Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TILL 120

Bubbie Channah turned 84 this week. Tfu, tfu, tfu! How wonderful! But then, Bubbie Channah IS wonderful.

So today a couple of my friends and I are taking her out for lunch. We debated on many great places to go and have decided on a place not far from her apartment that serves a great business lunch. Bubbie Channah loves spagetti...and MacDonalds. Yes, in her old age my mother is a junk-food junkie.

Who would have known that the same woman who hollered at me when, as a child I asked her to make stew, like my friend's mother. Stew? (Like we were Romanoff's or Rockerfeller's or something.)

To this day I love one pot meals. Stew is gorgeous in my books. But, shhhhhhhhh don't tell Bubbie Channah.

Yes, that same woman takes herself down the flight of stairs that brings her from her apartment to King George Street and then down Ben Yehudah Street and over to MacDonalds.

I don't want to say she goes there often, but by the time she gets to the counter her meal is waiting for her complete with knife and fork and little packages of mustard. They know and love Bubbie Channah in MacDonalds.

No, we are not going there for lunch. Maybe I should drop in to MacDonalds and tell them she has a luncheon engagement, so they don't worry. Bubbie has friends all over the city.


The nice part is that all day her phone rang with best wishes from family and friends, old and young, and younger still from Israel, Canada and the USA. Nice. Nice that everyone remembers a person when she is 84, tfu tfu tfu. Till 120 ma! You promised!

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Boker Tov...good morning...and while I'm at it, Shauvah Tov...a good week. About a week ago I got a phone call from a lady named Ruty.

Ruty is one of 29 social workers who work in the rehabilitation department of Social Security in Jerusalem. I know them all. For years we have been working together. They have people who need to be rehabilitated and I had a learning center. We helped. It was wonderful and one day I will have to write a post about them.

Anyway, she had a student for me who needed help with English. I said,'Sure!'

Last week he showed up. What a cute kid. Going into eleventh grade...little kid...big eyes...spikey hair...and a killer cough. Sounded like he'd been smoking for 50 years.

I knew that he had been involved in a piguah, terrorist attack, three years ago and was pleased to see that he looked just fine. I've had kids who will never again look just fine and I was thrilled that this kid wasn't one of them.

He's a bright, intelligent kid who simply got lost when he missed so much school. English and Math are two subjects that build, one step at a time, and if you miss a rung you fall down to the bottom.

He wants to study...I want to teach him and we had a grand old time forging ahead and drinking diet coke.

Then later I spoke to Ruty. And she told me his story. He was in a piguah...and his lungs were affected. I keep hearing that cough.

As we go merrily along doing our usual things there are those among us who will not be usual again. And just because they have no scars that show doesn't mean that they are not scarred.

I think everyone can make a difference, even if it's only teaching a kid present perfect and helping him pass a big test at the end of August.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Sometimes...well, for me anyway, it's always better to laugh. Or smile. Dontcha think so? Meet Larry the Cable Guy. Duh!!!

1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the
cheese in the trap.

9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.

14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines

19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

20. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"

22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear
bright until you hear them speak.

24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. it's more like a jar of
jalapeno's. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


...if you are a lizard or a snake or one of those cold blooded animals who need the sun in order to scamper around in order to search for food.

Me? I like cold. Nope. I love cold. I mean, I LOVE COLD!

A native born Canadian, I sometimes wonder how I chose to live in a country that is hot and hotter for at least eight months of the year. Vey!

The truth is the country chose me. I just landed at the airport and it sorta grabbed me...took my breath away. You know...like meeting a person for the first time and something in your brain tells you that you have simply got to know this person better. That was it.

But this is ridiculous. Ninety degree weather or thirty-four depending on which system you are using has everyone frazzled. You don't function well in that heat. You drink a lot and get bloated and never use the bathroom as you are sweating it out instead...don't ask.

You are crabby and tend to eat chocolate...which melts in the store and in your hand which doesn't help the crabby part.

So, as I have to brave the elements and get myself into the city this afternoon to see my Cousin Sheldon, the best dentist in the world and pull a tooth that had the chutzpah of breaking off I think I'll take a hat and a bottle of water and try to remember where I left my smile.

Oh, I remember. It's next to my boots waiting for the first rain in October...November...Decem...

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Well, my novel Emma Shelby is No More is completed. Yesterday I finally finished my last edit and she is getting ready to fly to the States.

Today is Tisha B'Av. A day of mourning. The destruction of our Temple. Twice. Those who are religious are fasting. Restaurants in the city are closed. All places of entertainment in the city are closed.

I love this city. I love how she honours her past.

No, I do not fast on Tisha B'Av. But my oldest and his wife do. So later after I finish teaching, I'll run over there and help my DIL with the babies. AHHHHH, I do so love the babies.

What does all this have to do with Emma? Thanks for asking.

After I completed Emma I made two phone calls to the States. One to my brother Dovidle who is the most amazing and bestest brother in the universe and who will be printing it up and mailing it off to our other brother (we don't know who adopted who when we were about nine...but who cares) who will turn from brother-in-love and bestest friend to both of those plus agent and mentor. How lovely. My two book ends. What a lucky person I am.

Well, I phoned them both to tell them that Emma is flying (gmail attatchment from my laptop to theirs yahoooooooooo) and to be on the lookout.

But, then I stopped. I can't send Emma off on Tisha B'Av. Nope. Just can't. So, tonight when the fast is over and we remember to be grateful for our magnificent city, I will forward her to Dovidle.

Keep your fingers crossed. Wish me luck. Yahooooooooooooooo.

p.s. what a great feeling. Took me two years. It is 491 pages long. Pages that were blank before I filled them with the characters who have been keeping me company for twenty-four months. To tell you the truth, I was a bit sad when I got to 'the end' but then I looked at all those pages and said 'YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'. I DID IT!!!

Thanks to my wonderful writing group who made me better. Thanks to Evie and Joan who dotted my i's and crossed my t's and found the things that needed to be fixed/explained/worded in a different way. Thank you.

Nissyah tova, Emma. A good journey. Tfu, tfu, tfu.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I have many little sayings that get me through the day. Like the title above or my other all-time favourite: Round is a shape, too. :)))

I don't feel old. I don't feel like a Senior Citizen. I don't think I am a typical Bubbie (whatever that is). And the truth is I love being my age!

Forty was better than thirty. Fifty was better than forty. And let me tell you, sixty is better than fifty. I am on a roll my friends. And I am hoping that seventy, shudder, is going to be even better than sixty when it comes.

Why all this business with age? Nu, I thought you would never ask. So, as you know from my last blog I went to see Shalom Hanoch last week. HUHA. I think we were the oldest people in the audience. There were a few who looked like from our generation, but who was counting?

Then, Saturday my friend Evie and I went to the Mall to grab our copies of Harry Potter! Yes, I am a fan. Yes, I have read all the books. Yes, I have seen all the movies.

So, as soon as Shabbat was out, we ran over to the Mall, across the street from my place, and huffing and puffing (not really but it sounds so good) we got to Steinmatzky's Book Store and stood in line for our copies.

And then we went out for dinner. Of course we did!

Well, yesterday, I saw that the latest Harry Potter film was playing in the same Mall across the street from me. I called Evie and she was free and we ran to the Mall. Not sure if we could make it on time, I got tickets for the nine o'clock showing and we went out for dinner. Of course we did!

I remember the good old days, when you had to take a bus downtown to see a film in Jerusalem. There was one odd theater at a place called Semadar, which is still showing movies btw, but other than that you were downtown standing in line and checking the billboards for other films to see.

Today there are no movie houses in the center of Jerusalem. You have to go to the Malls. Little movie theaters attatched to a big room that sells pop corn and candy. Like the arms of an octopus, they reach out to grab the moviegoers who can choose between one of the eight different films showing at the same time.

I liked the one big move place with a balcony, which in my day was the only place you could smoke in the movies. (Oy I just remembered that!). And going to a movie was a big deal.

Well, Evie and I found our seats for the nine o'clock, English version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and settled down to wait for the movie to begin.

In front of us was a group of American kids. You can tell. One guy was really excited as this was his first Israeli movie experience.

I remembered my own. Picture this: Tel Aviv. Summer--hot as hell. The year was 1970. I don't remember what we went to see. All I remember was that in the middle of the movie, suddenly the lights went on and someone started screaming.

'A bomb!' I thought, and automatically stood up.

It wasn't a bomb. It was the ice cream vendor trying to sell his wares during the half time break.

You've come a long way, girlie. Sigh.

Well, where was I? Oh yes. All the kids were busy flirting and eating huge boxes of pop corn. And giggling. I remember giggling. It is actually a very nice memory.

Then the lights went out. And silence. For two hours no one said a word. It was magical. I wish I could fly on a broom. Sigh.

My friend pointed out that we were the oldest people in the room. I smiled. Maybe in age, but inside we were still lucky enough to have the soul of a little kid who loves magic and loves the wonder of wishing on a star.

Don't we all wish we could write a story like Harry Potter? I don't know about you...but I do.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I love this country...I mean I really really love this country.

Last night, Rena another friend and I went to a concert to see Shalom Hanoch...one of Israel's top music writers and performers.

Picture this: The performance was called to start at 10:00 in a place called The Labratory. Around the corner from the old train station, down a little alleyway, up the street from a major supermarket, next to a little restaurant music history is being made.

The place is nothing to write home about. Seats about 200 comfortably. Walls and stage are black. Movie seats are red. Little stage. Microphones and lights and that's it.

Small and intimate, the place was packed with three generations of Hanoch lovers and followers.

Out he comes at around 10:30...nu so what did you expect? Something would start on time in Israel? El Al stands for every landing always late :)))

Where was I? Oh, yes! Out he comes with his musical partner Moshe Levy who plays a huha piano, let me tell you! Both men are prematurely grey and were wearing old, faded jeans, dark T-shirts, rubber soled shoes. Israel, dontcha love it???

From the moment he opened his mouth the place went wild. Two kids in the front row who must have been 16-17 knew the words to every song. Us old-timers knew words and la-la-la. And for two solid hours everyone danced in their chairs, sang along, clapped like crazy and hollered out the names of their favourite songs for him to sing.

The fun part was that both the entertainers and the audience were having a great time and Hanoch said that he was coming back to Jerusalem soon and that he hadn't been with an audience like us for a long time.

We rocked!!!

Out to dinner and two hours with one of the top entertainers in the coutnry cost 40 shekels for dinner and 110 shekels for the ticket...all together $38!!! All I can say is Yahoooooooooooo!!!

On August 2nd we're going back to see Ninette. She won the first Israeli Star is Born singing contest five years ago (our version of American Idol) and she won my heart and vote with her rendition of Zohar Argov's Sea of Tears.

Isn't it fun to be able to have an evening of top entertainment in a place that is as welcoming as open arms; located fifteen minutes from your home; at a price that anyone can afford!!!

We got home around 1:00. After a couple of hours sleep I went to meet Rena for breakfast and a quick tour of our favourite museum (the supermarket). At around ten I phoned home and spoke to my Joe College. See he was asleep when Mommy got home and Mommy was gone before he woke up. I didn't want him to worry or think I didn't sleep in my bed last night. Good Mommy!

The old gray mar, she may not be what she used to be, but there's still some good mileage in the old dear yet. Yahooooooooooooo.

Shabbat shalom.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007



1.Goodbye tension! Hello pension.
2.I was at the Beauty Shop for nearly two hours…that was only for the estimate.
3.It’s nice to be here. At my age it’s nice to be anywhere.
4.The Snap Crackle Pop in the morning isn’t my Rice Krispies.
5.You know you’re getting old when…you throw a wild party and the neighbours don’t even realize it.
6.Sometimes I wake up grumpy…and some days I let him sleep.
7.Senior Campbells…New LARGE TYPE Alphabet Soup.
8.The secret of staying young is to live honestly…eat slowly, and lie about your age.
9.I must be getting older…All the names in my phone book end with M.D.
10.Be nice to your children. They will choose your nursing home.
11.Florida is God’s Waiting Room.
12.At my age FLOWERS scare me.
13.It ain’t the age…it’s the darn mileage.
14.Support Bingo. Keep Grandma off the streets.
15.The more you complain, the longer God makes you live.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Monday, July 16, 2007


And pigs can fly!!! We have a new President. And thanks to our Prime Minister, who himself got the job because of a fluke, Shimon Peres is now President Peres.

I can't believe it. I don't like the man. I don't trust the man. For a lot of reasons. A whole big fat lot of reasons.

But, I must admit, that I was moved by his speech. He even had me teary-eyed at the end when he blessed our soldiers and the State of Israel. He did. But then, I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with this country.

As the shofars sounded, and the trumpets blared and we did our version of Hail to the Chief, I had to take a deep breth and pray that Mr. President doesn't do us any more damage. Lord knows, he's done enough already.

But, let's give the guy a chance. For some reason the man is the world's darling...the Elder Statesman...the peacemaker. I won't go into that right now.

Interesting, however, that while he was busy reminding us of our heroic leaders, Ben Gurion, Itzhak Rabin, Arik Sharon...he left out Golda and Begin. Well, there goes the President of all the people, I guess.

We live in interesting times. Once again I have to say that I have learned that 'boring is better.'

Good luck, Mr. President. Good luck Israel. Sigh.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Ok, quick, I need your help. It all has to do with Baruch. Baruch? Yes, Baruch.

See, in order to stay in my writing group, I need to keep writing. So, once I finished my novel, Emma Shelby is No More, and sent it off to my two wonderful friends, E and J to edit...bless you forever, I had to start on my next book.

Not a tragedy. I love writing. And have wanted to tell this next tale for a couple of years. Well, there I was, hands poised over the keyboard ready to type my first sentence in my new book, working title 55 Jacob's Ladder, when all of a sudden Baruch appeared:

Every Friday afternoon, Baruch waited at the curb and listened for the sound of the cars coming to a halt. He knew that as soon as one of the drivers noticed his cane, they would all stop and impatiently idle until he made it safely to the other side. Everyone is in such a hurry, he thought as he waited.

Friday always was a short day as Jerusalem gets ready for the Sabbath. And no place in the city was busier than the Mahaneh Yehuda Market on a Friday. If Jerusalem was the heart of Israel, then Mahaneh Yehuda was its beat.

Armed with his white cane, Baruch was anxious to brave crossing Agrippas Street and get into the shuk. Just as he was about to venture off the edge, he felt a hand touching his elbow.
I had no idea who Baruch was and what role he would play in my story. But he just walked onto the page and into my heart. Now the entire story has changed and he has added depth and colour to my tapestry. I love Baruch.

Well, so what does this have to do with my needing your help? Baruch loves to quote old proverbs and sayings. And here is one of them: 'Ha possel b'mumo posel'.

Now, I always thought that meant something like, 'The hunchback never sees his own hunch'. Like we can see YOUR flaws but not our own.

Any ideas? Am I right? After Googling it, I ended up with a bunch of French sites and even though I studied French in high school for years and was pretty damn good at the time a few drops of water have passed along the Jordan since then and sigh and alas, the old gray mar, she ain't what she used to be.

Another translation I got was: 'The one who judges another is judging himself.'

I like my hunchback one better.

Any ideas? I would sure appreciate any insight you could give me as well as any of your favourite proverbs and/or sayings for our Baruch.

P.S. He's a special old fellow...looks a bit like B.G. (Ben Gurion).

Again, thanks for your help.

P.P.S. This week, tfu tfu tfu, I will finish the final edit of Emma, and will be sending it off to my to my brother Dovidle, and to my agent/friend/brother/mentor...you know who you are! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Monday, July 09, 2007


What a crazy day I had yesterday. Between teaching students and running in and out of town, I was rather frazzled.

In the middle of all the hu-ha I met Bubbie Channah and my friend C. for a pre-birthday lunch and a grand time plus good food was had by all.

Then I ran to catch the bus as I had a student to teach at my place in the afternoon. Two o'clock, downtown Jerusalem, July is about as hot as it gets. I found a shady place behind the bus stop and stood waiting for the #21 bus. Standing next to me was an Arab lady about my age. She was carrying two plastic bags. One had yellowy-orange flowers sticking out of it.

Nice flowers, I thought.

At most of our bus stops there are guards with walki-talkis and guns and they patrol the passengers getting on the busses. Unfortunately this is a reality of living in Jerusalem. I can't say what the system is like in our other cities as I don't usually travel on their bussses.

Anyway, the woman guard quietly approached the Arab lady and said "Shalom. What do you have in your bags?"
The lady answered "Just these flowers."
The guard: "Have a nice day."

And she walked to check out other passengers.

The Arab lady looked at me and told me that she was checked because of her head covering. I told her that I knew and mentioned that her flowers were beautiful. She told me that she was on her way to visit her sister in Shaare Zedek Hospital.

We stood in the shade and waited. She needed the #6 bus and I needed the #21. I knew her sister had just been diagnosed with cancer. I just knew it. And I knew that she was going to be all right.

I told her that I was sorry that her sister was in the hospital and she confirmed my feelings.

I told her that I knew her sister was going to be all right.

She looked at me and we hugged. And kissed each other on both cheeks.

And then my bus came.

A small step for mankind.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Shavuah tov. Sorry to have disappeared but I was overloaded with work, tfu tfu tfu, and couldn't find the time or strength to sit down and write.

Three of my twelfth graders have their bagrut...matriculation exam in English this coming Thursday and we have been doubling up on lessons.

Then my sweetsie tootsie turned 5 and we had a hu-ha b-b-que for him this week. What a great time. My DIL's family came in from B'nei Brak and Beersheva...our side showed up and between the adults and the kids there were a gazillion of us eating and enjoying the kids. Wait! Wait! That doesn't sound right. :) You know what I mean.

Oh, and then there was the dentist. Good thing he's my cousin and the best dentist in the country. The good news is that he can save my teeth. The bad news is that, EVEN AFTER A HUGE FAMILY DISCOUNT, BLESS YOU, BLESS YOU, it's going to cost me the national debt. Sigh. All I can tell you is if you don't take care of your teeth they will come back and bite you in your tush. Well, where you keep your money anyways.

The best news is...are you ready??? After hollering and writing a blog and sending out e-mails, UPS has refunded me another 75 shekels!!! Remember the story how my friend the Guv sent me a book about the Jews in Windsor? And she thought she was doing a great thing and sent it UPS? And they charged her almost a hundred dollars for a one pound book? And then they charged me 230 shekels to accept it? Well my dears...I got back almost 50 up front and now I just received another cheque. Yahoooo for my side. And good for UPS. They still shouldn't have charged me anything but hey good for them.

Ok. Off I go. I have two students on their way. Then I am running into the city to meet Bubbie Channah and my friend C. who is taking us out for lunch for our birthdays. And then I'm running back home to teach another student. Then E. and I are going out for dinner to celebrate our two birthdays. Hers is Monday and mine is Wednesday. Nice no?

I have one more week of non-stop teaching/running/stuff...and then I should be much freer and will try my best to blog more.

Shavuah tov.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.