Saturday, 30 April 2011

upcycled skirt

I had an old tunic I almost never wore- so I made some changes and turned the tunic into a dress for Neomi. She loves twirly skirts and dresses. The first thing she usually asks about a skirt/ dress: "does it twirl good?".

We have lovely weather today. Windy, with few drops of rain here and there but not cold and the sun shines from time to time. I enjoy it as long as I can- the summer will be terribly long as always.
There will be the "spring run" this afternoon in the Kibbutz. The grown-ups can choose between 5 and 10 kilometer running. We will participate in the "family-run"- that one is only 800m long- just fine for Neomi- and I will push Helen in her stroller.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

a bit of history, part 4

The Dance-Festival

On the west side of the Kibbutz there's old Amphitheater.
Well- it is not that old but years of neglect show their signs and it looks rather old. What a shame- because this was the site of the famous dance-festivals in the early days of Israel.

1st dance festival 1944- in the "Khan"
The first dance-festival was held in 1944.  It  took place in the "Khan". As you can see in the picture the site still exists- but what a change- so much greenery now where there was only dust and rocks. We still celebrate some holidays there.
Shavuot- celebration 2010 on the site of the "Khan"
Later they built the Amphitheater and the dance-festivals were held there.
The folk-dance festival was very popular and at one point 25'000 visitors turned up and stayed for 3 days in a huge tent-city. What a huge amount of people! What an experience this must have been!

Up to the year 1968 there were dance-festivals held in the Kibbutz. It would be great to revive this…
Even today folk-dancing is something we do on holidays.

Dance Festival 1958
The audience- 1951


Here you can find part 1 and 2 of the series:
part 1: The beginning
part 2: Dalyiat-el-Ruha
part 3: The Ideology

something creative

I made much less than I wanted over the Passover-holidays. I managed to sew a simple T-Shirt for Neomi from an old T-Shirt of mine (I have no picture of it so far) and I managed to finish one of the new cushion-covers.

My husband is busy with wood-working. The newest project is a small push-wagon. We have already a small one but the girls always fight about it. So now they will have two... and can fight about who gets which one :o)

Helen with the old push-wagon and her doll (my old doll made by my aunt approx. 30 years ago).
Today is a day when already in the early morning you can feel that is going to be a digusting day. Already hot and with a very dry desert wind from the east and a grey-yellow sky. It's going to be very hot, very dry and very dusty...

Thursday, 21 April 2011


It's the Passover-holiday right now. Passover- or "Pessah"- started on Monday evening and will last until next Monday. On this holiday the Jewish people commemorate the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.
Neomi is singing Passover-songs all day long and she is fascinated by the story of Baby Moses in the basket and of the slaves that had to work hard...
On Tuesday the weather changed and the temperature dropped from 32 degrees to 22 and we took the chance to go for a walk through the fields. There are still a lot of flowers- but the season is slowly coming to an end.
We made a small fire and cooked tea and the girls had a great time.

On this hill was the Arab village of Dalyiat-El-Ruha

We also made changes in our apartment. We have a small apartment to begin with (60m2). Now we moved our "office" to the salon and Helen got her own small room. Now the girls each have their own room and me and my husband have our bedroom to ourselves again. The salon is now more crowded but we threw away our TV and this gave some extra space.
Helen's new room

Monday, 18 April 2011

a bit of history, part 3


What is a Kibbutz? In what way is it different from a normal village?

The name "kibbutz" means gathering or clustering and that's exactly what it is.
A Kibbutz is a collective community. You can read a more detailed explanation here. The first Kibbutz was founded in 1909 on the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The idea was basically that the people will work for themselves and to build up the land themselves- kind of self-supporting. The ideology was to share everything- and I mean everything!!! Decisions were made together and everyone was supposed to be equal.

my father in law on the tractor
Everyone worked as much as he was able. All earnings were shared. You basically had nothing that was privately owned. They ate together, worked together and learned together. Each member had nothing more than a bed and some clothes. They shared simple wooden huts and in the beginning toilets and showers were communal too. Later they built stone houses but still toilets and showers were mostly shared. The "apartments" were called "rooms" and that's what they were. Mostly one room or maybe also a small "saloon" and a small sink, an electric plate and water cooker.

in the baby-house
The children stayed in the children-house in groups according to age. They ate there, played there, learned there and slept there. Their parents took care of them after work from four until it was time to go back to the children-house to sleep. It is something I can hardly imagine. My husband grew up like this too. Somewhere in the 80ies they changed the system a bit and the kids were allowed to sleep at home with their parents. New houses were built to accommodate families.
If someone wanted to study something the community had to agree and they mostly decided what was worth studying- what was helpful for the community.

Today things are different. In the last 10 years things changed quite a bit.
People get now their salary- means if you earn more you have more. Still you pay taxes to the Kibbutz. People own cars today- something unthinkable 10 years ago- where all cars belonged to the Kibbutz (kind of car-pool) and you had to sign up if you needed one for a trip. You pay now for all kinds of services that were free before- the communal laundry, the meals in the dining-room, the education and day-care for the kids, drinks in the pub, you need to pay electricity, gas and soon also water.

The houses still belong to the Kibbutz- even if you were aloud to build from your own money additions or renovations. There's still a list if you need a bigger apartment- depending on your status in the Kibbutz. It will take a while and we most probably will go through many more fights and meetings until the houses will be privately owned.

Still we are a community though. We are members and have benefits that non-members not have. Still things are decided together- you vote for or against important issues. Still we celebrate most of the holidays together.
I could not have lived in the Kibbutz of the past but I am quite happy in the Kibbutz of today.

More details about the different parts/ sectors of the Kibbutz will follow.

Here you can find part 1 and 2 of the series:
part 1: The beginning
part 2: Dalyiat-el-Ruha
part 4: The Dance-Festival

Sunday, 17 April 2011

hot and dry

A hot and dry weekend behind us and the Passover holiday ahead of us.
We worked a lot in the garden in the last days. The girls digged in the dirt, helped to plant new flowers  and played mainly nicely for themselfs.
Yesterday in the morning- as the heat was still bearable- we went for a bike ride to the stables and ate some strawberries in the shadow of the trees. Helen loves horses- she did not want to leave. On the way back we stopped to inspect the old and new tractors and other machines. Both of the girls love this and I love taking pictures of those old things.

It's supposed to cool down today and I really hope so- I can't stand this hot and dry weather and in addition I suffer from hayfever and an annoying cold.
I hope the week of Passover will be a bit colder.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

finished knitting project

It took over a year... and I also have to admit that in the end my mother finished this vest for Neomi. I received the package with the finished vest on Thursday. I would have loved to make more myself- but I needed help and my mother unfortunately does not live next door. So in the end I left the vest with her when we visited in Febryary. Good thing is that I was smart enough to already start it in a much bigger size- so now it will fit her perfectly next winter....
And Neomi loves the "smiley-buttons" my mother choose.

My next knitting project will for sure be something smaller...

Friday, 8 April 2011


I am working on the wedding-invitation for my little sister. She will get married in September.

It is a lovely day! Sunny but not hot. Nice to sit in the sun. My husband is working on a wooden box for the toys. Neomi is digging in the dirt and Helen is still napping.

We have almost two weeks without TV behind us. Instead we are trying to be more creative, read more or just talk and drink tea. I grew up without TV and only when I moved together with my husband I noticed how much time a TV is really eating away. We never watched a lot- anyway only in the evening when the kids are in bed- but too many times we just watched stupid things. I love a good movie once in a while but I am perfectly happy without watching TV....

Thursday, 7 April 2011

a bit of history, part 2


Dalyiat-el-Ruha was a small village next to the Kibbutz. The land on which the Kibbutz was built was purchased from the village and for almost 10 years the two existed peacefully next to each other. The old Arab-village with its Muslim population and the new Kibbutz with the Jews that came from Europe.
Arab village near Jericho, 1900
Dalyiat-el-Ruha (meaning "fragrant vine" in Arabic- from which also comes the name of the Kibbutz "Dalia"- meaning "tip of a vine-branch" in Hebrew.) was the site of a ceasefire- agreement (hudna) between the "Mamaluks" and the Crusaders in the 13th Century.
Arabs in Palestine, during World War II
In the mid 19th century there were an estimated 60 inhabitants cultivating 10 faddans (approx. 42,000m2) of land and raising livestock.
The Jewish National Fund bought from the village land in 1939 on which the Kibbutz was established. The small hill on which the Kibbutz is today was called "Umm ed-Dafuf" by the villagers.
In 1945 the population of Dalyiat-el-Ruha was 280 and the one of the Kibbutz 320.

In the war of 1948 the villagers fled and the village was destroyed.
It is obvious to me that they were forced to leave. By whom and why exactly is hard to figure out but I wish to think that the people of the Kibbutz were not involved in this and from what I heard they really were not.

Palestinian refugees, 1948
My mother in law thinks that the villagers left (fled) to Jenin together with the people from other Arab-villages in the surrounding. She thinks to recall that their houses were still intact and only later when the villagers tried to return people came to destroy their houses.

My mother in law- Shula (short for Shulamit)- was born 1943 and was amongst the first children born in the kibbutz.
I asked her what she recalls from Dalyiat-el-Ruha.
Her father- his name was Busja- was the mukhtar of Dalia (mukhtar= head of the village). He learned Arabic and was able to communicate with the people of Dalyiat-el-Ruha. Shula remembers that sometimes men from the village came to visit her father and she thought they were a bit scary looking in their traditional clothes and their headdress (kufya). She recalls also baskets filled with cookies they brought.
She remembers walks to the destroyed village where there were still sweet grapes and figs to be found and it was possible to bath in the well.

It is not easy to find any information. And it's hard for me to understand the circumstances in those early years.
I wanted to go and take pictures of the site. Some parts of stone walls are still there. I just haven't had the time so far.

If you are interested in more history of the kibbutz:
Take a look here:
part 1: The Beginning 
part 3: The Ideology
part 4: The Dance-Festival

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

tuesday's handmade

A while ago I discovered paper artist Liat Yaniv through "bloesem".
She also lives in Israel and it's always nice to see artwork from the area I live in.
She makes amazing dolls from paper, illustrations and she even made a book.
I love the bright colours and humor of her work.
You can visit her blog here.

Friday, 1 April 2011

persian buttercup

The anemones in our garden slowly disapear but now the persian buttercups are starting to bloom. I think they are even more beautiful than the anemones. They are not fully open yet.
Today we will celebrate my father in law's birthday. He is turning 70 today. I made with Neomi some cookies. Of course she was more interested in licking all the sugar perls from her hands :o)

I wanted to go to Dalyat-el-Ruha to make some pictures for my history-series of the Kibbutz... but I don't have the time and I really need to clean up our home. maybe I will just post it without pictures.