August 06, 2004


There's a new home for:
Willow Tree

Please stop by when you can. Excuse the boxes and suitcases flung all about; everything should be unpacked and put away soon.


August 05, 2004

Two Conversations and A Question

I am lying on my five year old's bed, snuggling with her prior to her going to sleep.
Suddenly she drops her head onto my chest.

"You see" I say, "You are tired."
She lifts up her head. "I heard your heart"
"Of course"
"Where you breathing?"
"I am always breathing."
"What happens if your heart and lungs stop."
"Well, you die."
"Why do they stop?"
"Sometimes G-d decides it is time for us to die."
"Oh. But first we make the Moshiach (Messiah)"
"We have to bring the Moshiach. Do you know how?"
"I know, I know. By not fighting and doing bad things."

then later she says:
"I wish you weren't so old."
"Old is bad, bad, bad."
"Because sooner you'll die."
"I won't die for a long, long, time. By then you'll be big."
"Oh." she says, and settles happily down on my chest again.

Which brings me to this question Is there an age where, even if one can have children naturally, it is too old to do so?


August 04, 2004

The Wondeful World of Parenting

After Abortion linked to several discussions, both pro -choice and pro-life on abortion, Amy Richards and that "I had an Abortion" t-shirt. . One particular poster, Amanda of Mouse Words, caught my eye; not in terms of abortion but in terms of the recent spate of articles on pregnant moms. Amanda states:

The question this article tries to answer is, "Why is there a recent onslaught of pregnant women all over the gossip rags?" The answer seems clear to me--we're in the midst of a media backlash against women, and just as celebrities are used to make the rest of us feel not attractive enough, not rich enough, and not talented enough, they are now being used to make women feel not pregnant enough. It's the logical extension of the nauseating Super Mommy interviews with celebrity moms that Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels mock mercilessly in The Mommy Myth. You know the articles. They're the ones where the talented and beautiful actress cradles her perfect baby and claims that nothing in the world is more wonderful than motherhood, that it's pure ectasy all the time. Lesson: if you don't want to be a mommy more than anything in the world and/or if you don't love every minute of it, then you are doing something wrong.

Mothering, as almost anyone will tell you, is hard work. It is the hardest job you’ll ever love, as the saying goes.

It is also the hardest job you’ll ever hate. Ask any mom and demand the truth. Mothering is hard work, and takes a lot out of a person. There are days, there are weeks, where nothing goes right. Meltdowns, temper-tantrums, sicknesses, misbehaviour, disrespect come with the territory; these do not breed feelings of love and harmony, but frustration, anger, dislike, guilt and embarrassment.

Several years ago there was a right-to-life commercial on television which featured, through a hazy lens, a mom-to-be, surrounded by five or six preternaturally happy children.

Dan didn't hit Greg and Patricia didn't try to usurp Alex’s position near mom. Everyone had well combed hair, and clean clothes.No one was crying. No one was demanding mom get them this, or where was that. Everyone had on his or her socks and shoes. No child was picking their nose, no had an accident, no one was trying to take someone else’s toy away, no one even had dirty knees!

Of course it was only a commercial; but the unfortunate implication of the commercial was; this is how it is.

And it isn’t. Life with kids is a constant struggle. It is hard. It takes time, energy, money and patience. There are days parents will think; “Why did I do this? “ or: “I am going to strangle that child or: “I can’t do this anymore.” And picture, in their minds eye, running away to a childless place.

But most parents stay. They pick the screaming child off the floor and wash off the child’s face, or put the child to bed, or insist they give Gwen back the toy, or whatever. They clean up the mess and go on. But that anger is there. Anger, resentment, bitterness. These are normal feelings, and all part of parenting. Having them, feeling them about one's children is not a sign of poor parenting . Frankly, if some parent claims to be happy all the time with their kids then either they are 1) lying 2)on something or 3)alien, or 4)someone else is taking care of all the grunt work.

Of course there is also love, joy and pride. The screaming child quiets down and says "“I love you from the bottom of the floor all the way to the moon!” or gives you a piece of their pretzel- a piece you can actually see! Or draws a picture, just for you. Or gives you a long smoochy kiss, or a big hug. Or tells you that when they grow up they are going to still live with you, don’t worry. They work and work and accomplish something; a new milestone in their life.

Sometimes it is just the way they lift their head, or how their eyes dance on seeing a butterfly, or the look of their faces when they sleep; quiet and sweet. Inside you something pops, something spreads through you; a joy of love for having the fortune to be parent to this child.

At least, that is this mom's feelings.


I Just Promised

To take care of my neighbors plants. What am I, nuts? I kill plants! Plants have been known to commit hari kari upon seeing me move towards them with a watering can. I am wanted in three states for malicious gardening. The Roots and Shoots society has me on their most wanted list. There are hit-plants on my tail (the real reason we immigrated to Israel; plants can't fly in!)

And I promised to take care of my neighbors plants.
(sigh) I am nuts.

Palestinians Stranded?

Have you heard about all those poor Palestinians trapped in Egypt because wicked Israel isn't letting them go home? Want more facts?

About 2 weeks ago, Israel closed the Rafah international border crossing, due to suspected tunnel building. The terrorist planned to rig the tunnel with explosives.

But Israel did not want all those Palestinians who had entered Egypt to be stranded in Egypt. It would take time to find the tunnels. So that people could return home, Israel opened up a new border crossing, the Nitzana crossing. It is prepared. It is ready to be open. All those people stranded could go home.

IF the PA would process those wanting to come in. Which the PA refuses to do.

So who has kept those Palestinians stranded?

You can read more here and here.

Note the date on the two article above.
Then read here.
(similar articles aboud.)

And ask yourself; why is Israel still getting blamed for this?

Stealing from Kids

Several weeks ago I wrote on a problem that Operation Give was having with the Atlas Shipping Company

Operation Give brings toys to children in Iraq, bringing joy to these battle scarred children. Chief Wiggles is a memember of the National Guard and one day he noticed a tired, dirty, sad, little child. To cheer her up he gave her some small presents. That was the birth of Operation Give.

Recently they sent some toys to the children via Atlas Shipping company. Because of the situation in Iraq, deposit money was required for each of the three shipping containers that were sent out. Well the Atlas Shipping company KEPT the money that was to have been wired on to Kuwait causing a delay in the children recieving their gifts and causing Operation Give to find alternative shipping methods.

Please read the full account here, and whatever you can do please help. I can not possibly summarize the whole situation here effectivel.

When I originally wrote about this situation, I kept the words low key, because I had hoped it was simply a matter of some small mistake or problem in the accounting. I no longer believe that is the case. This, as Rosemary, The Queen of all Evil states, is theft of the lowest form.


August 03, 2004

Weird and Wacky

Guy, you can now tell your wives that ties are no good, rotten instruments that will damage your eyes! Say "NO" to these instruments of torture, these cruel pieces of cloth! "Tieless IS well dressed!" BURN THE TIES!!!!

And teens, take note; eating slugs from the garden is NOT worth $20. One child died from this so it is serious.

Yep, she is dangerous; who knows what was in that candy bar!!!! Arrest those vile eaters! We've nothig else to worry about.

This guy was just in the wrong profession. Um, don't they check credentials first?

And finall, I would have to say no to this alternative of wood based paper. YUCK!!!! What will the think of for the ink?



More are coming! A plane full of new immigrants are coming tomorrow; over 250 new Israeli citizens! (Picture Rachel Ann doing the happy dance.....on second thought that image is a bit disturbing as Rachel Ann looks very silly doing the happy dance, but on third thought, who cares?)
happy dance, happy dance !!!

Last month there were about 450 new immigrants brought from Canada and the USA by Nefesh B'nefesh, and over the next few weeks we can expect several hundred more. That's how we got here (thank you Rabbi Fass, thank you!!!)

Has this been your dream? Don't think you can do it? I'm proof you are wrong. It is hard work, it won't be easy, but it is possible.

And it is worth it.

Nefesh B'nefesh is accepting applications for the next years aliyah right now! Winter, until Sept 1rst, Spring, Jan 1rst 2005, and Summer, Feb 1rst 2005.

Come on! Come up to Israel!!!! and then I'll be doing the happy dance, happy dance !!! for you.

It is the best decision I and my family have ever made.


Back of the Bus?

Rahel from Elms in the Yard (new to my blogroll) commented on a recent opinion piece by
Naomi Regan about being berated on a bus by a Charedi man for not sitting in the back of the bus. Rahel suffered similar abuse at the hands of a Charedi man.

Both of these experiences are contemptible.
This is not Torah being put into practice.

Fortunately, I think, it does not represent most Charedi men. Like people throughout the world, there are Charedi and Orthodox Jews who are bombastic, pompous and egocentric. There are other's (as Rahel points out with a specific example) who emulate Moshe Rabbienu; humble, kind,always seeking the good for the other. I am fortunate that most of my experiences have been with the latter. For the most part, I'm treated with respect by Charedi men; they may be reserved, but they are not unfriendly or unhelpful, and I while I would most likely approach a woman for help first (simply as I am more comfortable to do so,) when I have asked help of Charedi men, they have given it to me, politely and kindly. They have even given me a seat on the bus without my asking for it-- and I don't look all that old!

It is important to speak about this and to ask that the Rabbis speak against such behaviour; but it is also important to point out that it isn't,from my observation, the norm. Most are kind, caring, gentle people, who do their best to act in accordance with Torah law.

a charedi woman gives her views on this issue.
While I disagree with her on her conclusions, she does bring a different perspective to the debate. (she does not, however, condone the actions of the man in question.)


Dr. Maggot?

If you have a wound that just won't heal, don't be too shocked if your doctor suggests maggots.
Dr.Ronald Sherman has been advocating the use of maggots on wounds that have failed to respond to normative treatment since the 1990's but this past January FDA approved these tiny creatures as medicine, the first time live animals have received that rating.

The maggots not only eat the tissue, but they also a substance within them that disinfects the wounds. About three years ago, a woman by the name of Pam Mitchell, (photos not for the squeamish) who is diabetic, was in danger of losing her foot to amputation do to a wound that would not heal. Maggots saved the day.

The maggots are disinfected, don't ask me how! and placed in a cage-like device over the wound and allowed to do their work. According to according to Dr. Mostow.(same article as above) "They debride wounds by dissolving the necrotic, infected tissue; they disinfect the wound, by killing bacteria; and they stimulate the healing process,"

Leeches are also being used in medical practices. I know that is old news to many.

Leeches help restore blood circulation by getting rid of all the bad blood and get the new blood to circulate, helping with reattachment and grafting processes.

If you want more, look here; after that, you got to search on your own.

Now, if they find a medical value to lice I'm in big trouble. I had my defense all planned out; I'd be up before G-d and all my past sins before me, and I was going to raise my hand and say "LICE"!, reminding G-d of all the fun we have had with the little critters when the kids were young. And G-d would have to agree I'd been punished enough already during my lifetime.


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