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Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Business?

So, I've been racking my brain, trying to think about something that I can do to add to my income.

Anyway, I'm considering doing something on EBay. Maybe try to market some of the local jewelry? Set up a "Tzfat Jewelry" store and market some of the hand-made jewelry that the local artisans make. I wouldn't have to buy anything, just take pictures and, if someone is interested, buy the jewelry and ship it off (with a bit of a commission....). It could be kind of fun, help out the local craftspeople and give me something new to do that doesn't involve writing endless Internet content for websites that sell dating and other hope for the masses.

Just finished a marketing/sales course with a government-sponsored small business organization. It was so interesting, it makes me want to try to venture out on my own. BUT, I'm not a risk taker. EBay may bridge that issue. We shall see.

Lovely Shabbat meal with friends and neighbors. Even though the air conditioner didn't go on -- I HAVE to figure out how to work that timer! I bought a nice roast for Friday night since Hagai was home from the army, and the kid fell asleep before we sat down and slept through dinner. Sigh. The girls (a vegetarian and a semi-vegetarian) didn't touch it. But Saturday's lunch included a few of my better attempts, including sauteed vegetables wrapped in eggroll wraps, which I then baked (didn't fry!) -- they crisped up nicely when I put them on the Shabbat hot plate a few hours before lunch, and no one could tell that they hadn't been fried! Also my new success, sweet potatos with apples and whatever other fruit looks like it's not going to make it through the next week (peaches, necterines, etc) and a bit of brown sugar. Lots of compliments for a relatively small amount of work.

My oldest daughter gave us her camera so I'll try to illustrate a bit more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dog Days of Summer

Tomorrow is July 20th, so I'm hoping that the possibility that we'll see the heat of last summer is receding. It's hot, but not unbearable as it was last year. Nevertheless, I did go through with my plan to put in air conditioning. So I'm ready for all possibilities.

I went with a friend yesterday to the Beit Din. It was her last meeting with the Beit Din before conversion and I, as well as about six other women (and one Rabbi who she'd been studying with) accompanied her. It was so exciting to be a part of the proceedings. The rabbis were quite nice and accommodating and at the end, they told her that they'd send her a letter telling her how to proceed (the last step -- the mikveh!). Made my week.

Time to start figuring out who to invite for Shabbat. If all the catering food wasn't so expensive and full of oil, I'd get catered food sometimes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Old-New Olim

A friend had a "50th anniversary of aliyah" party tonight and invited her friends to come and join her for a celebration. She came in 1961, a very different time in the country.

I find it touching that people still want to come and live in Israel as much as they did years ago, when it still seemed "romantic' and "challenging". It still is, of course, and olim today have that same sense of excitement and wonderment at coming to live in their country as I did in '83, and others did before me.

We went around the room, with each person telling their aliyah story. One woman said that she had just wandered into the Jewish Agency office in London because she was out shopping and thought that it was a shop for Jewish clothing. Another came even though her mother "sat shiva" (mourned) for her for when she came, and a third said that her father refused to talk to her for 2 years after her aliyah (we suggested matching up this mother and father).

The woman who hosted the evening said that when she first thought about aliyah, in 1960, she went to the Israeli Embassy to ask about the options, and the clerk (and Israeli!) asked her "why do you want to go to Israel? It's dirty, the people are rude, there's not enough to eat (this was in the days of rationing), there aren't enough jobs......" and then she got misty-eyed and said "I'm sorry that I'm crying. I guess I'm just homesick!"

One woman, a convert, said that she was born Protestant and converted to Catholicism, then Greek Orthodox, and then something else before converting to Judaism and coming to Israel. Another woman, an African American, said that she's always wanted to come to Israel and be Jewish (her ancestors were from Jamaica and she remembers her grandmother lighting candles on Friday nights!)

Everyone has a story. My dream is to get some free time and write a book about people who came to Tzfat -- each and every one has an amazing story.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

After a short hiatus.....(OK, it's been a year....)

Not that I don't have things to write about, but I spend all my free time writing content for money....no complaints, since I just installed an AIR CONDITIONER yesterday in my house! Paid for by my content writing.

On the downside, the content writing mainly concerns titles like "Roller Skating in Ekert Park Montana", "and "How to care for your muskrat during the summertime". Eh, what the heck, it keeps me solvent.

I did have a rather interesting assignment a few weeks ago. A lawyer who I met wanted me to write for his blog. It wasn't exactly up my alley either, though it's nice to remember, once in awhile, that there's a big wide world out there.

Hagai, my 18-year-old, is home for the week from the army. He finished advanced basic training and will be heading up to "litfoss haKav" (hold down the line) in the Golan.On the one hand, it'll be nice to have him closer. On the other hand, things are expected to heat up in September, when the Palestinians are expected to declare their state, and they're expecting the Syrians to try to cross the border again, and.....my heart is in my stomach.

But, we do have an air conditioner sitting in the living room right now! So excited.