April 2005 Archives

No Dead Fish


This is a public notice that Mr. Ryan did a fabulous job of flatsitting and I highly recommend his services. There were no dead fish - or anything else - as a result of his time in our flat. We came home to a very clean apartment - cleaner than we left it - and Ryan had clearly remembered when we were arriving home, as he was scarce. I imagine he'll never forget again, after all the jabbing he got from us and the Ishikawas.

So, we're home. We're exhausted. We'll share more later.

I'm Going to Spain - Part Deux


Yup, we're heading out to Spain again. This time we're going to the South - Malaga, Marbella, Granada, etc.

Mark's parents have a time share there, so we're going to spend the week with them and his sister, Melissa and her son, Griffin.

We leave tomorrow and I suspect it will probably be radio silence from me until we get back.

The second category for this entry is "My Future Life" because this time spent with Mark's family will definitely contribute to our decision as to whether to stay in Israel longer or not.

Take care all, and Happy Ridvan!

Musical Revival Fest



Well, here we are at the Music Revival Fest - the first pictures taken of us with our brand new 'dos [we'd gone to the hairdresser's that day].

This was an awesome idea!! It was our friend Danielle's idea [I think she & Ginger actually did a lot of coordinating]. So, here was the deal:

She had each of us (there were 15 or so of us) bring a song that we loved, had some special significance, etc. that we wished to share.

Then we had a little form to fill out: artist, album name, song name & why we thought the song rocked.

We turned our forms in and started listening. Each song played was accompanied by a brief explanation from the person who brought it, which made you really listen because it had become personal. We had yummy food, great back rubs, good conversation ... and at the end, two new CDs a piece of all the music we brought!!!

Isn't that awesome? Wow, so awesome.

p.s. my earrings? yup, that's a pair I made!

Mara Madness


Seeing Double


Here we are - on your left is Mara and on your right - Mara!

One of our friends is organizing a Mara art extravaganza: I'm going to teach jewelry-making and Mara is going to teach decoupage. Cool, eh?

Maras Unite!

p.s. this is before my haircut...

My Favorite Search Engine


I've written about writing in this space before. I've written about V's awesome writing. I've at least commented on my sister's natural talent. I've written about how I know I have a book in my head, but I don't know what that book is. Most recently, I directed you to Mendon's cartoon writing.

Well, if I have a book in my head, my mother is like Google Books. She's an entire library. Now, she thinks her info is largely useless (somewhere in the mass that is our family of blogs there was a conversation about it), but if it's really useless then I apparently tend to find myself in need of useless information on a fairly regular basis. I have called from every single foreign country I've lived in to ask her to fill me in.

'Cause here's the thing: it isn't useless. And I for one do not know where else to get the information. My most recent foray into useless knowledge was clumping yeast. Yes, you heard me. See, when you make a dough that rises, you have to proof the yeast to make sure it's not too old, etc. Usually, when I proof yeast, I add some lukewarm water, sugar, STIR - and leave alone for 5 minutes. Except this time, I stirred and got ... paste? No! No! Throw it out - it must be bad!! I did that twice before I called my mother when it happened for a third time [I didn't admit that to her at the time]. What finally convinced me to call her was that I saw in the sink that the remains of the former attempts, soaking in water, looked like normal risen yeast ... hmm. Telephone to Maman, and voila, I had overreacted, the yeast was fine. I used the third batch (doh!), and went on to have wonderful yummy bao. [I'm the dough expert of the bao industry - now even more so thanks to Maman!]

So, here's my vote. Maman, you should write a book, or a Web site, or create a search engine of your mind - or something. Admit it, you're smart. You know stuff we don't. What was the term? domestic goddess? hmm - there might just be something to that! By saying that your knowledge - at least your knowledge related to home economics - is useless, you are demeaning this largely unpaid labor that is done predominantly by the women of the world. And I know you don't believe that!!!

Cartoons are Fun!

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Hey folks, I wanna' tell you about a totally cool development over on my brother Mendon's blog.

He's started drawing cartoons and posting them on his blog!

I think this is very cool. I am, as you may see in his comments, duly impressed. And I think he should be encouraged in his endeavor, so please, comment on his creativity!

See you on his blog!

Graham Crackers


I'd forgotten how much I loved graham crackers.

Now some may think this is related to my previous entry mentioning the making of cheesecake, but it actually only has a passing correlation. You see, I bought the graham crackers for the cheesecake, but then decided not to use it (so the cheesecake-loving-gluten-intolerant friend could have some).

Which left me with a box of graham crackers. To eat, of course.

Mmmmm. I love graham crackers. And you'd have to work pretty hard to convince me that I'm going to kill myself by eating graham crackers.

Deep, Meaningful...


Hmm... not a whole lot of anything new going on in my life - internally or externally, as far as I can tell.

I've talked about decisions Mark & I are trying to make, our visit to Spain (we leave in 2 weeks to spend a few days with his parents & his sister's family), spring, our garden (a.k.a. 'the jungle' - which we're going to try to remedy later today apparently), swimming (which I am sacrificing today to work in the garden ... not so happy about that), books I've read, jewelry I've made... do I have anything left to say?

The jewelry thing is actually taken off quite a bit (about 25 sets of earrings now, must start selling some). I gave a jewelry class back in March and it was so popular I have people clamoring to get into another class - except, I don't really want to do it. The beauty of doing it in March was the Fast. I taught the class during lunch hours at work. Now, I would have to give it in the evenings or weekends - trying to coordinate people's schedules, blah, blah, blah - and I have absolutely no desire to do that. So, here's my alternative: you cook for me (and Mark) - dinner or otherwise, and I'll give you a lesson. Want more? Invite me back for dinner again. Yup, you heard it here - I'm greedy and selfish and keeping my sanity, thank you very much.

I did something extraordinary this morning. I made a cheesecake. I think it's the first one I've ever made. It's my grandmother's recipe - Philadelphia style - none of that "New York style" business for me! No thank you! Food of the gods - mmhmm. I can't wait to try it. I made it gluten free, too (so no beloved graham cracker crust for the time being), so that my cheesecake-loving-gluten-intolerant friend can try it out, too. And you know what? Danged if I knew that cheesecake was so easy to make!



Where are my thoughts?

Well, I'm definitely happy it's still cool here. We just had a hamsim (hot dry dustcloud hanging in the air) followed by a nice cooling rain ... ah. I know it'll be over soon, but I'm gonna' milk it for all it's worth.

We've started swimming - woohoo! Such a wonderful, healthy, healing, easy-on-the body workout. Very, very fulfilling.

I just finished reading the book Roots by Alex Haley. Wow. It was made even more personal for me because my brother Mendon did a year of service in The Gambia. He has been called a toubob, as he is - reading this book brought all sorts of implications to that word crashing into my head. [toubob meaning white folk, and in slaving days, clearly referred to slave trappers, slaveowners, etc.] What does toubob actually mean in Mandinka? I should find that out... Mendon, have you read the book? It just makes it so clear to me - nothing but Baha'u'llah's message could ever possibly heal wounds like those.

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