Thursday, November 10, 2011


Z is for ZAFTIG...a lovely Yiddish word that sounds a hellova lot better than 'plump'!

Plump makes you think of all those blind dates when you were told 'He/She has a great personality.' HA! We get it! Face like a dog and clothes made by Omar the Tentmaker! Zaftig, my ass! Wait! I mean…! Sigh.

Actually, I love the word zaftig. Makes me think of a fluffy pillow or my ideal of what a Bubbie’s chest is supposed to be like. You know the one—you can put your little keppeleh on that chest and all the troubles of the world disappear as she pats your back and sings you a song in a language from another country.

In my day…way back when the air was clean and sex was dirty, women like Marilyn Monroe or Mae West were drop-dead gorgeous. They were also zaftig.

Then the tragedy occurred…Twiggy appeared and all of us became some sloppy model that only a painter like Rubens would look at. Those ladies were takkeh ZAFTIG. But in those days they were perfect specimens of healthy, well-fed, wealthy women.

As a person who has been battling zaftig all her life I want to make my thoughts clear right now. One, round is a shape, and should be number one on the shape list. It is a perfect shape. It is so perfect that it is very difficult to draw freehand. You need to stick a little pin in the eraser end of a pencil and tie a string around the pin and hang on if you want to make a circle. Any damn fool can draw a triangle or a square. But a circle? That takes talent.

Two, I figure that God, in His infinite wisdom, made zaftig on purpose. What that is exactly, I don’t know, but then God doesn’t often consult with me before erecting his pillars of fire. So, once again, I will just take it on blind faith that zaftig is an acceptable, viable, exquisite shape in God’s eyes.

Finally, my prayer: ‘Dear God, in my next life can I please have fat hair and skinny thighs? Thank you. Your friend forever, marallyn.

Well, here we are. We made it through the alphabet. Thank you so much for coming along and sharing my journey. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. Some of you have written that I should turn around, go back to Zero and start all over again, I’ll mull it over during Shabbat. In the meantime…

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

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Y is for know those moments when, if you still could, you would throw caution to the wind, throw your arms up in the air and jump as high as you can. I love Yahoooo.  Actually it is almost as good as 'Get the hell out of here!!!'

The person who makes me say 'Get the hell out of here' is my brother in Colorado. He does stuff and he knows stuff and he fiddles around with stuff that never ceases to amaze me. He can do things on a computer that only my mayven downtown knows how to do. He set up my web page. He made my gorgeous calling cards. Now, you may think that is a simple thing, but as a writer and a person who never leaves the house without an owl pin attached to her shirt, sweater or whatever, I wanted my calling card to have an owl perched on a fountain pen.

Not just any pen...a fountain pen. See, is there anything classier or sexier than a real fountain pen? With real ink inside that you have to either change a cartridge or dip into an ink well. 

Gorgeous isn't she? Took hours to get the claws and pen right. And my brother had the patience and the talent to do it. Yahooooooooo.

And from that the callling card emerged.
A little Hebrew...a little English...a lovely owl...a fountain cup runneth over. It isn't often you get something that is exactly what you want and I have learned that it is the little things that make the biggest impact. Oh, and from that the web page emerged.  Yahooooooo.

Y can also stand for favourite language...yenteh...yold...yotz.

Or songs...Yes, We Have No Bananans...Yesterday...Yellow Submarine (would the Beatles have been as successful without Yah, Yah, Yah?)...You Are My Destiny...You Are My Sunshine.

Here is my joke of the day entitled TWO YOLDS AND ONE MICROPHONE
SARKOZY TO OBAMA: I can't stand him any more (Bibi). He's a liar!
OBAMA TO SARKOZY: You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.

As of this writing, I have not heard Bibi's reply. HE is walking away with Yichess...THEY are revealed as Yolds...or words that begin with other letters...sigh.

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Did you know that there are a gazillion words that start with ex, and most of them I never heard of? Now I love words. Of course I do...I love talking. I love writing and I love words. I even signed up for ‘a dictionary word in your e-mail every day’. What a waste that was! Did you ever read those words?  Here are some 

from my trash file…

     1.xenogenic---to be completely different from either parent, or from the source of an object’s creation
     2. catawampus---off-center, awry
     3. kerf---a cut or incision made by a saw, or the like, in a piece of wood
     4. panagram---a sentence or verse etc. that uses all the letters of the alphabet
     5. torrefy---to subject to fire or extreme heat ( I thought it meant to convert to Judiasm---ps I like mine better).

Now what pompous ass is going to add these words to his vocabulary? And, who do you know talks like that? You do? And you’re still friends?

I think words should roll off your tongue. Like MARSHMALLOWS. Isn’t that a great word? MARSH…MALL...OWS, lovely! Or how about, CUMULONIMBUS. Or, POPCORN? POPcorn…makes you want to go to the movies.

Here is one of my favourite Bubbie Channah stories. My parents used to come to Jerusalem for about a month or so every winter and every afternoon we would all meet in a restaurant downtown. One day when I got there my mother pointed to a sign over the door and asked, “What does that sign say?”
I replied, “It says emergency exit.” The words exploding from her mouth, my mom said,  “I knew it!”

My mother was furious. It seems she had lit a cigarette (those were the days when it was ok to do that) and a lady at the next table pointed to that sign and asked her, “Can’t you read?”
When my mom said she couldn’t, the lady explained that the sign said ‘no smoking’, so my mom put out her cigarette.

For those of you who knew Bubbie Channah you have to know that she may have been short, but she was feisty!!! And, trust me she was exasperated, and the expletives that were expelling from her mouth were mere examples of her extraordinary vocabulary. No one messed with Bubbie Channah!!!

I think I’ve gotten to the place where I need to exit.

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

Monday, November 07, 2011


Well, I've been thinking. I know, I know, a dangerous thing. But the truth is I have loved writing these blogs and have been getting wonderful emails telling me that you have too. Thank you!!!

So, the question is: What the hell am I going to do after Z?

At  4:30 this morning...when you get to my age you will understand the early hour...sigh. Where was I? At 4:30 this morning, I figured it out...I'm going to start a series of blogs about my favourite things. 

 In the next few days I am going to hone my list and begin discussing 'stuff' with you all. Of course, I will be thrilled to hear about your 'stuff' too. (Below, down below you will find a sneak preview.)

W is also for writing. I love writing. When I was a little girl, my Dad A'H told me :'Marallyn, be careful what you write. Everything you put on paper becomes a document.'

OY! Well that stopped me. What was I going to do? 

For those of you who know me, you know that I like to talk. Actually, I like to talk a lot. And usually I have a lot to say. And, God blessed me with a sense of humour, so when I sensed my audience was getting drowsy or bored I could just jump in with an anecdote or two.

See, my Dad A'H had turned me into a storyteller!!! How marvelous! Every generation from the beginning of time had a storyteller. Now my favourite storyteller in the Universe is The 2,000 Year Old Man.

I  have mentioned him before. In mine humble opinion (as he says) the reason he is so funny is that HE IS SO FUNNY and he doesn't hurt anyone. He doesn't make you squirm in your seat. He's not slapstick nor dirty...he's funny.

Here is my latest best line of his from the book (that my sister-in-law gave me this summer and it is now my best book), The 2,000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000...the book {including how to not die and other good tips}.
"My full name is Benjamin, Ben Aaron, Ben Esau, Ben Solomon, Ben Alvin, Ben Sidney, Ben Lillian (the cross-dresser)---sometimes known as Ben Gay."

Now tell me you didn't laugh out loud! What a mind! What a funny man.

One more.

"Thankfully the method of writing has improved from the days when we used to write on papaya. No, not papyrus. I mean papaya---the fruit. We wrote on them. Not the mushy ones. We used the hard ones. We scratched in the news with a pointy stick. Our motto was, 'All the news that's fit to eat.'
It was not only informative, it was nutritious. We read it and then we ate it.
Before papaya, we tried writing on onion skin.
It's a shame that wasn't sturdy enough because we had a good motto:'Read it and weep!'"

Now, tell me. Would you think twice before inviting him to your dinner table? Wouldn't he get the first invitation and then the rest of your friends would have to fight for a seat?

A good story is a good story. But in order to make it a great story you need a STORYTELLER.

I know a few. My favourite lives in California and is the funniest man I know. I am lucky, he's not only my dearest darling,  but he's my brother-in-love. A very very funny man. 

So, now I write. After long days of talking and listening and solving problems, it is a joy to just sit alone quietly at the computer using other senses...touch and sight. Sometimes I write and sometimes the little genius otherwise known as my Muse or Spirit Guide pushes my fingers on the keys and whoa!!! What a surprise that is.

For example, in my book about an astrology class, I sat down at the computer and my fingers wrote, 'Baruch waited for the sound of the cars to stop before crossing the street.'

Whoa!!! Who the hell is Baruch? And as I wrote, he became one of my most favourite characters. I love Baruch.

Well, for a person who didn't have a clue what to write today for the letter W, I think I have done a respectable job.

Got to run. Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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

Friday, November 04, 2011


I don't know about you, but I find that being a people-person doesn't make me such a great mechanic. Actually, when stuff gets gebuggered...I mean gebroken...gedamaged...bakaked...I panic.

That's why you need little kids to teach you everything. They aren't afraid to push buttons or hit keys. I'm always afraid I'll screw up everything and then what??? So, I sit there and wait for one of my kids or my computer guy or television server to answer the phone and walk me through the maze I have ended up in.

Before I left for my summer vacation, my printer ran out of flat screen for my desktop started waving and I knew it was only a matter of time before it betrayed me. The anti-virus on the same computer was telling me my days of surfing were numbered and if I didn't renew immediately, I could get a virus or a worm or something terrible that would eat up my hard disk. My fax/copy machine of fourteen years stopped working and Gestetner told me they didn't have that model any more and there was no way I could get any parts.

VEY and OY VEY!!!

As  I wrote the other day, I took my daughter's extra flat screen and the computer works! Even more important the printer now works! And yesterday MSTL went with me to Office Depot and we bought a cheap fax/copy machine. The ink cost more than the machine!!! Never mind. I didn't need the fancy expensive one for two reasons. One, I already have a laser printer and two, I would never figure out how to use the damn thing!

So yesterday I was happy feeling safe. My computer guy put int the anti-virus. MSTL set up the flat screen and the fax/copy machine. Life was good.

But, God does have a sense of humour. Yes, it's true. All of a sudden, my very expensive and very wonderful iPhone stopped ringing. It vibrated like hell, but who could hear if anyone called without the lovely song I have that announces someone is looking for me.

My phone is so gorgeous that I even have different songs so I know by the melody who is calling! The regular song is called MaryLou by Tzvika Pik and I chose that as my ringtone because all the kids and their friends when they were little called me MaryLou. And I love Tzvika Pik and I love the melody of that song.

When my husband calls it rings Summertime which is his favourite song. My oldest son's melody is Shalom Aleichem which we sing every Friday night and since he is religious it suits him. His wife's song is Ana B'Koach another religious song. My daughter's melody is It's My is her song of the month right now. And MSTL is Let The Sunshine In...cuz he does.

My biggest problem is answering the phone since I get carried away singing along with the melodies and if I wait too long then I have to call them back.

Well, now what was I going to do with no songs? I pushed this and I pushed that and when I got to the Vey Oy Vey stage I phoned a friend who knows everything. Did you know on the iPhone on the left hand side just above the volume buttons is a little chuptchik that you switch to Volume or Silent? Neither did I. But I do now!!! What a wonderful little thing. One little move and Voila I was back in business. Of course, just to be sure I phoned myself a millions times from the house phone to make sure it works.

And, finally I pushed something that turned my TV screen blue. No nothing. Just blue. Now, don't get me wrong. Blue is a nice colour. A lovely sky...a pretty lake...nice. But not on the TV!!!

At exactly 6:45 this morning, in a panic I phoned my television server. You know how it works. For Russian push one...for Arabic push two...for English push three...for Amharic push four...for Hebrew stay on the line. Then, after a few minutes the voice of a nice lady comes on and says, "If you want to order movies or channels push one. If you have a technical problem push two." And then you wait. And you wait.

Now, while you are waiting there is a lovely comforting melody that plays in the background. Why is it comforting? Because that way you know you are still in the loop. After eleven minutes a real person got on the phone and then suddenly we were disconnected!!!


I called back and pushed all the right numbers. Then, while I was waiting I started pushing all kinds of things on the remote. Strange things happened. But I wasn't worried. I was in the loop and soon someone would come online and get me back to GO.

Suddenly...honest to God...I don't know how...but suddenly after pushing who knows what my TV came back!!! No more blue! Real pictures and sound!!!

Vey Oy Vey became Yahooooooooooooo.

Does this mean I am regressing and becoming a child like old people do? Vey!!! Oy Vey!!!

Wishing you all a very sweet shabbat shalom.

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

Thursday, November 03, 2011


I thought I remembered America. But, when I saw the gorgeous fluffy clouds in Colorado and the double rainbow---have you ever seen a double rainbow? I gasped.

I thought I remembered the trees and grass but after living for nearly forty-two years in the Middle East, I couldn't get over the green...everywhere...the trees, the flowers, the grass growing healthy and lush everywhere.

I thought I remembered the rivers and lakes but after looking at the Intercoastal and the Pacific Ocean and the Detroit River from my hosts' windows I simply stared.

After living in a country that counts drops of water for so long, I had forgotten how lush and rich the United States and Canada are. How blessed. How fortunate.

What I couldn't understand is what happened. How did they get into such debt? What is going on with the educational system? And the scariest of all is the Health Care or lack of.

I met people along the and friends whose place of business closed down and who were still looking for a job nearly a year and a half later. Whose biggest fear is getting sick! America??? People who lost their homes as well as their income or should I say because of the loss of their income.

In Israel we have a fabulous health care system. And, if God forbid you lose your job you still have full health coverage. I can't imagine not having health insurance!!!

I asked people to explain the huge debt...I get it now. I don't understand it fully, but I get it.

I know one thing...there is no country on the planet that comes close to the United States of America...ok Canada...but I mean elsewhere in the world. No place!!!

I know another thing...we need a healthy, strong United States!!! The world will not be the same unless America is strong and can stand strong.

I fear that the snowball is growing too big and the other guys are getting too strong. I wouldn't care that much but 'the other guys' own the debt!!!

I still believe America will stand tall.  I just don't know how. And I don't know when the roller-coaster will stop.

I hope it is soon. I pray it is soon. It better be soon.

I took pictures. Lots of pictures. My kids are right...the United States is the Garden of Eden. I wonder what that makes the Holy Land??? We used to be the Land of Milk and Honey. Well, we have cows and bees and the Original Cast. But where you have water and trees we have sand and hot.

Thank you United States for letting me listen to your quiet...for letting me watch your clouds fill the sky...for filling my heart with the sights and smells of your bounty. God bless America!

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

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Do you remember when you were a kid getting all excited about going back to school? And, then the first thing your teacher did was make you either write or stand up in front of the class and tell all about your summer vacation!

'Well, we went to Jack Miner's Bird Sanctuary and saw all the geese. And, then we went to Saint Louis for a week to visit my Aunt Mina and Uncle Louie. (Yes I did have an Uncle Louie in St. Louie!)'

I know it has been a very long time since I blogged and that my last letter was S...See if I had stopped at R then I could have written S is for my Summer Vacation.

But since I used up S already I have to Tell you all about my summer vacation...and say THANK YOU!!!

I had a hellova great summer vacation!

I went from Florida and the Atlantic Ocean to California and the Pacific to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains and finally Windsor/Detroit and the Tunnel...I mean the Detroit River!

Eight weeks! I was gone from my wonderful Jerusalem for EIGHT WEEKS!

Now, I never can stand being far from Israel for more than ten days...two weeks at the most and here I was the Wandering Jew travelling all over the place for two whole months. Must have gypsy blood in me someplace cuz I did just I did GREAT!!!

Looking back I realized that I managed to stay away that long without missing Israel because, thanks to my iPhone and Skype and emails and a tricky thing called Viber, I was able to talk and see and connect with my kids and the babies and my friends almost daily! Wadda world!!!

The Theme of this trip was to connect with and be with people from my childhood---people who knew me 'when' and who thought my house was their second home and who knew my parents. People I could re-connect with and talk about those days and about my Mom and Dad A'H. 

I needed to Tie up loose ends and Talk with people who could share 'remember when' stories with me. I needed to talk about my mother...Bubbie Channah.

You know how sometimes the 'whole' is bigger than all the pieces? Well, that was my summer vacation. So much happened that filled my heart. I spent time with people I have loved for over fifty years. I reconnected with people who I haven't seen since we were younger than my kids! Some friendships were renewed. Some new ones were made and I hope to stay in touch with some amazing people I met along the way. Some were like we had just been talking and drinking that  cup of coffee together a week ago... some were changed...the dream shattered by a new reality. All were worthwhile. And one was ended. An old friend got suddenly ill and passed way within days of my return home!

I am sorry it has taken me so long to write. Between my summer vacation, the death of my friend and then weeks and weeks of holidays...did I mention jet lag? Seven flights...on with the shoes off with the shoes...where's my suitcase? Oh, thank God, there it is! I simply went into 'curl up and regain your strength' mode. I think I'm back. I think I can deal with the loss and the found. And, I am grateful for it all!!!

I am grateful to Florida/California/Colorado/Windsor/Detroit/ know who you are and your kindness and generosity and love were beyond amazing. Lucky, lucky me!!!

So, hopefully I'm back and hopefully I'll find the quiet emotional space I need to write and create. Today was Trash day...I threw out bags and bags and sigh yes more bags of stuff that had been accumulating since I got back home. I not only cleared out the room I teach in, but I borrowed my daughter's spare flat screen for my desktop and then I called my computer mayven and he said, 'Push this, push that and NOW DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!' and voila my anti-virus is now updated and the computer AND PRINTER are working!!! Tomorrow MSTL ( my son the lawyer) and I will probably go to Office Depot and buy a new fax/copy machine. See, everything died just before I left on my summer vacation. The laser printer ran out of ink, the flat screen committed suicide, and the fax/copy bit the dust!!! I did my Scarlet O'Hara...'I'll think about it tomorrow' and got on the plane for the Goldeneh Medinah ( the Golden Land). And now I'm back in business again...yahoooooooo!!!

Boy it feels good talking with you. And, hopefully this is just the beginning of a running dialogue. But, since I never caught up with cutting and pasting all your comments in the old blogs, I am now sending you out just the beginning chapter, and the link to the blog. For those of you who would like to comment, I will be thrilled to hear from you.

In the meantime...again THANK you for everything! My summer vacation was the best ever!!!

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