Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Well, isn't that special

Yehuda Sado won last night's Kochav Nolad (Rising Star). The worst of Mizrachi voices meets the worst of mainstream songs. No wonder everybody has started to call it Kochav Nofel (Falling Star). At least the producers were classy enough to invite both soldiers and those expelled from their homes in Gaza. Of course, as always, no mention of those expelled from their homes in Ganim, Cadim, Homesh, and Sa-nur.

My kids' bus stop made the paper. Just what you want to see before school starts, isn't it? I don't know why this made the paper; it happens so often at this bus stop that it's a real "dog bites man" story.

The FO carnival continues--here are the Sockapal2za socks, ready and waiting on the blockers.

I'll send them along with the blockers, what's left of the skein in case repairs are ever needed, and a few other goodies. Gotta buy a box next time I'm out.

Had to wind another hank of yarn for the Clap. When Zira the monkey diva saw the winder, she insisted on taking a spin.

Zira is winding up her Israel tour and getting ready to head over to Emy in Singapore.

Zira's looking forward to lolling around on knitted cushions, so get to work, Emy!

Zira goes and the men (The Spouse and the Oldest Teen) arrive. Yesterday was the Oldest Teen's 18th birthday, and in a rare display of customer service El Al, without prompting by anyone, had a birthday card and a glass of champagne waiting for him. Too bad there wasn't enough alcohol to blind him to the too-small seat (and this kid is not overweight--he's got a 30" waist!) and the lousy food. I wonder if their planes have direct lines from the bathrooms to the food carts?

But forget bad food--tongiht, in honor of gaining some roosters in our hen-house, the roosters are doing a barbeque. Red meat. Potatoes. Yum!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Summer of Lace FO

Adrienne Vittadini Fiona is finally an FO! About time. It was my entry into the Summer of Lace KAL, and summer's over on Sunday, when school starts. Yes, I know, people think light weight when they think of summer lace. Me, I think Fall. Because I'm crazy. But you already knew that, didn't you?
The Youngest Teen modeled it just before she went off to Tel Aviv with Zira--and without her camera...

When they got home, they sat down to do a little beading:

Boy is the Youngest Teen going to miss Zira when she heads off to Singapore at the end of the week!

One project off the needles means one on -- so here's Clapotis V. 2. It's for the Middle Teen, made with Tweedy Lamb gifted to me by Chrissie for winning her comment contest.

You'll notice I'm also using markers from my SMSP. The first time I knit a Clap I did it without markers, and I may yet take them off this, so I'm purling the stitch to be dropped as I learned from the Harlot.

While I'm writing this the final of Israeli Idol is on Tv. How boring. Maybe it's because none of the contestants I thought were good are on? Maybe. Maybe it's because the guy singing has yet to hit a note full on. Some things just shouldn't drag on; they'll never top Season 1.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Welcome to the next verse, same as the first

I thought making a unilateral gesture was supposed to mean we wouldn't be victims of any more attacks. Paint me stupid!

Oh, of course. That wasn't it. People lost their homes and dreams to keep Sharon's son Omri from getting indicted. Oops--I guess that wasn't it, either, since the communities are gone and big ol' Omri's getting called on the carpet.

So, what exactly was all the pain for?

On a totally different note:
Friday the two youngest Teens took Zira to Tel Aviv, to the Nachlat Binyamin artists' market.

First, of course, Zira had to get ready to go to Tel Aviv (look, she's already cheating on Mickey, in bed with a different stuffie!):

The diva always rides in style.

Once there she checked out the vendors' wares:

and then went shopping at that ultimate mitnachelet store, HaAyin HaShlishit (The Third Eye):

Tomorrow there will be an FO! Me, finish something--what a concept.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Me Me Meme

Zibibbo tagged me.

10 years ago I was still unpacking this house that I moved into to get away from the neighbors in my rental neighborhood. Seven years ago all the neighbors (every gosh-darn one of them aside from the one who is my friend) moved into the houses around me. The unpacking was finished last Pesach.

5 years ago I was frantically getting ready for The Oldest Teen's bar mitzvah. There were a lot of political rallies that summer--I remember a big one in Zion Square the night we went to give the advance on the hall, which is in the Clal Bulding -- and being nervous that something would happen to mess up our plans, but for the life of me I can't recall what stupidity the government was pulling. I do know that in late September the war broke out.

1 year ago I was working a lot in my garden, harvesting my vegetables and flowers and trying to lay low. A lazy summer (aside from full-time work).

Yesterday I worked a 12 hour day, knit, played coordinator between two girls in different cities and two men overseas, tried to help a family from Kfar Darom find a new place to live and some boys a new place to learn. Then, when I was ready to collapse into bed I realized that the sons of my neighbors (see above, "10 years ago") were partying in the hut they've built themselves underneath my daughters' bedroom windows (sometimes the apathy of the place I live in is nearly enough to turn me into a flaming leftist) -- until 3 am. Instead of sleeping I watched Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft in "To Be or Not To Be" and knit on my tank top.

5 snacks: Reese's peanut butter cups. Gari. Raisin bread with butter and sugar. Oranges. Watermelon. Not together, of course.

5 songs i know all the words to: Geez, talk about tough. I have a weird brain--I hear a song once or twice and I know all the words. That's why I started a site for Betty Buckley fans with the words to many, many of her songs (from what I've heard and she's even told me, including some she's forgotten she sang!) How about the last 5 songs I sang (around the house--if I sang outside, with my voice, I'd be called a terrorist): Cherry Bomb (Joan Jett). Bunika bata doba (from the last Eurovision). Ata Kadosh (Adi Ran). Touch Me Fall (Indigo Girls). Sycamore Trees (Betty Buckley).

5 things I would do with 100 million: Buy a house in north Tel Aviv so when I get expelled from mine by "my" government I'm not living in a tent in the middle of Tel Aviv. Start a charity to help synagogues repair their Torah scrolls or buy new ones. Buy a vintage Airstream for us to use in the US. Start a newspaper which would really reflect Jewish right-wing views (without having any involvement by the General Security Services). Buy investment property for each of my kids.

5 places to run away to: Do the 5 boroughs count as 5 choices? Well, I probably wouldn't run away to the Bronx or Staten Island, so... New York. Las Vegas (not for the gambling, for Red Rock Canyon, and for my cousin's synagogue). Australia (don't know which city, if any). Hawaii. Palm Beach.

5 things I would never wear: Low riders. A cut off T. A "Machsom Watch" T shirt. A "Cahana Chai" T shirt. A backwards baseball cap.

5 favorite tv shows: Oooh. I can't remember the last time I watched TV because I wanted to (as opposed to being in the room when someone else watched it). None of my favorite shows are still on. Eight is Enough. St. Elsewhere. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Boy Meets World. Chatzei HaMinasheh.

5 biggest joys: Hiking with my family. Other people's babies. Spinning my home-grown cotton. Fresh hot bread. Walking the beach by Shirat HaYam (maybe again some day. Where there is life there's hope).

5 favorite toys: My blow up pink palm tree. My Buzz Lightyear spinning pen. My knitting needles. My Shrek ears. My collection of mice (including and especially the human one).

I've totally lost track of who has already been tagged and who hasn't, so if you want to do it and haven't yet, take it--it's yours.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Urgent message for anyone who knows boys expelled from Gush Katif/North Shomron

If you know of any boys, grades 7-12, who were expelled from Gush Katif/North Shomron and who do not have a place to learn this school year (individually or as a class, along with their teachers) Boys Town Jerusalem (Hebrew website here) would like to take them in. It's a dorm school with an emphasis (in their regular program;
groups which come along with their own teachers would keep learning their usual material) on Torah and technology.

The Oldest Teen graduated from there and we were exteremely satisfied with the level of education he received in both areas and have nothing but the highest praise for the school.

Please contact me immediately for more details and the phone number of Rav Elimelech, the staff member coordinating this effort.

Mail call

Lots of mail was waiting for me when I got home. Ever try digging out from a six week mountain?

Stitch Marker Swap:
From my SMSP in Fort Gratiot, MI:
Pretty glass beads with swirls of color, topped by cordinating smaller beads, on rings big enough to use with my bulky yarns.

From my SMSP who was crafty enough not only to not put a return address on the envelope, but to not even get the stamps cancelled, so I have no idea where she is! (I say she because the handwriting is beautiful and feminine.) Orange glass beads with polka dots (like the ones I drool over at Imperal in Tel Aviv) and little gold and orange beads, also on rings big enough for any project. She also included a small sock marker, with a charm shaped like a letter with a heart coming out, and on the reverse side "Made with love." Well, of course, everything I do is made with--I mean by--love! (My Hebrew name means "love.") And she sent a card with the most adorable hand-colored sheep (whose face was echoed on the envelope). Is there any English word for mashkianit? (One who puts a lot of work and attention into the small details and the whole picture at the same time.)

And the last of the August SMSP, from Jen L.. What monkey-licious markers! Dark orange-red with clear beads, and a slightly longer one with the same orange-red beads and green coordinating beads, all packed up in a pink and orange organza bag and tied with what looks like handspun yarn in shades of
purple from pinkish to greyish.

There were also Stitch Mania markers:

From Leah a dichroic glass bead (love these!) marker, a marker with a yellow-centered clear bead, and two dangling markers with dragonfly charms. She didn't put them on rings so I could choose my own size--clever!

She also sent a card with a little girl knitting on dpns. Looks just like my best friend's daughter.

I hope your life has calmed down a little, Leah!

And I got an amazing package from Kat. It looks like she scanned ransom-note letters and pictures of shoes into her computer, printed them out on card stock, and made adorable boxes out of the result. I've got to figure out her folds without deconstructing the box literally; it's just too cute.

She filled the box with holographic Easter grass, 4 pins (I heart sheep, I heart yarn, a drawing of a sheep and--too true-- "Will work for yarn." She must know me very well....) and 2 sets of stitch markers -- short markers each with a single blue bead and dangling markers with chips, stars, green-tea and pearlescent balls, and flower-power squares. Wow!

Julie RAOKed me with an origami crane.

Origami cranes are said to represent hope and peace--two things sorely lacking around here right now.

And last, but certainly not least--my new SP sent me a postcard! It was perfect--it's of NYC, which I always desperately miss when I've left.

My new SP? Yes, my first match flaked out on me. I know who it is, and it's very tempting to email her and moan, or post on her blog, or something of that sort, but... I know she's going through a lot right now, and I understand why she's backed out. I just wish she had informed the coordinator, Rox, so she could have been replaced earlier. Instead she's gone MIA. But Rox has been amazing, holding my hand through this, and now getting me an angel. But tell me--the postcard was mailed from NY--so how could you not have had a bagel with a schmear and lox in your life?

Zira update:

Yesterday Indigo Muse warned me that Zira was nuthin' but trouble.

How true, how true. Today Zira and the Youngest Twin went to the range in Ariel. Man can that monkey handle a 9mm!

Next it's off to a Bnei Akiva staff meeting in Petach Tikvah.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sockspal2za update

The second sock is ready for Kitchenering, which means I'll meet the deadline easily. (Since I'm back home, I'll mail it a week and a half early.)

It was a well travelled sock. Some of the places it posed for pictures (no autographs, please):

The Delaware River, for a day of rafting and swimming

The Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan

New York City

Since I don't like putting my family's faces on this blog, The Spouse has started to take feet pictures.

On the Staten Island Ferry. The Youngest Teen has the horrible green toe polish, The Middle Teen the horrible blue, and The Oldest Teen is in sneakers.

At the beach

At the Delaware River in Matamoris, NY.

When a squirrel poses so politely, how can you not take his picture?

Thursday we went to see the Brooklyn Cyclones in action. Or is that in inaction?

The first 7 innings were snoozers, but then they finally hit their stride. It took 11 innings, but the Cyclones won against the Williamsport Wildcutters, 4 to 3. We started out in General Admission--never again. Lots of fresh little kids and their bored parents, too busy talking on their cellphones to keep an eye on their children. Since the start of the game was so boring, though, we moved around, and ended up in the third row behind 3rd base.

We also went to Shakespeare in the Park. (Two Gentlemen of Verona--pretty good, but I don't like the modern mish-mash of tunes. OK, I also want to hurl when I hear a Lloyd-Webber "single tune with variations" show, but this is too extreme a reaction. A little consistency is all I'm asking. Just a little.) The kids enjoyed it and didn't even need my help in figuring out the story line. They've grown up since we saw Tartuffe 4 years ago.

The day we left we went up to the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building. It's not my favorite place to go--the city doesn't change enough that I'd go as often as I do except my BIL has an office in the building, so we get free tickets. Zira (see below) liked it, though.


Crossposted to Zira's World Tour

Zira arrived at our mail drop on Shabbat. When Shabbat was over we picked her up, and right away she started making friends.

Zira and The Youngest Teen's little friend Evan Z. Voice. Don't they make a cute couple?

Sunday we took her to a family barbeque, and then to the beach

Sunday night we took her for a ride on the Wonder Wheel, a historic ferris wheel. She loved the swinging car!

On Monday, Zira rode the subway

and went to the top of the Empire State building

Then she did a little shopping

All that exhausted the poor dear, so she stopped for a drink.

Later that afternoon, she and her new friend jetted off to Israel. She was a little nervous, but her friend reassured her.

Today Zira is in Jerusalem with the two younger Teens, but no pictures--I can trust them with either the camera or the monkey, but not both!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Freedom and thank you

The 14 year old I wrote about earlier, the daughter of a friend, was released from prison Sunday night. Some of you signed the petition protesting the conditions in which they were being held, and it worked.

Here is a letter from her father:

Dear friends,

Last night at 9:00 P.M. Moriah, Chaya, and Pnina were released from the Maasiyahu prison! Finally!!!! They were in a bit of a shock, unable to comprehend that now they could hug us, talk to us, and eat whatever and whenever they wanted. They kept looking at each other and repeating "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it!"

There was only one way to remedy the situation - PIZZA!!! Yocheved [my friend--Moze] brought 3 pies with various toppings, and civilization started making its way back into our girls. Arieh Steinberg (I hope I remember the name correctly - I suppose I was in a bit of a shock myself) from Beit Shemesh, together with his daughter and son came to Maasiyahu as soon as they heard the news. They brought a portable mic and amplifier and we did some singing for the girls and for those who are still inside Maasiyahu.

After examining the girls' progress in their return to civilization, it was decided that ice cream was needed as the next stage in the process. We stopped at the mall on the way to Petakh Tikvah. A short stay inside the mall, combined with colors and flavors of ice cream, achieved the goal. Fun was had by all, and "the kid" inside these girls was able to gain back some of the lost ground.

Here are the details of the agreement proposed by Prosecution:

1. The girls will be released to Moriah's grandparents' home for a 10 day house arrest there. The Prosecution did not have the guts to transgress the commandment of comrade Procaccia which forbade the girls from returning to their homes.

2. They will leave Moriah's grandparent's home and come back to their own homes for another 10 day house arrest.

3. After this, they will be under yishuv arrest for a short period of time.

I must tell you that we, the parents, accepted this arrangement with a very heavy heart. We felt that it was outrageous for the prosecution to even ask for any further limitations of our girls' freedom. They have already suffered more than enough for their "crime"!! But, after consulting with the lawyers, we decided to agree in order to get the girls out of jail. I will translate and forward to you the letter we wrote to the prosecution regarding this arrangement.

Their release from jail is only the first step in our battle against this outrage. We have absolutely no intention to stop our demands that justice be served. Someone MUST be held accountable for such a vicious violation of our girls' rights!

We have already contacted both the media and some public figures, demanding a vaadat khakira (a special commute) to investigate both police brutality and judicial-political persecution involved in this case. We plan to approach the group of law professors who last week came out against arrests of minors involved in non-violent demonstrations. If there is no existing law that deals with this issue - then we will push for "The Law of the 3" which will provide a shield against an arbitrary use of the regular criminal law in such cases. We must not allow the use of
criminal code against political, non-violent protestors. Such perversion of justice is reminiscent of the Stalinist Russia.

We want to thank all of you once again for caring enough to take the time out of your busy lives and stand up against this outrage.


Moshe B.

In other news, knitting progresses. I finally cast on the pink ribbon yarn tank top, and at the Boca Raton SnB Mattie showed me how to get this sucker joined without twisting. (Usually I have no problem. With this project, it was rip, knit, and repeat. No more!) To celebrate, on Wednesday I took it sailing on the Intercostal Waterway off of Palm Beach Island.

At SnB I also finished off Sockapal2za sock #1, and kitchenered the toe when I got home. So sock #2 got to go shopping in downtown West Palm. She didn't buy a thing, but spent time admiring the view.

Note to anyone who's sent me anything and not seen any mention here:

If you sent anything to my Israel address, I've not seen it yet, and won't for the next 2 weeks. I will show it all off then. I did leave someone to deal with my mail, but she's been too busy with Israeli politics to do much else. I know I comb blogs for mention of my RAOKs, SP offerings, and SMSP, so I just wanted to explain why you've not seen my thanks yet.

Monday, August 08, 2005

We don't have a rat as our mascot

Vacation is the time for little or no blog posting, right? So I'm forgiven, right?

So what have we been doing? The Spouse was interviewed for South Florida Today (PBS). The show will air the first week of September.

I finished my Chutes and Ladders in the nick of time--a quarter to midnight on July 31.

The Middle Teen has been working on her sewing. She made a tote for herself with no pattern at all:

and then made a similar one with a different fabric for her sister.

And we went on a real vacation, just the five of us

Driving down I-95 you see hundreds of signs for Yeehaw Junction. Even they admit it's a bit of overkill:

since when you get there it's this tiny little trailer. Not even South of the Border, as we'd expected.

We went to Epcot

and the Magic Kingdom.

Of course knitting went along:

Sockotta socks

Sockspal2za socks

We love fireworks!

The last day was Universal Studios. Do they have a "we're not Disney" complex or what!

This is a kids' ride? Eew--most of the Moze family got off it sick to our stomachs. When they say blast, they aren't kidding!

Rides so nice we did them twice:
Shrek 4-D

Horror Make-Up Show

The Youngest Teen watching the fireworks: