Things I Might Be Posting About, If I Felt Like Blogging

  1. Our cooperative summer camp adventure continues. Based on past experience (read: lots of fighting), we split the boys and girls. We have five boys aged 5-8, with two 12- and 13-year-olds serving as counselors. I hosted them last Friday while my 12-year-old A ran the whole program. The girls’ group consists of 4 preschoolers and 7 elementary-school-age girls. They exempted me from hosting the girls, since my 14-year-old (DiI) helps out several days a week. The other two days she has a regular babysitting job for two little boys who adore her. I have been getting positive feedback from the mothers about my kids. I needed it.
    Some of the camp mothers live about a mile away, but my four-year-old walks back and forth with a minimum of complaint. When we met to make up a schedule, we asked not to give out junk food. Some mothers complained, “What will we give them if not Bamba?” We suggested melon. The children bring sandwiches; surely that’s enough food for four hours. The junk-food rule hasn’t been strictly enforced, but who can say what would have happened otherwise.
    A disadvantage of segregating by sex is that activities tend to fall along gender lines. Yesterday the boys made models of an army camp and the girls baked cookies with red jelly. Today both groups went to the zoo and my junior counselors stayed up till all hours preparing games and crafts.
  2. We are leaving on our annual trip to the US next week; camp may or may not be active when we return. My 4yo loved our visit last year, but now she doesn’t want to miss camp. She said I should go without her and bring back special (flavored) yogurt, a treat we rarely buy. I’m taking her, DiI, and my 7-year-old.
  3. Last night we went to a memorial service for a convert to Judaism who had made aliyah and died eight months later after collapsing in the street from a blood clot. The body sat for a month while her fate was decided; eventually her mother insisted on a Christian burial in the US. I had only spoken to her once on the phone, but we wanted to show support, and we met a family from Maale Adumim who had been exceptionally close to her. The family described how every Shabbat between her death and burial, mysterious things happened in their house: Crockery fell off shelves, and candles fell down, for no apparent reason.
  4. I met with two bloggers in one day. I sat with RivkA for a Coffee and Chemo date, and while in Jerusalem I hopped over to Leora’s hotel to say hello. We have several mutual friends and I am sure I have met her, but it was my first time seeing her adorable children. By then I was already anxious to get home, because the bus in the morning had taken me three hours. When we were renting our first apartment in Israel, I asked my husband how far we would be from the bus to Jerusalem and he said five minutes. He must have misheard me. It’s a twenty-minute ride, and the inter-city bus took forever to arrive. It was too crowded so I waited a short time for the next one. Then we ran into traffic, and the bus to the hospital also took ages. Then I ran around the hospital looking for RivkA, because the oncology ward told me she was in the ER. I eventually found her back in oncology. Even though she was having a long, hard day she was in good spirits and we had fun catching up. She even came up with some shidduch suggestions.
  5. Speaking of sponja: One evening I noticed a puddle, which turned out to be coming from under my neighbors’ door. The neighbors are out of the country and their army-aged son was in Jerusalem, but a neighbor had a key so after turning off the water and closing off the source of the leak, we used several squeejees to sweep all of the water into the shower drain–in our apartment. It was a family effort. Their water purifier had cracked open, but the neighbor was still sure it must be the ozeret‘s fault. The son told me that the only damage was to their rug. If this had happened in the middle of the night, we might have been the ones with the serious damage.
  6. We are going to a bar mitzvah for Shabbat, and staying in my single brother-in-law’s apartment. When I heard his voicemail message asking to tell him some good news, I informed him of our upcoming visit. He took it in stride, or at least he had recovered by the time he called us back. Two of the kids chose not to go, but my oldest son feels close enough to the family to drag himself away from yeshiva for two weeks in a row.
  7. My seven-year-old inserted our rechargeable camera battery backwards. It slid in easily, but wouldn’t come out. The repairman removed it without taking the whole thing apart, after giving me a lecture about letting my kid play with it. I didn’t tell him about the movie that could only have been filmed from a few inches outside of my sixth-story window; my seven-year-old was three or four at the time. Instead I told him that it wasn’t nice to lecture customers. He didn’t charge and even advised me on how to fix a different problem with the camera.


  1. For someone who isn’t blogging you’ve got a lot to say ;-).
    How sad about the woman who died, to not find peace even after death.
    If I don’t speak to you beforehand, have a wonderful trip. I hope all goes smoothly and as stress-free as possible.

  2. mother in israel says

    I’ll be in NY and Washington. The BM is for a son of close friends.

  3. mother in israel says

    JF–PS–but the pay is better in your camp. Unless you are the only famly?
    Robin–thank you.
    Rafi–I may put up another post today, now that I got started.

  4. Have a great trip. This post could easily have been 4 or 5 separate posts..

  5. Cooperative camping sounds like quite the success. We do a “non-cooperative” version, where I am the entire “staff”, but the commute is easier.
    About woman who is niftar: May her soul have an aliyah and may she rest in peace.
    Re: Your nephew’s bar mitzvah – Mazal tov! Where in the U.S. do you plan to visit?

  6. I so, so appreciated your coming to meet us at the Kings. It was one of the highlights of my trip. And my husband enjoyed talking with your husband on the phone the next day.
    I can understand that planning a trans-Atlantic trip can interfere with blogging energy. And you have the camp, too; and such a sad story about the woman who died. Boys ages 5-8 are a handful. I can relate to your camera story, too. My creative son does cool things with our camera; and my eldest son has been known to shoot a few movies, too. We had to have an expensive repair on a camera because creative son dropped it, after filming some exciting episode in our basement.
    I almost felt like I met Rivka, too, even though I just heard about her day.

  7. A reader says

    No excuses necessary for not wanting/needing to blog. It happens to us all. You stare at a blank screen, nothing arrives in your mind and scrubbing toilets suddenly looks like a promising activity. Sometimes we all just need a break.
    Enjoy your trip and may you always travel for simchas.

  8. Ooops, that last comment was mine.

  9. @MiI: LOL! We’re it. You know how some homeschoolers work without a curriculum and call it “unschooling”? Well, we’re not homeschoolers, but in the summer, our family engages in “uncamping”.
    We bask in the lack of a schedule and float across time…

  10. Great update. I’d been wondering where you were and now I know: busy with life.
    Hope you enjoy your trip. We’ll all still be here when you return.

  11. What, you actually expect an Israeli storekeeper to manage not to lecture? I think that’s genetically impossible.
    You sound very busy. Enjoy the US. I haven’t been there in two years. :(. I miss my old house and everything. (my parents come enough so I don’t miss them too much. But I could use my mom right now- my husband is leaving tonight for the US for the week and my middle one threw up in three rooms today. She really likes to cover A LOT of shetach when she’s sick. 😉 )

  12. I loved the title of this post.

  13. Juggling Frogs-I still want to make it to your “uncamp” someday. 🙂

  14. My daughter just called from the States after a week into a month and a half trip and had the long litany of all what’s wrong and wishes she were home – she’ll live to remember the good parts and so will you and everyone else travelling. Enjoy.
    I enjoyed your last entry alot but don’t know how to technologically look at it while I’m writing and I have a VERY short memory :>)
    ah, about the camera, my daughter got hers (a very expensive one) wet at they crossed some water – and it couldn’t get fixed. Maybe hearing advice from fixer guy is part of the price – at least it got fixed!!!! (otoh, maybe as more westerners make aliya, we can go to people who don’t give unwanted advice).

  15. Safe journies!
    If you are interested in an out of the way but really worth it trip – consider Ashland, PA. The coal train rides, both above and below ground, are an amazing experience, the guides are extremely well informed and pleasant, and there is a lovely park next to it with picnic areas and a well kept playground.
    There is also plenty to see along the way there or back to the NY or Washington area.

  16. @Sephardi Lady: You know you have an open invitation. Come on over any time and help me use up my collection of empty yogurt containers and rinsed-out bottle caps! I’ll save a roll of duct tape just for you!
    @Mother in Israel: Have a safe and wonderful trip. Enjoy!

  17. Thanks so much for coming and being my “date”! I was sorry to be so “out of sorts”, but I really enjoyed your company!! Glad you had a good time too!
    I wish I could have met Leora with you. In the end, I didn’t get out of the hospital until after 8:00 in the evening!!
    You totally could write entire posts about each of these paragraphs! I’m glad I got to hear the detailed versions in person!!
    Have fun this Shabbat!!


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