Sunday, 19 November 2017

In the North

My husband and I enjoyed a weekend without the kids in the North.
The weather was hot (30 degrees), dusty (better than the sandstorm some days before) and dry (hate it)- so the view was not the best.

We went up to the Nimrod Fortress. I passed by a few times but never visited, so I finally wanted to go and see this place high above the valley on the slopes of Mount Hermon.
The castle was built around 1229 by Al-Aziz 'Uthman, a son of Saladin. Not everything is excavated, but it is an impressive site. 

There are leftovers of beautifully carved inscriptions in Arabic. A huge room with vaulted ceiling, a very big cistern, a secrete pass way, the prison etc. Oaks are growing amongst the ruins and give the impression of a small park within the site.

I want to go back there with the kids.
view to the valley- to the right is Lebanon

We drove further up the mountain and then along the border with Syria southwards to visit my husband's uncle who lives in the south of the Golan Heights.

It is a strange thing- to drive between minefields (old but never cleared), to watch to the left, see Syria and think about the human tragedy on the other side. To see in the north the leaves of the apple trees glowing in bright yellow and red- a festival of colour before the winter- but on the other side of the border there's probably not much reason for joy.

Everything is dry. Let's pray that this winter will bring more rain! It is badly needed- especially in the north. The water level of the Sea of Galilee is very low- you can see it clearly. Even now that Israel stopped to pump water from it the level is not rising due to the drought.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


There are murmurs of war.
They make me sick.
Murmurs can easily turn to roars.
Roars can easily turn to action.
So why murmur at all?
Why not just act and stop those voices?
If someone has it in his mind that there will be a war- everything should be done that there will not be one!
I don't get it.
Some days fighter airplanes make noisy turns above our house.
Could be practice.
Could be something more than that.
They make my stomach turn.

They make my heart sick.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

for the new house

We should be able to move into our new house by the end of this month. We are exhausted, but look forward.
On Friday I managed to finish 3 small sachets with lavender for the new house. I love nice smelling clothes/ sheets :-) 
They are made from linen fabric I cut from old pants and some other bits and pieces I found.

Already a while ago I also finished to upholster an old stool. I removed the old paint on the wood and just covered the old upholstery with this lovely yellow fabric. It is not one of those "new" upholstery fabrics that contain no cotton and should be easy to clean... but hey- should it get really dirty I can always change it or try to take it down and wash it...

Yotam enjoyed to play with a big cardboard box (my husband bought a new table saw)- turned it into a space ship, connected all his cables, keyboards etc and was occupied quite a while- probably flying through space and looking for the bad guys... :-)

Thursday, 27 July 2017

house update

It's been a while since my last update.
I feel a bit exhausted- it's partly the heat of the summer but also the house-building-project that takes up almost every spare minute. And I am not even dealing a lot of things. I could never do this without my husband. He is dealing such a lot of things, is constantly in touch with the builder, the bank and whatever else. He deserves a HUGE thank-you. 
here will be the eating area- the wooden floor is not yet installed.

I dreamed many years of how I would like our house to look like. I made thousands of plans. Thousands of times over the last ten years we said to ourselves "when we will have the new house" if we saw something nice. And now that we need to choose so many things- sometimes it get's too much, too overwhelming. We do the basics- we will not have the perfect interior. Mainly out of financial reasons- but I also like to live first in the place and let it grow around and with us. So we bought the most basic furniture/ lightning that we could not do without and everything else will be either old stuff or things we will "upcycle".
the kitchen will be here

All in all I am very happy about how our house looks so far. I love the wooden windows, the wooden beams, the wooden stairs, the dark tiles in the entrance and kitchen...
from the outside- the balcony/ deck is not yet built

I am already dreaming of the garden and I made many plans on what to grow, where to grow etc.

We fantasize about a homestead (or something similar)- but that will stay a dream for now. Although we live in the "countryside", we definitely do not have enough space. A garden-space of around 150m2 (around 1,600 ft2) is too small- although still not bad for a vegetable garden/ flowers/ herbs.
But the chicken, goats or sheep, more fruit-trees etc will not fit in.

Monday, 5 June 2017

shadow play

We like to sit and eat breakfast outside on Saturday mornings. These days we need to hang up a shade against the sun. That led to a spontaneous shadow play. The two smaller kids produced a range of puppets, I added some and then we could enjoy a play with dragons, superheroes, witches and time machines :-)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Shavuot- the harvest holiday

Last week we celebrated Shavuot.

The hard work to prepare the amphitheater was well worth it.
The fields made a beautiful background for the dances, the atmosphere was good and there was a touch of "the old days" in all of it.

Yotam and my husband danced with the kindergarten, Neomi had a small dancing part, I sang with a small group of others and Helen brought the "harvest" from the community garden with the others from her age group.
The kids loved the firefighter truck- especially when it saluted with the water cannon.

Traditionally we eat a lot of dairy products- especially cheesecake. The kids got chocolate milk in plastic bags (don't ask me why plastic bags- I think it is disgusting to drink from a plastic bag, the chocolate milk is way too sweet and of course it causes a lot of waste- but the kids love it- probably because they do not get it a lot.)
Yotam and his chocolate milk bag

We made wreaths for the celebration- using bougainvillea, parsley flowers and green leaves.

If you are interested you can watch a small movie with parts of the celebration. Our neighbor has a drone and filmed. Click here.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

the amphitheater

We have an amphitheater in our Kibbutz. It's not as ancient as I thought when I came here the first time. It was built approximately 65 years ago for the dance festival. I wrote a post about it once- read here.
There's also a video on youtube from the festival in 1958.

Last week we cleaned part of the amphitheater. It was- and in big parts still is- badly overgrown and damaged. We cleaned the an area in lower part and the stage for the "Shavuot" holiday that is coming up next week.

We will have to work some more on the amphitheater to get it ready for the festivities. People are busy practicing dances and songs, preparing decoration and speeches and polishing tractors.

sewing and building

You should think that it should get easier to steal some time for yourself when the kids are getting bigger... but I still have a hard time to find space for creativity.
I made two cushions for babies as a present. The owl is almost the same as the one I made for Yotam when he was small.

We are busy with building the house- slowly, slowly it is taking shape.
So far we are very satisfied with the company we chose- and that is not something you can take for granted in this country.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nachal Rakefet (Rakefet Stream)

Taking advantage of the still "mild" weather and the still green scenery, we went for a hike close to where we live.
My parents are here for a visit and also my mother in law joined us.

We left one car at the Muhraka- the monastery on top of Mount Carmel and started our trek in lovely open oak forest. 

After the Khirbet Kerah Ruins, which we did not examin further, we descended to the Rakefet stream.

It is a lovely trek- mostly in the shade and relatively cool valley. The kids loved the "challenge" of climbing down the boulders here and there. Give them "wide" tracks and they will complain- but small narrow paths through bush or covered with stones will keep them going for "hours".

In the end we reached the olive orchards along the road from Elyakim to Daliyat-al-Carmel where we left another car. 

The whole trek was some 6.5km long and it took us around 3 hours including breaks.

More details on the trek: here.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Tel Meggido

Although the archaeological site of Tel Meggido is only a 20 minutes' drive away, we never visited the site in all these years.
So we thought it was about time to go and check out this place.
Tel Meggido is ancient (well… like almost every place in this country where you dig a bit in the dirt).

The oldest remains are from 3500 BCE! There are layers of cities that were destroyed and re-built on top of each other. It was a place of great importance in the ancient world- situated on the most important trade route (Via Maris). There were historical battles there and huge stables that could hold up to 480 horses, there's a tunnel that was dug underneath the city walls to access the spring outside the city- this turned out to be the most exciting part of the whole site for the kids. (How did they manage to build this tunnel without any power tools??? Amazing)

climbing down to the water tunnel

Well- apart from that it was rather boring despite the historical importance. The kids will most probably remember the water tunnel and the huge, black caterpillars that were everywhere.

Nice view- in the back you can see parts of Jenin 

According to the bible Tel Meggido (Armaggedon) will also be the place of the last huge battle in the end of times.