Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shout Out

This morning I took a walk around my neighborhood for exercise, and I passed J., a neighbor whose wife I play football with.

"Good morning, J." Said I.

"Good morning, VEEV! Daily journal, huh?" said he.

"Hmm, I guess so..." Wow. I forgot people besides my parents actually read this.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Baby Cousin

I was six years old, and my lone auntie had not given me her present yet. Not even asked me what I wanted. I was in my parent's room being chewed out for getting into my mother's makeup in the middle of the night. My aunt called and asked for me.

"Veev?" she said. "Happy birthday, Honey. I have your present right here."

"What is it?"

"It's your very own baby boy cousin." The first boy in our family.

My baby boy cousin's wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday. Today, I took the kids to the hospital to meet her. They held her like champs who have held a multitude of babies they are related to, Thank God. Now our oldest is the oldest of fifteen on one side, and six on the other...

My baby boy cousin's kids will grow up with mine. Eizeh Kef...

Friday, May 18, 2007


Why do each the native Israelis look at me with a shocked smile every time I ask one over for a Shabbos meal? Is it specific to Modi'in, or is it Israeli in general? Yesterday, for example, I told the mother of two of our daughter's friends that they were invited next Shabbos for lunch. She pointed at her group and said, "All of us?"

Did she really, for a minute, think that I meant that only she and her husband were invited? Bizarre... Then she wanted to know how come so many Americans are making Aliyah now. The Parnasah is better there, no? There aren't any daily occurances of Anti-Semitism, right? You have Sundays off? (That last one I just threw in)

So I told her: This is our land, a Matana from Hashem. That, and you can't find Shesek in America.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

With an Iron Fist

My Grandma is quite a character. She's a little, 4-foot 10-inch, white-haired lady who doesn't take nothin' from nobody. She only dishes it out. We don't always see eye to eye as I don't easily "take it" from anyone either.

Once, when I was a teenager, I called after missing a Friday. She pretended not to recognize my voice and then asked, "What's the matter? You don't have five minutes for your Grandma?"

"Nope," I said. "I guess not." That did not go over too well. But I don't respond well to negative criticism.

When I was first married, I tried to iron Air's Shabbos shirts; it took 20 minutes per shirt, and it wasn't done very well. I quickly gave up any hopes of ironing. Fast forward a few years later, and it seemed to me that all of my maternity clothes were denim. I broke out the old iron and ironing board and spent an entire afternoon in the living room watching an old Frank Sinatra musical and ironing. I got a sudden rush of nostalgia for my Grandma and I called her in Florida. "I'm ironing and watching AMC, just like you!"

"I'll bet you're not as good at it as I am." Thanks, G. The truth is, nobody is as good at ironing as my Grandma. Those creases are terrified of her. They straighten up just when she gets near them. She used to iron my grandpa's boxers, his PJ's and their linen among all the other clothes. Also, manicures, hairdressing and setting, and massages have nothing on ironing as far as "therapy" for my Grandma. Any time we hear she's been ironing, we know someone's in trouble. Ironing gives you time to think without distractions. I don't think she irons as much as she used to, but I know she misses it.

On Mother's Day I bought myself an Israeli iron and board. I needed to iron out some hem creases in N's dresses and in my own summer shirts. And it's ridiculous to keep sending clothes out to be pressed. I took me only five minutes an item to iron, but I'm finding myself walking around the house looking for more creased stuff. It really is relaxing. Who knew?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mother's Day

Did you know it's Mother's Day on Sunday? Yeah, I didn't until this morning. I told Air and the kids, and they hadn't known either. D asked, without lookng up from the paper, "Do you want a menu for breakfast in bed?" No, Dear, you have school... Chaval, I'm going to miss the projects from school.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


A few weeks ago, I bought a pedometer to gage my daily steps and calories burned. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day. Before I started trying to walk more, I tested myself. I walk between 4,500-5,000 steps a day without exercising. Just pitter-pattering around the house, the grocery store, the short walk to Gan...

Last week I walked 17,000 on Sunday, 15,000 on Tuesday, and 14,000 on Wednesday. By the way, during a football game, playing only offense, I went 6,000 steps alone.

By 9 this morning I had already walked 5,200 steps because of a 40 minute walk. My only question is, Where's the Ben and Jerry's?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's 3 AM, It's 3 AM...

I love living in Israel:

All the little hoodlums all over the country have been scavenging for wood for the Lag BaOmer bonfires since the day after Pesach.

Air hasn't had to shave during Sefira this year because we live in a Jewish country.

The fruits and vegetables are to die for.

Our kids are thriving with independence and new friendships.

The cute soldier with the sub-machine gun at the Machsom winked at me today.

I learned the word for slide at the park yesterday. Maglei'cha.

The birds are exotic and stunning.

The Israel Baseball League has no games scheduled for Shabbos.

I have never seen or smelled more beautiful flowers than I have here.

Yom Kippur is a national holiday.

I walk in the footsteps of the Maccabim every day.

Oftentimes, I walk in the footsteps of the Avot and Imahot.

Et cetera, et cetera.

But none of this makes me feel any better when I can't sleep. One of my best friends had a baby this week. I'm truly delighted for her. But I have never missed a Simcha of hers before. And now that makes three beautiful baby boys I have not gotten my hands on yet. I can't help but feel like I'm missing something by being here.

I'm homesick.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The most delicious fruit on the planet. It's smaller than an apple, but bigger than a grape, and orangy colored. It has between 2 and 5 pits inside. It tastes sweet and slightly tart and is very juicy. The dictionary translations are loquat or medlar, not that it helps. Try some. They come in containers and are sold by the kilo in Israel.