Friday, July 27, 2007


A night's sleep, guarded by the best guard dogs around!

There's something about the days after Tisha B'Av that one really does feel a let-down after the intensity of the 9 days. Not "let-down" as

"depression", but a let-down as, "ah-h-h-h-h-h-h". Of course, 95 degree weather doesn't help much, but all in all, it really does feel a lot of an easing of the tension in the air.

These next few weeks are very busy for me, both in renting our guest room (seems to be coming along nicely....enough to pay for the things in the house that seem to be constantly breaking, like our electrical system last night -- 500 shekels, gone....and at work. Makes sense that the Visitor's Center would be busy during the peak tourist season, huh? Anyway, one way or another, I'm going to take time off here and there, and I'm training a number of the local teens to take over when I'm out. And after the Klezmer Festival, I want to take the kids away for a few days. I haven't had a proper vacation since I went to the States when Ariella was 12 (she's about to turn 20 in September!) so at least for a few days, I'd like to feel a release of some tension. Of course, travelling with the crew, there won't be a lot of opportunity to do what I want to do, but even so, at least we'll be away for a bit.

Avishai is in the last 2 months of his service, and he's straining at the bit. Most of his unit is now in Gaza, but he was assigned to "Bacum", the induction base, to walk the new recruits through their first few days of army life. He basically marches "his" recruits around as they receive their uniforms, equipment, shots, fill out papers, etc., until they're put on the bus to head to their basic training. A cushy month, especially since his unit, Golani, comes in on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, so on the other days, he's off. But honestly, he deserves a bit of a break, after all the intensity of his past 3 years of disengagement, war, border patrol, etc. He's going to start college in September to finish up his matriculation exams from high school, and, he hopes, learn how to invest and become a millionaire businessman. Sounds OK to me.

Ariel was here last Shabbat...I'm waiting to speak to her this afternoon, but as far as I know, she's enjoying her cosmetics courses. Phew. She's now moved in with her boyfriend. Not what I'd hoped for, but to be honest, it's a pleasure to see her happy and to watch them together. Avishai and his girlfriend too -- they buy each other presents, do nice things for each other, and in general, are good to each other. One worries that one's children will shy away from relationships after seeing their parents fail, but so far, my older kids seem to have healthy relationships with their partners.

My downstairs neighbor's walls are soaked with water, and they thought that it was coming from our house, so we had two plumber visits, pulled up a tile, made a hole in our wall....and finally discerned that the water wasn't coming from us. Thank goodness, though I feel bad for our neighbors, who now have to deal with another, less-friendly neighbor, to get at the root of the problem. I need to replace the tile, and simply haven't the time to do so -- it will involve a trip to the tile factory, about an hour drive from here. I crave TIME! The cat should see a vet, the dogs need their shots, and a hundred and seventy other things need to be done, but if it's off my regular route, I just don't get to it. Sigh.

Promised Margalit I'd come to see her dive into the pool. At least we have the pool.....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Strumming along with Harry Potter

Harry Potter came out on Saturday, and thanks to a neighbor who told me that I'd save 60 shekels if I pre-ordered it, we had our copy waiting at the local bookstore by Saturday night. Hagai is reading it...he's as fluent in english reading now as any 14-year-old in America. Unfortunately, it dosn't translate to his report card, because in school, he does what he wants when he wants which doesn't work well with the staff. So although his english is probably better than his teacher's, by looking at his report card, you'd think that he needed tutoring to reach the minimal standards of his grade.

Never mind...I'm used to it. He decided to learn to play the guitar, so he bought one and is teaching himself to play. Doing quite well, I must add....he's already taught himself to tune the guitar and when he practices, it is quite pleasant to listen to him.

Tonight is Tisha B'Av. It's HOT. It's a day that is difficult to pin down. On the one hand, it's a fast day, so one has to anticipate being hungry and tired. On the other hand, it's a "Sunday", a day off of work when you can "do" everything. I have errands that I'd like to do that I never get to do, and a lot of catch-up, but it's hard to function when you're wiped out.

Walking to work, I saw one of the town drunks this morning. Typical "only in Tzfat" scene.....he was sitting next to his empty beer bottle, singing.....psalms. At 8:00a.m.