Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Q is for  ?

I have been thinking for days about what to write for the letter Q.
I could write about the Queen. As a former Canadian and member of the Commonwealth, I have to admit I love the Queen and all the Kings and Queens of England. I read about them, I watch the series about them on TV, I was inside Buckingham Palace!!! You want to talk about fancy-shmancy???

But, no. Q is not for Queen.

Quincunx! I bet you never heard that word before. It's an astrology term referring to a 148-152 degree aspect between two planets. For example my Moon in  Pisces is exactly 150 degrees away from my Mars in Leo. AHA, you say! What does that tell you about me? It means that my need for security doesn't jive with my need for excitement and spontaneity. So now you know. I'm touchy and territorial and a rotweiller when it comes to my family especially my babies. And, sometimes people can take advantage of me. I always said that anyone can screw me once, but if they do it a second time it's my fault.

So, if you have a quincunx in your chart, it simply points out stuff you have to work on. You don't know and wanna know...write me, I'll tell you.

Quilt! As you know, I knit, I crochet, and the world is my canvas...aka I talk a lot. But, I've always wanted to make a quilt. Close your eyes and say the word Quilt. What do you see? I see a bunch of ladies sitting around an old table someplace on the Prairies, tired from all the work they had to do that day. Each one has an old thimble on her finger and is busy making a quilt for someone in their community. Quilting is friendly. It is useful. It is warm and comforting. It is real...not like the store-bought down comforter I have.

Now, I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I have a million afghans that both I and Bubbie Channah made. I have summer ones and winter ones and this kind of a pattern one and that kind of a pattern one. We all do. Walk into my kids' rooms and there are Bubbie Blankets! But a Quilt...sigh. My friend Guila makes quilts. She make hu-ha gorgeous quilts. She makes quilts for babies and quilts for beds and quilts for walls and as they say in Hebrew...rir yored li...I salivate with envy at her talent and patience. Bravo!!!

That brings me back to my Question marks. Questions are good. Little kids ask them without end. They ask them just for making conversation and they ask them for information. They ask them without shame and I love their freedom.

Once, when my oldest grandson, Sweetsie Tootsie was about two and a half, I was at their place. It was dark out already and suddenly we heard fireworks. Here is the conversation we had as we ran from window to window looking for the flashes in the sky.

SweetsieTootsie:Bubbie, what's that?
ME: I think it's fireworks.
S.T: Let's look for them. (He grabbed my hand and we ran. But we couldn't see anything.)
S.T:Bubbie, I know exactly what that is. (He said pointing his little finger at me.)
ME: You do?
S.T: Yes! It's a party in the sky for the Rabbi from Lubovitch! (My religious kid was in a Chabbad nursery school. I cried. Tfu in your eye Hitler!)

See, everyone is so busy looking for answers that sometimes we forget the important thing is to know what questions to ask.

So, here's my question for the day: How's by you?

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

Friday, May 20, 2011


Funny how things work out. I had been planning to write: P is for Psalms and tell you the story of how I started reading Tehilim (Psalms).

See, my youngest kid was in the army and he wasn't feeling too great. For those of you who don't know, once a kid goes into the army, the army is responsible for them. Well, maybe not responsible for making them sing Sweet Sue all day long, but as parents we have to take a back seat until they finish their tour of duty.

Not exactly my best place to sit...in the back seat. See, the only reason I bought my kids cell phones was so that I could have instant gratification every time I got nervous about where they were. Ok, so there were days when I was nervous all the time but that is for another blog...Crazy Jewish Mother...oh wait...wait...we did all those letters already PTEW!

So, my kid wasn't feeling great and, not knowing what else to do, I phoned my daughter-in-law. She is from B'nei Brak...religious...married my kid who became religious at the age of twelve. But, I've told you about that already. Anyhow, I phoned her and asked her to please, when she says tehilim to give a prayer for the kid.

And she said... are you ready for this??? And she said, 'You know, of course, that it will be much stronger if that prayer comes from his mother.'

Screwed! I was screwed. Okay, okay tell me where and what. I had a bunch of psalm books all over the place...you know 'just in case' books that you throw into your purse before taking off on a long journey, for example.

I started reading Psalms. And I added more and more. And I started reading the Hebrew side of the page. And I loved it!!!Ten, fifteen minutes a day of quiet Jewish meditation...me, God and David's Psalms.

Then I underlined special psalms that had a special meaning to me and started saying them every day along with whatever portion I was at.

Then, I decided to add a little mystical/shmystical and would close the book, ask a question, open the book randomly and put my finger on a line. And lo and behold, I started getting answers to my questions. And I added those sentences to my daily reading.

Psalms is good. And strong. And special. Try it...you'll like it.

See, I was going to tell you all that, but yesterday I left the house at 8 in the morning and Perle Mesta didn't get home till nearly 11 at night! I had a hellova grand day!!!

Now, let's get back to mystical/shmystical. See, as a person with the wooszh and an astrologer who doesn't  believe in coincidence...I was meant NOT to write yesterday.

Why??? Ask me...go ahead. BECAUSE P ALSO STANDS FOR PRESIDENT AND POTUS!!! And yesterday he gave a speech. And yesterday he put Israel, and all of us and then all of you in a very bad place.

Those of you who know me know exactly what I think of the...there are so many words I could write here...and davka in four languages. All of them quite descriptive. All of them quite accurate even though I don't know much about his mother...

Israel is appalled! Furious! And, maybe a little more frightened then usual. What the hell is wrong with that man? I know the answer to that question. Do YOU???

And P also stands for Pharoh. See, there arose a new Pharoh who knew not Joseph. He too was a very bad man.

Some days I feel like Jeremiah and others like Chicken Little screaming THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

Bubbie Channah would simply have said GEVALT!!!

Shabbat shalom.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


O is for onions!

See, I cook. I cook a lot! And every recipe I make starts with: take a gorgeous onion.

I came to Israel in 1970 with two girlfriends. We all took a year's leave of absence from our places of work and came to the Holy Land for a year...just one year.

Arriving in August, we made plans to stay in Tel Aviv not far from the Sheraton Hotel. After all, since we were now free agents, it was stupid to spend the summer away from the Sea.

Hot! You want to talk about hot? No air conditioning...no ice cubes...no real Coke just something cloyingly sweet called Tempo. No hamburgers. When we got to the point of passing out, we would put on our 'American Tourist' clothes and go sit in the lobby of one of the fancy hotels up the street.

But when September came, we moved into our apartment on HaPalmach Street in Jerusalem. Lovely place. Did I mention we were on the top floor...56 stairs...no elevator? I didn't mention that part, did I. Sigh.

As soon as we settled in, we went up the street to the local supermarket...I think it was Supersol. Now, in 1970 in Israel they didn't have plastic bags...and God forbid they should kill a tree to make paper bags!!! NAY NAY. They had hard plastic bags that only felt good when they were empty. As soon as you put three eggs or one bottle of milk inside, the handle began chopping off your fingers.

But even worse! If you forgot the damn bag, then you had to climb the 56 stairs all over again. We were like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie learning how to milk a cow. Well, we were cute but not that cute and we certainly didn't have a gazillianth of their cash waiting when we got home.

Nope, we had the bags and the stairs and a year in front of us.

Now, at the time, the only languages spoken in the country were Hebrew, Arabic and French. No one admitted to understanding my Canadian French and everyone shuddered when I tried Yiddish. Everything in the supermarket was marked in Hebrew and Arabic. Could have been Chinese or Amharic. If the can didn't have a picture on it then it was an interesting meal we had that night.

Rosh HaShanah came quickly and we decided to make chicken soup and chicken and hamburgers and mashed potatoes. Forty years have passed and I remember that menu. The meat was so salty we couldn't eat it. The chicken soup looked gray and was so salty we couldn't eat it. Kosher food...be careful how you season it when cooking. WELL NO ONE TOLD ME THAT!!!

We ended up eating the Telma packaged instant soup and cried. I wrote Bubbie Channah the following letter...Dear Ma...You remember when I had to clean my plate because of all the starving children in Europe? Well, I never thought I'd be one of them. Love, Marallyn

One day, after the holidays we went to the Old City and in order to get out of the heat entered Select Restaurant next to the Police Station just inside the Jaffa Gate.

We didn't have much money to spend in a  restaurant but we ordered something and the waiter brought us all kinds of little dishes with salads. We licked the platter clean!

The owner, Daud came and sat with us. When he heard our plight, he invited us to show up at his place every morning for a week at 7:00 and he taught us how to cook!!! Yahoooo, we're in business!!! A few years later Daud left the Old City and moved to Detroit where he opened another restaurant. I hope he made a million bucks 'cause he sure saved our tushies.

Then, I met my husband and spent my mornings in my mother-in-law's kitchen learning to cook their food. Kurdi food. You want to talk about delicious??? Kubbeh, Yaprach, yum yum.

Now, I cook Kurdi food, Persian (Iranian) food, Moroccan food, a little Italian, a dash of Mexican...and every recipe starts off with a gorgeous onion.

Here's my favorite mejaderah recipe:
2 gorgeous large onions
1 cup rice
1 cup green lentils
1 teaspoon...or more...cumin
1 teaspoon salt or chicken soup powder...more if you want
pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 1/3 cup water for the rice and as much water as you need to cook the lentils

To make the lentils and rice

Cover the lentils with water and cook until tender.

In another pot sauté 1 chopped onion in 1 Tbls of olive oil until translucent then add the rice, cumin, the salt/pepper or chicken soup powder. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer until the rice is cooked through. Once the rice is finished mix in the lentils.

To make the crispy onion garnish. 

Slice the remaining onion and heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate all the slices, adding a little salt as they saute. When the onions go in they should sizzle. Saute the onion on high heat stirring frequently until the slices turn brown, then reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook until they have small dark spots and are crispy

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

Monday, May 16, 2011


N is for Nope...Not Me...I Never Said That...Nuh-Hu.

In the list of things I can't remember ever having said, the first one is:
Boy, I miss track!

When I was growing up, we had to wear those one-piece blue bloomer outfits to gym. Do you have any idea what chubby Jewish polkehs (thighs) look like in those things? Dear God in my next life could I please have thick hair and thin thighs?

And, if God forbid, you had to go to the bathroom, you had to undo all those buttons and sit half naked on the toilet hoping no one would open the stall door by mistake and see you in all your glory.

Now the gentile kids in my class they were heroes. They could jump over a pole, and run around the school and probably climb the outside of the building if the gym teacher wanted. The rest of us descendants of Abraham hopped, skipped and jumped and maybe once in a while we got to the sandy part.

Bubbie Channah went to parent-teacher's day and purposely asked to speak to the gym teacher. Here is the conversation as she told it to me.
SHE: Hello, you are the gym teacher?
HE: Yes.
SHE: Perhaps you could explain to me these low grades my children received in gym?
HE: I...I...
SHE: I sent you two world-class athletes and these are the grades you gave them?
HE: You are Mrs. Pasikov, David and Marallyn's mother, aren't you?
SHE: Yes!
And then she laughed all the way to to the parking lot. No one messed with Bubbie Channah!

Number two:
Where is she stabled?

Horses are nice. Hoppalong Cassidy had one. Gene Autry had one. Calamity Jane had one. I had one once...for a couple of hours one terrible day.

Every summer all the kids who were still in town went to Camp Yomee Day Camp at the Jewish Center. We had a hellova grand time. Every day we met at around nine and did all kinds of great stuff till four when our parents came to pick us up and bring us home.

I started as a camper, then junior counselor, then senior counselor, then assistant camp director. That's where I met Sharon the mystical-shymistical lady we imported from Montreal. Sharon is/was a Registered Nurse and that summer she was Camp Nurse! We met, bonded, fell in love and are still amazed at how lucky we are.

Well, one year, some idiot...I mean camp director, decided to take the camp out for a special day. So off we all went to Yakky Bush HORSE BACK RIDING!

Do you know how tall those things are? Have you any idea how big their teeth are never mind their feet....I mean hooves?

Bad enough to be out in the Bush with all the mosquitoes and rattle snakes and scorpions and vampires...there were horses...lots of horses...just waiting for these chubby Jewish kids to climb up with their Semitic polkehs and ride off into the sunset.

Here's the conversation:
HE: Mrs. Pasikov, how are you?
SHE: What's wrong?
HE: Marallyn needs a change of underwear and slacks.
SHE: She pished in her pants? She's thirteen!
HE: No, but the horse was too broad for her and when she sat down on the saddle she split her pants and underwear!
SHE: Oh, God. I'm on my way!

Number three:
No, thanks, I've had enough chocolate.

My husband and I are Jack and Mrs. Spratt. He hates sweets and I can't get enough of them. When Bubbie Channah was in the hospital dying, I couldn't eat food. All I could eat were potato chips and chocolate.

But, not just any chocolate. NAY NAY. After a lengthy research, I discovered that my chocolate of choice was Snickers. And not one. NAY NAY. It took six of them. One after the other before I had enough caffeine   or cocoa or whatever it is that scratched the itch that was driving me crazy.

For any of you who are interested, Snickers is better than everything else except Turtles...nothing is better than Turtles. If they had Turtles in Israel, I betcha I could have eaten six boxes...maybe seven since seven is my newest favourite number.

Here are some of my favourite chocolate expressions:
Every time I say the word 'gym', I rinse my mouth out with chocolate.
Chocolate is better than a psychologist and you don't have to make an appointment.
Chocolate is God's way of compensating for Mondays.
Fourteen out of ten people like chocolate.
If you get melted chocolate on your hands, you are eating too slowly.
If there's no chocolate in heaven, I'm not going.
Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.
Money may talk, but chocolate sings.
Nobody knows the truffles I've seen.

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011


M is for 'mystical-shymystical'...what else???
In my family everyone had the whooszh (ESP). Well, everyone but my Dad A'H. He would just shake his head and then stare in amazement when things came true.

I remember when I was about twelve and my Mom A'H bought a raffle ticket from the shul...I think. First prize was a thousand dollars and just what my Dad needed to pay the bank for the mortgage. Summer time was always tough in the house of a furrier.

The day of the raffle, Ma was in a deep conversation with him that went something like this:
SHE: Herbie, go get the thousand dollars.
HE: Leave me alone. You really think you are going to win.
SHE: Herbie, go get dressed, get into the car and get the thousand dollars.
HE: Shortie( I thought that was her real name until I went to high school). We need the money and it would be nice, but I'm not going to the shul and make an ass out of myself.

Before she had a chance to answer, the phone rang and a good friend excitedly told Ma that she had won the first prize...yup the thousand dollars.

My Dad ate crow for about fifteen years on that one.

We all had it. My Bubbie A'H ( she made us look like amateurs), my Mom, my Aunt, my brother and myself. We all just knew stuff.

By the time I was sixteen, I'd learned there was 'family' talk and 'stranger' talk. The family understood exactly and the strangers just give you that look. You know the look.

So what does a teenager living in a rather conservative city do? She finds other friends with the whooszh. First was Maeshey. He lived up the street and was part of our house and lives and love from the age of about seven. Maeshey invented the word wooszh. He still has it big time. As a matter of fact I just got another email from him with his latest...see we share our wooszh's...otherwise it's no fun.

Then there came Sharon. We imported her from Montreal. She has it big time too. And we are still in daily contact and whenever the wooszh comes up it is a normal part of our conversation. Trust me, the lady is good!

Then we discovered the Ouiji Board! We all sat around with that little glass scaring ourselves to death. Dad, on his way to bed always said, 'Again with the glass?' At which time, no matter what the ouiji was saying, it would stop and the message would be 'Good night Herbie!' No one messed with the ouiji.

I stopped the ouiji one day when I figured it must be some miserable soul stuck in there on it's way to a better place and when I go at 120 I don't want one of them to see me passing along and scream out HEY I KNOW THAT ONE...and there I'll be stuck in the glass forever and ever.

I think of the sight as a gift and never abuse it.

When everyone asked me what the hell I was going to do in Israel, I immediately answered, 'I'm going to rent a camel and sell fortunes to the tourists.'

Everyone laughed.

Until the day I got my first check as a published astrologer. As of this writing, I have taught astrology classes, writen seven books and have had a weekly column in both the Hebrew and English newspapers for almost twenty years. The last 13.6 years I have been the astrologer for the Jerusalem Post online and except for Jeruasalem...long story...am in the Friday edition of the paper nationwide.

I don't have a camel yet but I'm selling fotunes to the tourists. Look for me...Starcatcher...and may the force be with you!

Shavuah tov!

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

Thursday, May 12, 2011


L is for lists...the older I get the more I rely on them...

L is for lucky...yup I am tfu tfu tfu...

and L is for love...I love you...you love me...lucky us!!!

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

ps thank you for allllll the emails about these blogs...when I have the time I will post them online...means a lot that you are all reading them and enjoying them...a lot!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


K is for knitting.
You remember about the 47 books? Well, I have about as many bags of wool in cupboards, on shelves...shoved here...stuck up there. Wool.

I need to have books that I haven't read yet, waiting for me, and wool that I don't know what to do with waiting for an idea.

It's all Bubbie Channah's A'H fault. See, when I was seven she told me I couldn't sit with 'laydekeh hent'...empty hands. And she taught me how to knit. I made my first sweater that year and I've been knitting ever since. NOT LIKE BUBBIE CHANNAH who gifted everyone she knew with numerous hand knitted items...afghans/ponchos/sweaters/scarves...

When my oldest went into the army I didn't know how to protect him any more. So I began making kippot...crochet yarmulkahs or skullcaps. I figured, since he was religious ( became religious at the age of 12...nice story...another time), I would put all my hopes and prayers into the little things, and when he wore them, their magic would keep him safe. For those of you who know me, you know that this is normal thinking on my part, and for the rest of you, HELLO :)!

 I knew how to crochet...Bubbie Channah again...and I figured out how to make a flat circle, but I didn't have any patterns.

That's when I became a nuisance on the bus. See, sitting in front of me were always religious kids...soldiers, students and each had a kippa. So when I found a pattern that looked gorgeous yet easy enough for me to copy, I would tap the person on the shoulder...knitted kippa people can be tapped...black hat people don't even think of it!!! I'd tell them my problem, they'd laugh and take off the kippa, leaving their heads uncovered for as long as it took me to mark down the pattern on the graph paper I had begun carrying in my purse.

And off I went. I don't want to brag, but I got so good, I was making a kippa a week and then when I got crazy nervous, a kippa a day!

Thank God the kid made it through those three years of being a paratrooper...me? I'm not so sure...and he came home and went to college and got a nice job and met a lovely girl and got married. And was expecting their first child...

And the terrible Intifada broke out and he was called to his base and sent to Shchem...Nablus...a very very bad not nice place---very!

This time, I knew I would need more than just those kippot. This time I needed serious knitting! I knit good. I knit without looking at my hands. I can take knitting to the movies. The only reason I never went to sit in on the Demjanjuk trial was I knew I couldn't sit that long with laydekeh hent and didn't want to do a Jewish version of Madame Defarge!

What could be quick like a kippa yet be knitted and keep me busy? AHA---baby sweaters! But the kid wasn't born yet. Bad luck. 'Not if you don't finish it,' Bubbie Channah said.

And, I had two really good girlfriends whose daughters-in-law were also due the week my baby was. AHA, a captive audience.

I started knitting. And I got Bubbie Channah involved. Her job was to do the invisible joining that she always did so well and to make buttons from the same wool for the sweaters.

Then, she started knitting along with me. Baby blankets...sweaters...matching hats...in neutral colours since we didn't know who was what yet. And always a something was left undone that needed to be finished after the baby was born.

In the month my kid was in the army we made 150 baby sweaters! And blankets! And hats. We had two suitcases full and overflowing!

The three babies were born tfu tfu tfu. All boys. All got knitted stuff. And we still had more. And more.

We started giving them away to anyone who had a baby. How lovely!

I have one more lion sweater Bubbie Channah made. I'm keeping it...just because.

Since then I really haven't had the desire to do much knitting. Here and there a blanket. Maybe soon.

ps. I have just started teaching my six year old granddaughter to knit...cuz you see she can't sit with leydekeh hent. I know. It's a law! Bubbie Cannah said!

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

Monday, May 09, 2011


J is for jokes. I love to laugh. I love funny, clever jokes that don't hurt and are smart. The smartest and funniest man I would love to meet is Mel Brooks. His 2000 Year Old Man and the other albums are my all-time favourites. I can quote them. I can. So can my my nearest and dearest...you know who you are.

Carl Reiner wrote down the questions. Mel Brooks heard them for the first time and invented answers. What a joy.

Okay...here is part one. If you love this as I do, go to youtube and listen to more.

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


J is for jokes.


I is for Israel...of course it is!!!
I didn't mean to live here. I didn't mean to get married and have children here. I didn't mean to step off a plane and know that I was HOME.

But all the pieces were put in place by my family. The Jewish elders in Windsor, my grandfather and his brothers included, decided to establish a Jewish School for their kids so they would know who they were and understand their heritage. In a city with only 750 Jewish families at the time, that was a smart move. So, from the age of about six I went to I.L Peretz Shule--- every day after school. I wanted to be a Brownie, but Bubbie Channah said, "Jewish children go to Peretz Shule." Period. End of discussion. Do not pass GO and do not collect your $200!

So, Mrs, Atkins would be waiting in her station wagon for me at the end of my school days, and off we went to pick up other would-be Brownies or Cub Scouts or Astronauts, or just kids who wanted to go home and play outside with their friends.

I went to Peretz Shule till I graduated at thirteen and returned my first year in College to teach there!!!

So, what does this have to do with Israel? Remember, this was in the early fifties. And every once-in-awhile, on a Sunday we would all fill the main room and watch movies. Little black and white reels of the newly established State of Israel! Men and women in shorts with white shirts , a hoe over one shoulder, a rifle over the other began building settlements and cities and then at night, since these were superhumanwonderful people, they would all dance the hora around a big fire and laugh and be happy. Well, I think they laughed and were happy since there was no sound.

I was fed on this new State of Israel with pride and love and awe. So, when my friend and fellow teacher told me she was going to Greece and asked me if I wanted to come along, I thought for about five seconds and said, 'SURE'. But, added that I couldn't get that close to Israel without going there.

My plan was to get the Israel part over first and then Yassoo Yassoo Yasso. "HaHA!," said God. "I don't think so!"

And, the rest is history.

I want all of you to come here and see my wonderful Israel...my unbelievable Jerusalem!

No one is indifferent to Israel. No one says, "Oh, it was nice." They either love it, or hate it. They either get it, or they don't.

So, here's the plan. Come and see for yourselves. But if you want a front row seat, come for three weeks in April/May. Spend Pessach/Easter with us and the original cast. Then a week later be with us for the twenty-four hours of Yom HaShoah...Holocaust Remembrance Day...then a week later stand with us for Yom HaZikaron...Remembrance Day for the fallen, which culminates in Yom HaAtzmaut...Independence Day.

Those three weeks are who we are. Today is Yom HaZkaron. Last night the country stood in silence remembering our fallen...fallen in war and fallen in terrorist attacks. We remember the Fogel family. We remember every person. Over 22,000! One channel prints their names and dates starting from 1948. It takes the twenty-four hours to go through those names. E very one has a name. Every one is remembered. All you can see on cable TV are either a blank screen or programs remembering.

We remember leaving Egypt. We remember our family who were killed in the camps. We remember our brave men and women who sacrificed all for a little strip of land and a big dream.

At 11:00 this morning there will be a second siren. And again we will stand at attention. One on Holocaust Day and two on Remembrance Day. All cars will stop. People will stand in the streets, in the hallways, in their homes...and we will remember.

And then tonight we go into Independence Day! Israel will go out again into the streets, but this time to party.Tomorrow the country will be filled with the smell of meat cooking on open fires as everyone goes out to mingle with family and friends and bar-b-que and enjoy each other's company.

How smart our forefathers. Only the joy of Independence Day could break the sorrow of Remembrance Day.

So, come. Visit. And maybe you will lose your heart to a little strip of land like I did.

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

Sunday, May 08, 2011


H is for humour.
I think one of the most important characteristics a person can have is humour. Without it we're lost. I learned that forty years ago when I moved to Israel. Before that, I knew I was funny and my friends were hysterical, but I hadn't yet learned about God's sense of humour.

I moved to Jerusalem with my two friends...Soril and Linda, and we each packed a huge trunk full of stuff we couldn't live without. At the time that also included toilet paper.

See, the last trip I made the winter before the move, I had stayed with my friend Rachel who was a nurse in Sharrey Zedek Hospital. She was renting a room in a place in Geula, one of the more religious neighbourhoods in Jerusalem. Not only did I learn that winter that in Israel it is colder inside the houses then out, but instead of toilet paper they had old newspapers cut up into squares hanging on a hook!!! If I remember correctly, I cried. And then moved in with Soril who was staying with old friends and they generously let me stay on their couch in the living room!

Well, along with the toilet paper, Soril and I brought kits to frost our hair. They included the bathing caps with the holes in it and the crochet needle used to pull the hair through those holes as well as the bleach and dye.

After a month we were ready to frost our hair. I pulled Soril's through the little holes and shmeared the bleach all over her hair, and she did the same for me.

As we were waiting the necessary time for the bleach to pull the colour out of our hair there was a knock on our door. Standing there was Yossi, the neighbour's son. He looked at us strangely...those crazy Americans...and smiling said,"I wasn't sure if you understood the notice that is on the front door, so I came to tell you that they are turning off the water today at 2:00."

I looked at my watch. Ooppps! At which point I shouted loud enough to be heard in Tel Aviv, "DON'T FLUSH THE TOILETS!"

Somehow we managed to wash our hair, get the colour on and wash that out too. That is my favourite H for Hair Humour story.

Here is another one my daughter posted on Facebook:
A few days ago someone wrote a message on the gate of the Israeli consulate in Manila:
"You are 63 and still eveyrone wants to f*** you. Happy Birthday, Israel!"

That is my new favourite H for Happy Birthday story.

In a few hours we go into Yom HaZikaron...Remembrance Day and nothing is going to be funny. So, till tomorrow, Let a Smile be Your Umbrella :)

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


Wednesday, May 04, 2011


G is for grateful.
I'm grateful for so many things.
I'm also superstitious...tfu tfu tfu.
So I'll let Uzi Hittman...of blessed memory speak for me.


Toda al kol ma shebarata,
Toda al ma sheli natata.

Verse 1
Al or einayim,
Chaver oh shnayim,
Al ma sheyesh li ba'olam.
Al shir kolei'ach
Velev solei'ach
Shebizchutam ani kayam.

Toda al kol ma shebarata,
Toda al ma sheli natata.

Verse 2
Al tzchok shel yeled
Ushmei hat'chelet
Al adama - uvayit cham.
Pina lashevet
Isha ohevet
Shebizchutam ani kayam.

Toda al kol ma shebarata,
Toda al ma sheli natata.

Verse 3
Al yom shel osher,
T'mimut veyosher,
Al yom atzuv shene'elam.
Tshu'ot - alpayim,
Shebizchutam ani kayam.

Thanks for all that You've created,
Thanks for what You've given me.

Verse 1
For our eyesight,
A friend or two,
For what I have in the world.
For the song which flows,
And a forgiving heart -
Because of all this - I exist.

Thanks for all that You've created,
Thanks for what You've given me.

Verse 2
For a child's laughter,
And the blue sky,
For the earth - and a warm home.
A corner to sit in,
A loving woman,
Because of all this - I exist.

Thanks for all that You've created,
Thanks for what You've given me.

Verse 3
For a day of happiness,
Innocence and honesty,
For the sad day - which passed and disappeared.
Two thousand cheers,
and hands clapping.
Because of all this - I exist.

And I'm grateful for you.

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


F is for favourites...I know we shouldn't have them...everything and everyone should be equal...but being human "some pigs are more equal than others". Don't tell Bubbie Channah I said the word 'pig'/

I teach. I am a great teacher...a really great teacher. It's true. Ask anyone. I love teaching. When I was in first grade at Hugh Beaton Public School, my teacher asked me to help the kid next to me. So, from the age of five, I knew what I wanted to be. (Well, I also wanted to be an actress and a lawyer and for a few reckless moments, I even considered being a cowgirl.) And, I wanted to be a mommy and a bubbie and now I want to be a published writer. The list goes on.

What does all this have to do with favourites? Well, this year my students range from the age of six to seventy-seven. And, shhhh I do have a few favourites. I really love two boys who are in junior high...they know who they are. I love my three mentchen...three grandfathers who come together twice a week to learn English...they are amazing and make my day!!! I love a little girl who is in tenth grade who, last summer, cut her hair for the first time. It was long and thick and reached to her waist. She cut it off so that wigs could be made for other little girls who are sick with cancer!!! We all love this little girl. I love a religious lady whose native tongue is Yiddish, and fills my heart with peace. She is a special lady. I guess, I love them all. And since I love them, I think they love me too.

Well, in order to get these people talking, I began discussing favourite things with them. Simple, one word answers. And entire conversations evolved.

Here are some of my favourites:
My favourites:
-day is Friday...Friday afternoon when everything is ready for shabbat and we go have a little shloffie in the afternoon.
-flower...lily of the valley
-writer...Shakespeare...Daniel Silva...Jodi Picault...JJ Robb...and the other 47 authors whose books are on my shelf waiting to be read...sigh (kindle here I come)
-movie...Rocky Horror, Some Like it Hot, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
-TV...I'm a little stuck on reality shows...Survivor...Big Brother...American Idol...and the Israeli versions
      ...The Good Wife...Breaking Bad
-music...everything BUT jazz
-perfume...Bill Blass...Pleasures by Estee Lauder
-meditation...reading Psalms
-people...people who have a sense of humour...who are kind...who are SMART...you all know who you are
and finally I love clowns...Pagliacci...everyone knows that the clown is the saddest person in the circus

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

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


E is for 'elderly'. Sigh. I think I'm in the elderly category. I'm not old, I don't think, even though my babies and children sometimes think I'm ancient...over the hill. You know the look they give you that says, 'Motherrrrrr!"

Yup, elderly is good. I've earned it. I worked hard for the title. I have the gray hair and aches and pains that go hand-in-hand with it.

But do not think I am depressed about it. NAY NAY. I love being me! I love the stages I have managed to survive and enjoy...depending on the stage...some were not so hotsey-totsey.

E is also for ElAl...the Israeli airline, for those who don't know. ElAl changed my life. One trans-Atlantic flight and voila a new me was born! But that's for another blog.

There are definitely great advantages of being my age. I don't have to get up in the middle of the night because the baby is crying. I don't have to fight with the teacher at school who isn't smart enough to realize the genius of the child I have put into her safekeeping.  I don't have to work for a boss who needs to make me dumb in order for him/her to look smart. The only boss I have these days is 'me' and I'm smart all the time. Well, you know what I mean.

And I'm old enough to get on an airplane and visit family and friends for more than ten days-two weeks max!

Bubbie Channah is gone. Every time I say that my brother looks at me and says, "She is?" You were there kiddo and as you said this Channukah when you came to visit..."You remember how bad it was? Well it was worse."

Now our Mother is with our Father who art in heaven...yup they deserve to be playing klabberjass (pronounced klab-yash---great game---Google it) with the relatives and maybe a few biggies like Moses or Abraham...I don't think Sarah plays cards but then what do I know?

So, my Mom A'H is gone and although I miss her more and more and more, I am free. And, my children, God bless them tfu tfu tfu are all grown up and out of the house. Well, Joe College came back for a few months to study for the Bar. Soon, he will spread his wings again and I'll empty nest again. (Don't tell anyone, but once you get used to it, the empty nest thing ain't so bad at all....shhhhhh.)

So! For the first time ever, I'm not going to be teaching this summer. Nope. Instead I'm taking my tush and putting it in a plane and coming to the States and Canada! For EIGHT WEEKS! I don't remember ever making a trip that long. Yahoo, I'm elderly and my Mom is gone and my kids are out of the house and I can go and have a hellova great time visiting the people I love...like YOU.

Okay. Here's the agenda...second week in July is Florida...four or five days
                                         third week is Los Angeles
                                         next three weeks is Colorado
                                         final three weeks is Windsor/Detroit/Toronto tfu tfu tfu again.

So, if you are in any of those places during those times and want to meet for a hug and/or coffee let me know. I can't wait to see you!

See, I told you elderly is good.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.
ps. thank you all for reading my blogs and for the many many emails you have written...means a lot!!!

Monday, May 02, 2011


D is for a different day...

I thought of so many words for the letter D...daughter...donuts...my brother David fondly known as Dovidle.

But then at 3:30 in the morning it came to me. D is for a Different Day. At three thirty in the morning I still didn't know just how different it would be!!!

Last night at sundown marked the beginning of Yom HaShoah in Israel...Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a difficult twenty-four hours here. This morning a siren will go off throughout the country and everything will stop as almost six million Jews stand at attention with their heads bowed remembering. Interesting number. Every Jewish child born is a spit in Hitler's face...may his name be erased forever!!!

Traffic stops. People get out of the bus or their cars and stand at attention in the middle of the road with their heads bowed.

I cry. I can't help it. The tears simply flow down my cheeks. They are tears of sadness and tears of pride. I am proud to be an Israeli. I am proud of a people who stand in the middle of the street and remember. Sabras...prickly on the outside but sweet inside.

The television only shows things which are related to the Shoah. Movies such as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas!!! The Courageous Heart of Irene Sendler...that's the one that had me up so late. She saved 2,500 children!!! See these movies if you can. Of course there is also The Paper Clip.There's a new version of The Diary of Anne Frank...I like the old one. Sophie's Choice has haunted me since the first time I saw it. Schindler's List...can you forget the little girl in the red coat? Life is Beautiful...the Benigni film that took my breath away. The Reader. Sarah's Key. The Counterfeiters. The Devil's Arithmetic. 

These are just some of the films I have seen and think everyone should see.

D is for Davka!!! He tried to kill us and Davka we survived!
D is for Divine Intervention.

Today is a different day. Today we remember. We remember so that we can never forget! No one should ever forget!!! In Israel we remember good. Our survivors speak out at schools and on television. They live with us.

I remember Goldie. She was a woman in our Ulpan class. Goldie was gorgeous...slim with thick rich hair and skin like Holland butter. One day she came back to our apartment on HaPalmach Street. Soril and I sat and listened to her talk. I don't remember it all. One sentence has stayed with me forty years. She said," I love buying clothes. For so long I had nothing to wear and I love buying clothes. Then I give them away. I can only keep enough to fit into one suitcase."

Goldie...I remember you.

And today is a different day. Today America rid the world of another mamzer...Bin Laden is gone!!! I am glad and I am thrilled that America did it! Yahooo America, YOU DID IT...and the world thanks you.

And finally...D is for DING-DONG...and where he's gone there are no virgins waiting for him.
See...we remember. And we will never forget...not the Shoah not 9/11.

Fitting it happened on Yom HaShoah. There is no such thing as a coincidence.

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