lady,

I am afraid that the last file you sent me made it appear that the news article listed was used by the elephants for something other than reading. Could you
please send me the file again?

Thank you,
Rachel Ann

To which she will reply with an

"Oh. Okay."

Now, is that asking too much from an e-mail program?

Ah, but I guess it is.

I don't want to use my regular e-mail as I now have my own work profile on the computer, and I don't want to divide my email up between various boxes. So hmm, was that letter downloaded to my work or personal file?


Here's the rundown on free programs so far:

AIM...Stinks. The one I used and sent her and now I can't get my mail. It has more time problems than an unruly child.

Cashette. Cute. The idea being that spammers pay you. Or you can just set it to not receive spam. It is also suppose to be able to pull e-mails from a variety of other sources so you can consolidate them all in one box. How it does that I'm not certain because I tried to set it up and it doesn't work. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Cool Toad The first time I tried it (via Opera) I couldn't write a letter; nothing was entering into the text box. I tried all sorts of rich editing stuff. No go. In Firefox I didn't get the rich text box but I did get to write a stupid e-mail to myself. Now it works in Opera but doesn't have the rich text box. Some things I can live without, and if I had never seen it I'd be happy, but now I feel deprived.

mariamail Well I wish I had something nice to say about it, but I can't even register. It keeps popping up with a message, no matter what browser I use "form incomplete. go back". After the fourth or fifth try I was screaming at the computer "YOU IDIOT IT IS FILLED IN CAN'T YOU SEE!!!!" Too bad, sounds like a nice place. They don't allow porn and they check you out to make sure you aren't some nefarious dude with spam or (sometimes and) porn purposes on your mind.

Gawab They have a thing against Israel: I couldn't find Israel on the list of countries on the sign in page. Turns out they are arab based. Yeah, whatever. Off topic but: Do you know there are Arab countries that won't mail to or from Israel? Some allow to, some allow from I suppose some allow neither. How do I know this? I do (or did, I don't have the money to do them much anymore)friendship books, and I've been on lists where, when doing a group swap there are some people who can't be partnered with me. Do follow the link if you don't understand what I'm talking about.

I also have Opera mail, but that just comes with Opera, Thunderbird for normal stuff, two G-mail accounts which I originally set up to get blog mail and when we were having e-mail problems my e-mail groups, but I also get personal mail and some newsletterrs there, My-Way, for blog stuff and radio programs, Yahoo and I've a hotmail account but keep forgetting the password and trying to find a good "strong" password just takes so long forget about it. And somewhere I've a momsworld account, if that still works. Probably they have sent me dozens of threatening messages telling me to delete delete delete but I"m not there to receive it. Ha! on them.

By the end of my foray into my quest I will most likely have more e-mail accounts than anyone else in the world and will still feel unfulfilled in terms of a work e-mail program.

Maybe I'll make it into Guinesse as a consolation prize.

Anyway, I'm looking for a loyal e-mail doggie that will wag its tail for me. Don't need a pure-bred. Just some nice mutt that won't drool or steal my stuff.



Apparently I also have a Care2 mail account.
Yeah I know, I'm a bit ditzy.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:49 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 12, 2005

Notes on Working at Home

Treat it like work.
Take breaks.
Take lunch.
Just because the work is on your plate doesn't mean you have to do it NOW.

I've been driving myself nuts. No matter what she handed me I've been working on it straight, few breaks, trying to get it all done. Last night I saw she gave me 100 more to do and I broke down in tears....and I realized I really have to protect myself becaue no one else would.

So that 200 that she sent last night? I'm taking a break and I'll get to what I can and work for about an hour more (I worked last night till midnight and this morning have been working since about 7). Then I stop.

No matter what.

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

December 11, 2005

I Am Wiped

Title says it all.

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

December 06, 2005

Got a Job

A work from home deal. I've been giving it my all, and getting a bit too stressed out over it. What I am is a "researcher" I check the accuracy of addy/phone number for a particular company.

I have to learn to pace myself though and realize that I need to do things like eat, sleep, and occassionally admit defeat. I hate making mistakes. And I hate having work in front of me; so today I spent almost six hours doing the work non-stop.

Not a good idea. My stomach is in knots and my arm is aching.

But I'll get there. As I get faster I'll be able to earn more money at a reasonable pace.

In any case, I've made $50 bucks since Sunday, which sounds a whole lot better in shekels

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

Job Stuff

First I would really like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and suggestions.

Second of all I want to repeat something: I LOVE MY BOSS. Actually, I love everyone down there. The job is too much for me, but probably not for a stronger person. My boss(es) have asked me to slow down, do less. It is the drive in me that prevents it; I just won't let things rest. I am also just not cut out for this type of work. The moist air, the hours that I'm outside, are all contributing to my broncitis. I need a less physical job.

I do hate to leave them; because everyone is so wonderful, open, friendly and fun to be with. I would give this job to my best friend (if I thought she could handle the work.)

An ideal job would have this group of people transported to a bookstore; I was going to say library but that would mean we would all have to shut up and not joke around and I doubt if any of us could do that.

So please, don't get angry at my bosses. They are caring people. The problem is I'm not strong enough, not that they are too demanding.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

Okay, So Advise Me

I don't know that I can do this job. I'm physically and psychologicallly wiped.
My boss and coworkers are great people. My boss is always urging me to drink and to rest. But I don't see how I can do that.

I'm the dishwasher right? There's me, and this one other guy who works in the dairy section. He's suppose to do the dairy dishes, but he spots me as well. When i get to work at 7:15 there are already several people cooking; they've been there for about 15 minutes sometimes more. There are also dishes waiting; containers and such from whatever event went on the night before. Often these are part full of leftover food and I need to empty them as well. Then there are whatever there is left over from whoever was still cooking before I left to go home at 4:15 or whenever...I've worked till 5 and there are still sometimes people in the kitchen or who are leaving the kitchen at the same time I am, so if they've just finished and are giving me all the utensils and cutting boards and whatnot that they have used up till that point to cook, as well as whatever was forgotten in the kitchen from earlier use, of course there is always a pile waiting for me and a pile that continues to build during the day as people keep cooking.

I just can't keep up. I can't take much of a break because it isn't as if there is one or two people in the kitchen who are working and then they have a break so nothing else builds up. There are always people cooking, cutting, preping food, cleaning food and this means knives, cutting boards, peelers, bakery items, pans that they used for steaming...you know the kind that they serve food from at banquets and such? Well theycook things in these pans and they need to be cleaned.

And sometimes I work in the ktichen as well so stuff builds up from what I'm doing.

Yesterday soon after I came to work the guy took over and I went into the kitchen to work. I stirred onions and leeks, I sitrred rice to keep it from burning...these are all in cannibal size pots and pans mind you. I cleaned windows, the bottom of a fridge, the walls in the bakery, the sink in the bakery, peeled, with help, 15 kilos of pottatos. Diced them in a machine. Peeled and cubed onions (by hand). Pulled dill from the stalks. Then I went back to dishes (at about 3:45. By that time there was a pile built up again. And when I started more containers from some event came in. So I get through a lot of those and then more stuff came in from the bakery, more stuff from the kitchen, two big pots that I finally said I couldn't do because I can barely managed to lift them truthfully, and the only way I could reach in and wash them was by bending over them to clean them.

I'm out of breath. There is a rash that extends down both arms from the cleanser or the dishwashing liquid or both. I barely eat. I'm shaky. I come home and can barely do anything.

But we need the money. I don't know what to do. I need some good advice.

If I had another job, less physical and closer to home, even for less hours, I'd give two weeks notice and quit.

But I don't have.

I am working 9 hour days, leave the house at 6 and don't get home till 6:30...because of buses and everything.

What should I do?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:33 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

I Guess I'm Looking Old

Some young woman on the bus tapped me on the shoulder and showed me where I could find a seat.

I was thankful though. I'm on my feet almost the whole day, and my day is a long one. I leave the house at about 6 and didn't get home today till 6:30....

In case you were wondering where I've been...I've been too tired to blog.

Now that's tired.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 04:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 27, 2005

I've Got A Job!!!

At least it seems that way. In the grand ole' field of


Yeah, I know, the position I've really aspired to.

BUT, it is money. And the boss is a fantastic lady and my co-workers are great. Big draw back is the hour or so commute. But I can handle that. I've got books!!!!

And it pays the bills. And it just might get us this house.

So here's to wrinkled fingers and tired legs!!!!

(and I'm not reading many people today because I got started late and got home late. Tomorrow begins at the bleary-eyed hour of five because most days I'll need to catch the 6:15. )

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Laundry Help

Okay, so I'm folding CLEAN laundry here. Fresh from the wash and dryer, and I hold up my dh's white shirt. There is all this %$@& inside the seams lining the pockets, button holes and buttons. Yargh!! I hate to get the lint out, but I turn everything as inside out as possible and make his shirt white again.

Comeon, someone else must have tackled this problem before and found a better solution!

Meanwhile, back at the sick bed. Monkey has had diarreha all day and night, woke me about three times to come with her to the bathroom, curled up all hot and sweaty beside me in my bed, and then this morning threw up in my bed. Yes I'm keeping her hydrated, offering as much liquids and liquidy foods (some soup, ice pops etc.) as I can. Poor thing she has really got it bad.

And me? I had almost zippo sleep last night and already I've done a load of wash, folded the wash, cleaned the toilet, sink and tub and walked the dog.

Someone pat me on the back! Send me a gold star! Send me in my application for mother of the day! Something!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 24, 2005


1. Yes that is post-worthy. You all don't know how long it has been.

2. Yes I know that is pathetic. I don't have the homemaker genes. I think they are connected to the singing genes.

3. Yes, I'm sticking to that.

4. No you can not see a picture of the mess. I'm not that willing to show you how sloppy I am. I have some pride.

5. Ah go read this
and tell me your favorite housecleaning "tip" (or joke).

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:58 AM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2005

F in Failure

Okay, I admit it. I'm failing failure. I am morose, depressed, blue, groaning under the weight of knowing I did not meet my own expectations in terms of teaching.

Failure isn't so bad. Failing is information on what one doesn't know, what one needs to learn. Failure can help direct your life or learning the way it should go.

If you allow it to work for you. If you see where you went wrong, why you went that way and how to avoid that trap in the future.

I had such high hopes when I started. I thought I could really achieve something, help these wonderful children onto the road to reading and writing and speaking.

I didn't really make much progress...a bit, maybe, but I inspired no long lasting love of the language, no drive to master and go further in their learning. A few hits, a lot of misses and what went wrong?

I know part of it is I could have been less than a wimp. I really don't like people being unhappy; I have this great need to please, and sometimes that's not the direction that is the most effective. I have to fight myself not to say "yes" and not to try and make someone happy.

I don't have a high degree of self-confidence. Okay, truth here; my self confidence is approaching zero. You've heard of the guy who could sell ice to an Eskimo? I'd have a hard time selling it to someone living on the Equator during the height of summer, during a heat wave. "Here's some ice. Well, you probably don't really want it. I really do understand, I'm sure you've developed a better way to beat the heat than ice. No, no it's okay. I can't take your money. Here, have it as a gift."

Nah, you definitely don't want me on your sales team. Maybe the other guys sale team, but not yours.

And what is teaching but selling? Selling knowledge, to the highest bidder, not for money, but for effort and determination.

So how do I become a better sales person? How do I either learn to sell what I have, and I think I do have something of myself to give, or to find a place where what I have is wanted, and I can just release myself to the work?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:00 AM | Comments (3)

June 01, 2005

Shhhhhhhhhhhh; Don't Tell the Kids

via Slashdot

Apparently one can have too much of a good thing. Homework is the latest example. Teachers (such as myself) often give homework because there isn't enough class time to thoroughly cover a subject. But it seems that, for many students, homework is actually counterproductive; those who need it most suffering the greatest harm.

To tell the truth, though I assign homework, and do my best to make it relate to the work we do in class, I'm not certain of the benefit to my students. When homework is graded (in any class) those whose parents can "help them" tend to get the best grades, even when most of the work isn't theirs, but also learn in direct proportion to their effort.

I do dislike the current system of education. I wonder whether it would be improved by spending a few years on a few topic or even 1/2 or 1/4 semester, and then switching. In this way study would be concentrated, one could spend more time on it (most of the day), and of course other subjects would naturally be incorporated within that study. (try to learn science without learning some math or reading for instance.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)

May 16, 2005

Baby Gazing

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

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

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

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

Not bad!

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

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

March 06, 2005


Music lyrics; for a non-love type song (or where the love could be mom or G-d).

One of my friends is trying to help some of the less vocal students in her class express themselves better, and to encourage them she wants to use songs. But this is a religious school, even nice love songs, where sex is not spoken of, would not be a good choice. Songs about nature, about friendship etc. would work, or songs where the person being loved could be G-d or mom would also be okay, but romance is out. Any suggestions?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:10 PM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2005

I'm Not Doing It

I know I should, but the last two times I did this something broke.

Oh, but it looks so horrible in there.

Okay, tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow.

And you know the old saying; tomorrow never comes! ;-)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 02:50 PM | Comments (1)

February 14, 2005


All joking aside, if I can learn to Macrame I have at least one job offer! Who knows.

Off to study and play with yarn!

Yeah, I know, I know. I'm not giving up my day job; just maybe hopefully finding a way to add to it.....

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:55 AM | Comments (1)

February 13, 2005

Announcing my New Profession

I finally found what I am more than good at, what I am in fact superb at, and I cannot allow this opportunity pass. We need the money, and I've the talent so.....

Rachel Ann's Professional Worry Service is officially opening its doors.

I can worry for you, if the price is right, about anything.
Gettting a job, keeping a job, finding the right job/house/man/woman.
Whether it is just a cold.
Why the sky is blue.
You name it, I'll worry it!

I'll worry while eating, while walking to work, while soaking in the bathtub.
I'll wake up in the middle of the night and obsess over anything you want me to.

I will turn each molehill into a mountain, each minor crisis into one of international magnitude, all so you don't have to.

I am that good.

No worry is too large or too small. My head can fit it all. I can worry about innumerable things simultaneously and never mix them up.

Do not worry, all your worries are safe with me.

Please send check or moeny order to:
Rachel Ann

and then have a good nights sleep.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:22 PM | Comments (5)

February 07, 2005

Great Expectations

There sits Miss Haversham, always a bride, forever virginal, living a life devoid of life because she can't get over her betrayal; she can not change her plans.

Me: Great expectations. My girls in my English class where going to read. All of them would be at or beyond third grade level by the time we ended the term.
Reality. It ain't gonna happen.

I've had to downsize my expectations to meet reality, not because the girls I work with are unintelligent, obstinate, or lazy, but because their environment has, in part, honed their abilities and talents, and one thing their environment has been telling them to do since they could read Hebrew was; ignore the vowels. Learn the words by site. The vowels aren't there.

This learning is both subtle and overt; a stated goal in school, an obvious goal when books read to them contain things (nikoodot, equivalent to vowels) that big people's books don't have.

But English is somewhat vowel dependent. Yes, I cn rd ths. But is this word I mt hm met or meet? English holds its vowels tight, and English, unlike Hebrew, has words that don't even seem related which in fact are; went and go. And why is it goes anyway for she/he/it but not for anyone else? Why is it FISH and not fishes?
Slept but not sleeped, kept, but not keeped, but bleeped and seeped?

Culture has inoculated those of us who have grown up in an English-speaking world, so that even if we err, it is easier for us to learn to do it correctly because we have heard it correctly, numerous times, without our awareness. Movies, radio, books read to us, conversations that take place around us, teachers and parents correcting us: it is KEPT, not KEEPED, you WENT, not goed.
Hear the correction and the correct way; hear it in our sleep.

If I'm the main source of this information, if I am the main one who will say "That's a (short A) sound not e(short e ) sound, it will take much longer to learn.

Even if their parents do correct, and the girls in my class have conscientious parents so I'm sure they do, they can't do it all the time, and I wouldn't want all their English conversations to become heavily bogged down in a lesson. Better to speak English at least some of the time, even poorly, than never at all.

So I am reviewing the situation (again with the Dickens) and revising my expectations downward, to, hopefully a proper level.

It feels a bit like giving up, but in reality I know it is the opposite; it is moving forward.

Sometimes you have to climb down a bit to get up the mountain.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:27 AM | Comments (2)

January 16, 2005

Straw Looms

Well, the girls in my English class may not have enjoyed spinning, but they enjoyed this!

Now how is that English? Well, these words came up (though so much interest was in the loom I will most likely have to repeat the words) Loom, weave (and I showed them that people can weave in and out of things as well) shirts, skirts, bedclothes, sheets, pillowcases, numbers five and three, spin, thigh. They took home some yarn and their looms and now have something else to do when they don't have homework. At the very least they brought home an art project. And the principle seemed to think it a good idea; she saw what we were doing and complimented me.

So next week I'm going to talk more about the words, and then do a movement excercise with each girl moving how I specify; weave in and out of the chairs, or spin, or jump or kick, or run in place etc. etc.

I like teaching!

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:22 PM | Comments (5)

January 09, 2005

Dig A Hole

Hey fellow teachers, lend me your ear; and advice. What do you do when your "great idea for class" turns into mush?

I had thought to teach the girls in my third grade class to spin wool (with a whole lot of language learning thrown in almost under the table), beginning by showing them wool in all its forms, from dirty as it came sheared from the sheep, to nice clean carded, or teased wool. and then onto spinning it by rolling it on their thigh. Card, wool, comb, dye, spin, weave...there were a lot of words that could come from learning to spin and all come naturally. No cold definitions; warmth and actions.

Three kids and two responded to the thought of even touching the clean puffs of wool as one might to making cow pies into, well, pies. To top it off we didn't have a room and the noise level about us necessitated speaking at a roar, at least at first.

I know the idea wasn't too terrible; girls from other classes kept stopping by to ask me questions, but these two girls weren't having it. Their attention wandered, and they were bored to tears. And I didn't have a clue as to get their attention back toward me, and their work, and the learning I had planned. If they weren't going to participate, how could they learn?

Words need hooks; they need to relate to one's life. Spin as in spin on a spindle isn't required as a word in and of itself, but spin as in spin around, spin the wheel, spin a lot of things is. Weave, clean, dirty, sweet, hay, clover and how they relate and relating other words to them (clover, over, but cover, lover.)

In a larger class a few who "ughed" wouldn't be a problem; most or a good section would be interested in this (as was evidenced by the fact that many of the girls from other classes were highly intrigued) and the few who didn't would either just be bored or, eventually, would come around. But I have to keep everyone engaged, and it is so hard sometimes. Should I just always prepare two classes? What if both are dull as dishwater to them?

Anyway, I'd like to hear from other teachers on what they do with their children when something, which sounded so good and fun, is met with resistance.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:46 PM | Comments (3)

December 18, 2004

Thanks for the Heads Up

There is nothing like being told that your Wednesday English class is now on Sunday at 10:00 Saturday night. I did have a plan. The plan called for a newspaper. It is not possible to get an English newspaper at 10 pm on this Yishuv.
I have to come up with something quick and my brain feels as if it has had the plug pulled from it and all ideas are quickly draining away.
This isn't a class I'm going to be holding on to for a long time anyway. A friend is likely taking over all the 8th grade English classes (both my class and the main teachers class) come February. (She is a certified teacher. No acrimony at all on my part, I'm glad she will be stepping in. Here in Israel there are something called Bagruts, which are similar to the regents. You don't do well you don't get into college.) Still, in the few weeks I have to teach I want to teach them well. I don't like going in unprepared. I will have to put something together between now and 11 am tomorrow.

So why am I blogging about it? In the hopes that something will spark in my brain when I'm not paying attention to it; you know, like the kid who wants to pretend he isn't doing what you just asked him to do so you have to pretend you don't know that they are in the bathroom brushing their teeth or already dressed, even though you can hear the water running and the sound of brush against teeth, or see their shoes from beneath the covers. Then you act all surprised and happy and fooled and say things like "You little monster! You tricked me! And here I thought you were still sleeping!"

Ideas, I think, are like children. They want to run things themselves and sometimes you just have to give them the chance. But you also have to let them know you are there and available to them if they need you.

And that does give me an idea. Maybe after we decide on a name for our newspaper, and make other final decisions we can talk about how we find ideas for stories in the first place, and how to overcome writers block and other writers tricks.

Hope you enjoyed my little stream of consciousness there.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2004

The Banging Sound You Hear

Is me knocking my head against the wall.
School started today. I was suppose to teach a class. I was suppose to teach a class at 10:25-11:45. BUT, when I went to check the time, my mind played a trick on me and I went to look up SUNDAY'S time. Yep. Sunday starts at 12:10. I was throughly prepared to teach class at the WRONG time! And I was sitting here, preparing last minute items when, ding-dong, I realized my mistake. Too late to go up and rectify the matter.

Grrrrrrrr, I'm such an idiot sometimes!

I would feel guiltier, but the truth is there have been days when they've changed the schedule and I haven't been informed.

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