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Sunday, February 28, 2010

WHAT time is it?


There just has to be some scientific reason why I wake up , every morning at 4.05.

(actually it’s 4.10 but I couldn’t find a picture of a digital clock that said 4.10 – beggars can’t be choosers)

No I don’t need to get up then ( heaven forbid)

No my husband doesn’t get up then.

It’s not because I go to bed so early and so I’ve slept enough – I rarely get to bed before 1.00…… and I have definitely NOT slept enough by 4.10.

No the alarm clock doesn’t go off then.

No I’m not worried about missing a flight / bus / an agent offering me a Hollywood screen play  (that last one was to see if you’re really awake!!)

So please someone tell me why I wake up at 4.10 every morning?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


When I went back to  employed work about six years ago as a teacher, I was nervous.

Most of my fellow teachers in the staff-room were my children’s ages, making me feel like some nearly extinct dinosaur.

But it didn’t take me long to realize that I had plenty of advantages over them.

I’m never in a mad rush to get out as soon as the bell rings, as there’s no teacher or babysitter waiting for me to pick up my starving children.


I don’t have to take time off for my children’s illnesses.

I’m not as exhausted as the young mothers ( and fathers) who never get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

I’m pretty calm and have more self-confidence than many of those inexperienced  youngsters and don’t get upset over criticism.

Outraged parents and badly behaved pupils don’t faze me. (After bringing up 7 children nothing much fazes me. )


Yes, maturity carries with it many advantages.

Most of the major expenses of life have been paid for (mortgage, children’s education, most weddings etc) so I can allow myself to be employed part-time and devote more time to writing.

And as for the writing – well, as the years go by, I have far more to write about.

Essay subjects abound.  If it happened, there’s an essay in it somewhere.

I have enough  material on parenting (kept up to date by my grandchildren) to fill most magazines and websites for a long time.

I can now write for  most age markets ( grandchildren keep me up to date with teen-speak / fads/fashions / technical gadgets which are foreign animals to me).


I’ve always loved writing. I never said “ I’ll write when …….. I have more time/ the children sleep through the night / the kids are grown / I retire …etc

I’ve been writing regularly, even if not frequently, since I was about 15 and now that I have more time, those overflowing idea notebooks are coming into use.

So as I head towards my 60s I’m looking forward, G’d willing, to a busy writing and family life.

And you won’t find me at the cosmetic counter looking at those outrageously expensive “promise- to- make –you- look- ten-years-younger- in -ten –weeks lotions.

I’m comfortable in my (wrinkled) skin the way it is.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010



1. Panic


2. Think of the number of rooms you have.

Then count up of the number of wardrobes /  closets /drawers / desks /  shelves / boxes you have in each room.

Multiply it by the number of children who make a mess ( are there any other sort of children?)

Divide it by the number of days until Pesach



3. Decide you should have started Pesach cleaning  six months ago.


4. Remember that in the ‘old days’, before Pesach, they used to just ‘shave off’ the top layer of their wooden table to reveal beneath it a completely clean unused tabletop Pesach.

5. DON’T try that with your dining room table that you were given by your in-laws when you got married.


6. Remember the Rabbanim say it is definitely wrong to dread Pesach more than Tisha Be’Av.

I’m working very hard on that one.


7. Remember, Dust is not Chametz and your children should not be turned into Pesach sacrifices.

I remember only too well how  I neglected my kids the weeks before Pesach  when they were young..

I just pray my children don’t treat my grandchildren so badly.


8. Yes, that green sludge at the bottom of your child’s ‘tik ochel’ was once up on a time a time a delicious sandwich.

Does it still count as “chametz”?

Who cares – you don’t really want to leave it there  another year do you??


9. Remember all new “olim”. There’s only one Seder night here. If you sleep through it, from  exhaustion,  there’s no action-replay the next night.



10. A couple of days ago my daughter asked me to go with her to a “ how to get organized” evening – she’d tried all her sisters and none of them were interested!!

“ OK” I said “When and where is it?”

Her answer ?

“ I don’t know I can’t find  the advert”

(Gimmee a break – that is just tooo stupid to be made up)


Thursday, February 11, 2010



Cordless Phone Clip Art

About 14 years ago we bought our first cordless telephone. I was full of wonderful expectations of getting on with the housework whilst chatting to friends and family and never wasting a minute.

But surprise, surprise, it never quite worked like that.

I simply found it too uncomfortable to stick the receiver between my chin(s) and shoulder, leaving my two hands free to work. It was a real pain in the neck.

But what did happen was that I no longer ever knew where the phone was . With a houseful of teenage girls, the phone was rarely seen. Often it was discovered in the morning in one of their beds – with a completely run down battery, after hours of nighttime chats with their friends .

Don’t even ask what happened to the phone bill.

When that phone died of overwork I resolved and announced – no more cordless phones in our house while the children are still living at home.

At least with an old-fashioned phone, when it rings you know where it is, and what is so terrible about sitting down for a few minutes and relaxing while I chat to my friends.

This resolution held out until recently. We now have just one daughter left at home who is very busy, very popular and also I must tell you , very hardworking both at home and in her studies.


So we succumbed and got another cordless phone. The real clincher was when she promised to tuck it under her chin and do a ‘sponja’    ( clean the floor the Israeli way) at the same time.

But we still can never find the phone when she’s out of the house.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have run around looking for the phone when I heard it ring , only to listen helplessly as the answering machine takes the message while I am still haplessly searching under every cushion and pile of newspapers, amongst the cosmetics and inside her clothes closet .

Of course we know there is a bell on the main base section of the phone, and if you press it you can hear the phone giving a corresponding ring from wherever it is lurking.

But what if you don’t hear any answering ring from the phone?

It once took three days until I had finished the laundry …… and lo and behold, there it was, at the bottom of the laundry basket, cushioned amongst the dirty towels, with any sound it may have tried to make begging to be rescued , muffled inside the damp, fluffy heap.


Mind you, it could have been worse.

Last week my married daughter was taking out a bag of garbage to the main garbage container in the street, when suddenly the bag started to ‘ring’.

If someone hadn’t called her at that moment she would have thrown the bag away, cordless phone and all and no one would ever have heard it from the depths of the dark dank, dumpster.


On second thoughts ……. that’s not such a bad idea ………now if I could only find the phone ….. I think it’s time to throw out the garbage.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


 In 1997, on the night of  Shvat 27th 5757, 13 years ago this week, two helicopters carrying elite  IDF solders  crashed into each other as they hovered over Moshav Shear Yashuv,  awaiting permission to fly into Lebanon. As was the normal procedure when entering Lebanon, the first helicopter had turned off its lights when the second one crashed  into it.                                                                                 All 73 people on board the two helicopters died.

The entire country was thrown into national mourning over the worst air disaster ever in Israel.




The following day’s  Maariv  newspaper’s  front page. The headline reads  The Best of our Sons and has photos of  those who perished.

Two of those who died were Tomer Keidar, youngest son of  Hagit and Yoav Keidar of Kibbutz Negba and his best friend Tom.

Yoav Keidar  sought a way to memorialize Tom and Tomer and the other 71 who died. His love of  his country and particularly  the flora and fauna of The Land of Israel, brought him to set up a special garden in their memory not far from his home.


Givat Tom veTomer ( Tom and Tomer Hill) is planted with only plants and fruits indigenous to the Land of  Israel. There are many paths and benches as well as areas for groups to sit in the shade.


There are stones bearing quotations from the Tenach and Hebrew memorial songs play in the  background as you wander around the garden.


There are also memorial stones listing all those who died.


At the entrance to the site an electric pole rises , painted in blue  with 73 doves circling around the pole




To reach this beautiful  memorial garden, enter Kibbutz Negba and follow the signs to Givat Tom veTomer.