Monday, February 28, 2005

What I’ve been thinking about

Time for stream of consciousness to try to unstick me from me stuck place again…

Ari’s at a wedding in the states without me. Probably a very fancy wedding. Sorry I’m missing it, but glad I’m not there.

I want to go to sleep but can’t until the clothes are done in the dryer. Forgot to start the washer and the clothes sat in the water all day.

DB came home tonight to get his bike. I brought him back to the dorm at midnight. Should I have done that? What's the exact definition of an enabler?
I really need to sleep.

Can’t get my nails to grow, especially if I’m biting them.

Didn’t even write about our fabulous Shabbat with good friends David and Susie from Sharon and Jeffrey from Brookline. Great to be with old friends again.

My trip? Still processing
Can’t seem to put it all into words

Why am I so stuck? What am I afraid of? What am I trying to hide from?
What am I afraid to find out?
What am I afraid to feel?
Need to sleep.

Fat. blah blah blah

Have you ever heard someone calling your name and wonder if it's really you?

Why do I hate housework so much? And if I hate housework so much why aren't I running out to get a job?

Cleaning up. Always cleaning up!

disorganized mess.

will I get that massage tomorrow? Maybe, if she ever calls me back. Think she might be telling me something?

my friends and their teenagers. my teenagers. It's such a scary time.

I’ll try to write something more sensible tomorrow.

good night...

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Mommy has landed!

I am home, unpacked and falling on my face.

Major Jetlag!

After unpacking, I baked a cake, cookies, peanut-butter chocolate bars and cranberry-apple crisp.

Enough to get a headstart on my Shabbat cooking tomorrow.

Great to be back with my husband and kids.

Great to be back in Israel?

More at a later time....

Shabbat Shalom

smile :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Living a recurring dream

I know what I'm about to write is very trivial and there are so many other important things I could write right now, like how wonderful it has been to see and visit with my family and friends, but I wanted to save that post for when I had the time and clear head to process my trip completely.

So to blog my recurring anxiety dream might help me to finish packing so I can enjoy the last couple of hours I have here in the US.

For years I have been having the same anxiety dream whenever I have felt any stress or anxiety in my life. The dream goes something like this: I am packing to go somewhere or leave from somewhere, and I can't get everything in the suitcase, or I'm afraid I'm going to forget something or I can't find something I wanted to pack, or after I have left, I realized I have forgotten something. Same dream everytime, just different forms. I usually wake up panting, and unless there really is something going on to cause the anxiety, I am left trying to figure out what my subconscious is trying to tell me.

So here I am trying to pack after having gone shopping in America for mostly insignificant items, and I have terrible anxiety that I will not be able to fit everything I have bought into my luggage.

Trivial - I know, I know!

People are dying of real diseases, tsunamis took away peoples homes and ALL their luggage, families can't even afford food on their tables and I'm having anxiety over packing for my trip home!

I should have perspective - I know!

But this is my blog and I'm feeling anxious. So I get to write about it. Then have perspective!

My kids might have to wait until their father comes to Maryland next time to get the stuff I left, unless some kind soul who lives in Maryland and is coming to visit Israel wants to bring my saltine crackers and Duncan Hines brownie mix and BJs size seasoned salt and Life cereal and microwave popcorn and whatever else I can't fit in the duffle bag!

We will survive.

So that's my check-in for today.

I leave Wednesday in the morning. My wonderful Mom is driving me to Newark International airport and I -please G-d - land Thursday morning in Israel.

I'll be back in touch then.

Wish me luck...


Friday, February 18, 2005

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I have arrived!

An 11 + hour flight, a 1 and 1/2 hour wait for the train, a 2 and 1/2 hour train ride to Maryland, Mom and Grama picked me up at the train station, went to give Grampa a hug and drop off Grama, and now I'm here.

The comforting smell of my parents home.

Little Brother Matthew is already here. Friday night my other two brothers will be here with their families.

On the plane I watched "Raise Your Voice" and "Shall We Dance" twice. Great chick flicks. My kind of no-brainer movies. (I have probably lost the respect from many of you out there! But you gotta know I am very picky about the kind of movies I watch - the no-brainer chick flicks are my favorites ---Sorry!)

I had a whole row to myself...Much better than last time!

So I'm here. I feel out of place, but at home.

Family time ahead...

Shabbat Shalom, if Idon't get the chance to check in tomorrow.

smile :)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane…

But I know when I’ll be back again.

I have been reluctant to write about my trip to the States. Maybe it’s denial? I really don’t want to go. Or is it that I don’t want to leave?

I am flying to Newark, NJ and then catching a train to Maryland for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. My oldest Big Brother has had (k’ayin hora) 5 Bar Mitzvah’s of which I was at the first four. I missed the last because I had to make a decision. This is Big Brother #2’s first Bar Mitzvah.

So I’m going. In and Out. I will be back by next Thursday. Only one full day to shop – that’s it. The rest is family time!

I don’t want to leave my family here. There is just too much in limbo right now.

But go I must, because it’s the right thing to do.

If I can get to my father’s computer, I’ll send a post or two. If not, I’ll be back in a week, with lots to update. I’m taking my handwritten journal with me. I wonder if I remember how to write in it?

Take Care!

My Professional Hat

Today I was a professional. I wore my professional hat.

NEFESH is the International Organization for Orthodox Mental Health Professionals. I have had the merit to sit on the conference planning committee with some very talented mental health people here in Israel. Today was day 1 of the Israel NEFESH conference.

I didn’t present this year because I will be giving a 4-hour workshop on the Benefits of the Expressive Arts in March --AAAAHHHHH!!!!

So today I just played professional. Feeling very awkward at times.

I schmoozed with people who have real jobs outside of the home. I sold my experience and myself.

And then I thought, “I’m not ready to get a job!”

It was different not to be Mommy or Wife today.

Today I was a respected professional.

It felt great!

…..but I’m not ready to be a professional!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Our first date: February 15, 1988

I knew it would be our first date, but I didn’t know it would lead to a wedding.

The night before, I was out dancing at the Palladium dance club in Manhattan with a different guy I thought I would marry eventually, someday, when I could convince him we really were good together. That night at the club, we were just dancing. Not thinking about marrying.

The next day I played football in Central Park with another guy friend. Just a friend.

I knew I would be going out with Ari. But I never thought that I would be wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle 6 months later! Not after that first date.

Our dates really consisted of two friends just getting to know each other better. We knew we were really good at being friends. I guess we just wanted to know if we could be more.

17 years later, I guess we could be more.

Gosh, when I think what we have done, accomplished in 17 years together.

What an amazing thing. 17 years with the same guy.

The same guy who has stuck by me through thick and thin (the thin didn’t last very long – I haven’t been thin in years!!) And the thick, at times, has been really thick!

They say love deepens with time.

Do I dream about the infatuation feeling, the crush, the tease, and the flirtatiousness? Sure.

But the feeling of deepened love – there are no real words. It just is. Deep.

17 years.

This is our 7th residence in 17 years. We lived with my in-laws for a short time, then a two-bedroom apartment. Then we came to Israel for 10 months, then back to Lowell, MA into a 2nd floor apartment. Then into our first house. Then to Boston. Then here, to Israel.

I think this is our 6th vehicle in 17 years (including the green machine which was stolen while living in New York.) A Volvo station wagon, 2 minivans, a Ford Explorer, and now a Honda Stream.

This is our 4th computer in 17 years, including Ari’s laptop. I have no idea what we started with but now we only do Macs.

17 years. 4 children. 3 of them born within 4 years and then a 7-year break for the last.

2 Bachelors degrees. 1 Masters.

A couple job changes. Nursing Home administration. A successful career in Jewish outreach. A try at private practice.

17 years, and we are living in Israel!

Truly a miraculous thing!

What a ride it’s been!

I look forward to the thrill of the future with the only guy who has ever been sensitive to my sensitivities!

I love you, Ari! Thank you…


Why do we do what we do?

What makes us drawn to do the things we do?

Why do we make the decisions we make?

Why do some of us think so much and others just do it?

How come it seems so much easier for some people?

How come some of us have “bad” habits and others can get away with nothing?

How come some of us believe in ourselves, and others can’t seem to find the strength within?

Why can’t children trust that they have something to say and adults will listen?

How come some people are motivated and others are stuck all the time?

How come some people can go for their dreams and others don’t think they are worthy of their dreams?

How come some people believe in themselves and others just fake it?

Why do some people turn to drugs or alcohol or sex or food to feel love?

Why can’t everyone believe that they deserve love?

Why can’t we all make the right choices? Why must there be free choice?

When do the questions ever stop?

Do we have to be mature to stop asking questions?

Why can’t there be just one perfect way? One right way?

Why must we doubt ourselves?

Why can’t we just feel the love? Give the love? Take the love?

I’m thinking again…


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Rosh Chodesh Adar at the Kotel

Chodesh Tov!

Welcome to the new Jewish month of Adar Aleph.

Purim is around the corner, and then Pesach. My how time just keeps going and going. If I don’t stop to appreciate a moment, it will be the next day.

My day started with a drive to Tel Aviv hospital to visit my cousin and her husband. When I arrived, Diana was in the hallway on the phone; Shai was asleep sitting up in his chair.

What an incredible invention – brain surgery. You cut a man’s head open, leaving him with a huge suture of stitches across his head. Then he gets up from his chair three days later to walk around the hospital. Just incredible! Shai was by no means ready to run a race, but just his ability to walk on his own surprised me!

I gave lots of hugs and tried to comfort Diana as much as I could. I couldn’t stay as long today. Hopefully Shai went home today. He needs to rest.

The whole experience was overwhelming…

After picking up Ely with a friend, and then dropping her off at that friend’s house later, I drove into Jerusalem to pick up Ari and go to the kotel. My new thing is to try to go to the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh. Otherwise, I won’t make it there.

It was cold tonight. But the walk down to the wall was warming. I have given up trying to get close to the wall when it’s crowded. It’s just a wall. G-d’s presence, I think, is present all around the wall. So even if I’m in the back corner, I will feel Him near.

I prayed tonight for my friends who are still single, whom I hope will find their mates soon.

I prayed for my friends who are stuck and confused.

I prayed for my brothers and their families.

I prayed for my sick cousin (Shai ben Bat Sheva), my friend (Shoshana Chaya Bat Rachel), granddaddy Jerry (Yitzchok ben Molla).

I prayed for my children.

I prayed for Ari and I.

I prayed for major help in making a decision soon.

I prayed for my own struggles.

That's was a lot to pray for.

I hope G-d heard.

Sometimes I feel Him so close. And other times I wonder if He really has the time to listen.

I know the struggle is what makes us grow. But I’m ready for some answers.

You hear that G-d? I’m ready…

Dinner out with my husband and then home.

All in all, a good day…

Hope yours was too!

My Girls

Ely had a playmate over to play after gan today. I was doing my thing around the house and heard them up in her room.

“Ely?” I called up to her in her room. “What are you doing?”

“We’re playing pillow, Imma. I’m the pillow and Ari’s laying on me.”

“Ely, why don’t you come downstairs and find a puzzle or a game to play with…”

Boy, do they start younger these days!!

NED came back from basketball with stories of “something really big that happened.”

It seems that this friend got mad at that friend, that friend ran off to cry in the corner, NED went to comfort that friend, so this friend got mad at NED for not sticking by this friend. Now NED doesn’t know whether to be friends with this friend or that friend.

Got all that?

MB came home from art with a stunning painting of a cat. What a little artist my MB has turned out to be. She’s in the “My-life-stinks” mode, though. Why? Because she lost her new coat, broke her wrist, is frustrated with her back hurting all the time, doesn’t understand math, and doesn’t understand why everything is always so “inappropriate” for her.

I miss my DB. He’s so simple…

“Wanna take some cookies to school DB?”

“No, I won’t eat them.”

“How about some instant soups or chips.”

“No, I already have some from last week that I didn’t eat.”

“Do you want to take an extra pair of pants with you this week?”

“No. I have one for the week. That’s enough.”

SO simple.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Snow in Jerusalem

NED missed her hasa’a (van to school) this morning.

I had plans to work on my new mom’s group booklet today. But instead I drove NED into Jerusalem so she wouldn’t miss another day of school.

I called my childhood friend, J.E., who made aliyah with her family 6 years ago to see if she wanted to meet for breakfast.
I left the house at 9AM and we agreed to meet at 10:15 in Givat Shaul.

As I left Chashmonaim, the weather turned from bad to worse. It went from hard rain to pelting sleet. It’s been a long time since I drove in weather like this. Without snow tires on, I felt myself skidding through every puddle. The drive to Jerusalem is like driving on a roller coaster. You go up and down hills and around sharp turns. At times we were literally driving through rain clouds. I couldn’t see anything in front or behind me because of the fog and the rain was beating down on my windshield. I must admit it was a little scary.

As we passed through the security checkpoint, I felt so much hakarat hatov (appreciation and thankfulness) for the soldiers who had to stand out in that horrible weather for my safety. I made a mental note to buy them some bakery goods as a thank you on the way home (of course I completely forgot, getting absorbed in my own life again. Next time…)

Then it just started snowing. Big white snowflakes. The ground was too wet and not cold enough for any of it to stick (or “catch” as NED kept calling it.) it was exciting. I was excited for NED that she got to see snow. She wanted me to pull over on the highway so that she could stand in it. And I should have because by the time we got to her school, the snow had stopped.

But I tell you. People panicked. People thought schooled would be closed. Groceries were jammed. For all of 15 minutes, Jerusalem was in a snowstorm and then it ended. Disappointing to the children, I’m sure.

The snow stopped but the rain kept falling. Non-stop.

Enjoyed my breakfast with J.E. Am so thankful to have friends like her here. We are in similar places in our lives. Different but yet the same.

So my basement is still leaking. There has been so much rain (Thank G-d!!!!) that the walls have started to crack and water is leaking through the cracks in the walls. I feel so bad for the landlord. He’s never going to be able to sell this house! The basement becomes a swimming pool. How is he ever going to fix that?

Not my problem, I guess!

I’m rambling boringly.

Tomorrow I’m off to the hospital to visit my cousin.

I hope yours is a happy day!

Over 5000!

In 17 days.



I love writing. I love being “out there.”

Enjoy your lurking. Enjoy your reading.

Happy Day :)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Of Football and Hospitals (a pretty long post)

“11 men and a lady” was the title that first came to mind for this post. I thought it was a creative title for the 1:30 AM – 5:30 AM Superbowl watching “party” I participated in this morning. Ari was invited to watch the game at a fellow New Englander’s home. I told Ari to make sure it was OK that I came along, too. Last year I made the arrangements, so I knew our hosts were expecting me (I was the only female last year also.) This year we were invited to a new host’s home and as each of the men arrived, they looked at me as if to say, “What is SHE doing here?”

I explained to them that I grew up with 3 brothers, all male cousins, uncles, a grandfather who was a sports addict, and the family ritual of watching Sunday football. Growing up in Maryland, I was a Washington Redskins fan or a Baltimore Colts fan. When I married a New Englander, I became a New England Patriots fan.

I love football! I have since I was a kid – loved watching it AND loved playing it! Before we made aliyah I would watch Sunday games with my husband and son, religiously. I never liked Drew Bledsoe. I always thought he played for himself and not for the team. When baby face Tom Brady came out of the lineup and won our hearts (at least mine!), I knew we were in for some winnings.

And we were! Last night (or this morning) was the 3rd Superbowl win in 4 years for the Patriots! It was a close game. The anxiety was killing me – I couldn’t sit down! But I was right in there with the boys, just like the old days.

It’s an interesting phenomenon, listening to grown men yell and scream and criticize younger men than they on the player's football plays and skills; or laughing at off-color jokes; or wondering at these grown men's incredible knowledge of sport statistics and trivia. I began to think, “Do women keep statistics in their heads of how much laundry was done this week or which meal they made most last year?” Just wonderous…

One of the watchers was our host’s Israeli co-worker. Poor guy barely understood English, let alone the game of football. Our host had to explain the entire game to him from what an end zone was to what all the statistics streaming across the screen meant. Our Israeli friend left at half time. I don’t think it was Sir Paul McCartney that scared him off; it was probably the strange American culture of eating hamburgers, chilidogs and chicken wings at 2 o’clock in the morning, while watching big men run all over each other on the field! Quite a humorous sight!!

It was a great game, and I’m glad I stayed to watch it. It was the first year watching without DB. That was sad for me! He decided to watch it with his friends elsewhere. I guess he’s reached the stage of separation and individualization…

MB went to another friends’ house, where a group of girls who knew nothing about the game watched it together. MB was the only one who understood even a little of the game because of the Women’s Flag Football League she participates in, in Jerusalem. (They play in Kraft Stadium, by the way. A stadium donated by our very own Bob Kraft – owner of the Patriots – right in the heart of Jerusalem!)

We left NED and Ely asleep in their beds. When I returned at 5:30, they were both asleep in my bed. Sweet sisters snuggling…

OK, so that’s the football part. As I watched with anxiety, I was quickly thrown back several hours to my hospital visit earlier that morning. I was brought back to reality, by the almost stupidity of the anxiety I felt at the end of the game.

I had spent 3 hours Sunday morning, waiting with my newfound cousin in a waiting room in a Tel Aviv hospital. This cousin’s father and my mother were first cousins. So what does that make us? FAMILY!

I was first introduced to this cousin at NED’s Bat Mitzvah several months ago. Before I thought the only relative I had living here was Brother Matthew. My cousin Diana has 3 adorable twin babies and is married to a man, Shai, who is dying of brain cancer! Yesterday he had his second surgery to try to remove tumors that had reappeared after a 7 year “clean brain.” When I arrived, the doctor had just come out to tell the family that they took out as much as they could, but that the cancer had spread. So we sat – about 15 family members and friends, all from his side – and waited for him to come out of recovery. I could tell Diana felt comforted by my presence. She introduced me over and over again as her cousin. We had the opportunity to sit aside from Shai’s family and discuss life and death and family denial and family dynamics.

Shai’s brother was Colonel Dror Weinberg, ZT”L. For about 30 minutes I sat next to his widow – not knowing whom she was completely – talking about life and family and our journeys to life in Israel. Shai’s parents, as you can imagine, have experienced so much pain! From the murderous death of their son, Dror, to now Shai’s brain cancer.

I was humbled. And I was there for my cousin, supportive and strong, until I got into my car to drive back home. I turned on the ignition and completely broke down. The intensity of it all just got to me.

I was humbled.

Life is so short. Everyday is the greatest gift we have to make memories with our family and friends and to make a difference in the world.

Was watching the Superbowl at the wee hours of the morning a waste of time for me? Maybe some would think so. For me it was making memories, enjoying a part of life I don’t get to enjoy very often.

I am humbled and want to do something with my humility. Now I get to work on what that is.

If you have made it through this long post, I thank you for reading through my ranting.

It feels so good to be able to write.
I am so thankful I can write.
That I can express myself.
That I can see.
That I can think.

Please pray for my cousin, Shai ben Bat Sheva. He should have a refuah shalayma (complete recovery). And if not that, then complete fulfillment from the rest of his days here on this earth, without pain or discomfort.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Shabbat in the Gush

Neve Daniel
Same like Chashmonaim
Very nice people
Some big houses, some smaller
separate Bnei Akiva?
Boy and girls hanging out together
girls with tight sweaters, low necklines? Modesty? Where?
Boys not wearing Shabbat clothes - sweatshirts, sweatpants.
Same stuff everywhere-
very nice people-
very cold! very windy!
but beautiful!
on top of a mountain
views on all sides
forever views
but cold!
no friends for NED and she forgot her suitcase - not so positive for her
MB had friends
and DB had one
As long as our hosts had babies, Ely was happy

so now we must decide.
we have until July 1,
what is affordable?
financial limitations
can we move our kids?
they're happy here
is it too risky?

i need a sign.
A sign
i need a sign.

And a decision needs to be made - soon!
it's killin' me!

nice people,
affordable homes
close to Jerusalem

no place is perfect

what happened to my aliyah dream?

Friday, February 04, 2005

“Remember, you don't have to score 100 to get an A.”

Those are wise words from my Uncle Mark.

Perfection – that’s a hard one!

I say it to my kids all the time, but do I believe it for myself?

I had a dream about Matt Warner last night. Why would I dream about Matt Warner? I haven't thought about him in years. (OK, that's an exaggeration!) Haven't spoken to him since graduation, 1984. Why would I dream about Matt Warner? Weird!

Subconscious stuff... Weird!

I’m off to fold laundry – very domestic of me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

It’s 12:15 am, Why am I still up?

I put Ely to sleep at 6:15 tonight and slept until 9:30. I hate when I do that. I left MB and NED up on their own. Not a very good parenting technique! I’ll have to make it up to them tomorrow night.

Ari works late on Tuesday. He comes home hungry. I should be a better wife and have dinner ready for him. My Mom would do that for my Dad. Why am I so reluctant? It’s a small thing…but I know Ari would appreciate it so much. Why won’t I do it?

What did I do today?

Phone calls

What, then, did I do today?

Ely walked home by herself from playgroup after gan. She walked right in the door like her big sisters do, took off her coat, dropped it on the floor (like her big sisters do!), and announced, “I’m hungry!”

She’s figured out how to play games on the computer. has some great age appropriate stuff for her. She doesn’t have to read to be able to work them and she sits for way too long playing. It’s like the TV used to be - An electronic babysitter. I justify that it’s educational…

I just realized that I never heard from DB today. Hope that’s a good sign. Both that I didn’t call him and he didn’t call me.

I miss having him home.

Better try sleep, otherwise I’ll end up sleeping the day away tomorrow.
What will I do tomorrow?

P.S. Happy Birthday to Sandra!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Ari’s folding laundry – I didn’t ask him to. He’s watching DVD of Red Sox season. He’s smiling.

Parenting workshop today.
Don’t say, “If you don’t sit down, I’m not going to give you this ice cream.”
Instead say, “I want to give you some ice cream, could you please sit down.”

Too much control – not healthy parenting.

Too much criticism – not healthy parenting.

MB has a half cast for 2 weeks. She’s milking it for all she can.

DB took a test today in Hebrew. It was in technology. Not sure what that really means, but he said he knew most of the answers.

NED studied for an English test. How do you describe a bidder in an auction?

Ely had the upchucks and runs all day yesterday. “I don’t like when I’m sick.”

ME? Well I just got a call to schedule my first Yom Iyun; An all day (actually all morning, 9 – 1) workshop on Expressive Arts therapy for mental health professionals in Jerusalem.

AAAAhhhhhhhh! What am I going to do?

I have work to do.

I need sleep too.

Good night, until tomorrow.