Thursday, 31 March 2011

israeli weddings

picture from here

Today I have to attend a wedding.
Weddings in Israel are a big deal and I mostly hate to go.
Don't get me wrong- I love to go to weddings of close friends or family members.
But weddings in Israel are usually huge. Today the son of my boss is getting married so of course my boss
invited quite a lot of people from work. Basically I will only attend because of her. It would be rude not to go- and she is nice.

 
My husband and I got married in Switzerland (since I am not Jewish we could not get married in Israel- but that's another story.). Back in Israel we invited our best friends and the very close family for a dinner-party.
It was hard to keep my mother in law from inviting all their neighbours and
cousins and sons and daughters of cousins and their friends...
It's just crazy!

 
And the thing is- you usually bring money as a present. Now what annoys me- I have to attend, I need to somehow spend a bit time there with people I mostly don't know, I don't know either the groom or bride and I even need to pay. And with this money I could have bought sandals for the
girls for summer. Or a nice dress for myself for the wedding of my sister in September or food for a week...
I won't give as much money as others will. It simply does not feel fair towards my family. To be
careful with spending money in our everyday life and then to pay for nothing a big ammount....
Maybe I am greedy? I don't know.
I just don't feel like attending weddings like this...


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

an old farmhouse


Sometimes we are thinking about moving to Switzerland and trying to make a living there.
Thing is that- apart from the problem of finding a job-  I could not live in a city and I have my ideas about a place I want to live in- it should be on the country side but close enough to a shop and school and public transport. It should be in a place with other families...
My dream is to live in an old farmhouse. Sometimes I search for places for sale on the internet. There are so many gorgeous places and it would be so nice to renovate a place like this.
They usually have a disadvantage- they are far from everything... (at least in Swiss standards)




Well... I keep dreaming...
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

a weekend in the big city

My husband and I spent two nights in the "big city". It was a weekend with the company he's working for but we were basically free to do whatever we wanted. So we enjoyed the beach of Tel Aviv, the markets and shops and just some time without the girls.
I found two very nice shops with wonderful furniture and stuff for the house... Now I only need to win in the lottery and also move to a bigger place ;o)
One shop is called "Nedunya"- situated on Ben Yehuda Street (french country kitchen supply- antiques) and the other one is called "Gavriel" in the Neve Zedek neighborhood (new things but with a vintage flair to it).
Tel Aviv is a great city...

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When we came home yesterday at lunch time we worked in our garden. We got last year a big pool (2.40m diameter!) and our garden is not really even. So this summer we want a place that is even- otherwise the water in the pool is always deeper on one side. We started to put big stones and level out the ground in one place. The girls loved to help digging and playing with the dirt. My husband hung a tire on the tree for the girls to play with. Next weekend we will have to work some more in the garden.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

tuesday's handmade



An artist I just discovered on etsy: David Scheirer. I love his work. You can find his blog here and his shop on etsy here.

Another artist I admire is Alice Cantrell. You can find her blog here. I have a calendar with her work hanging in our home and just love to look at those pictures!




Saturday, 19 March 2011

costumes

The stick-horse I made for Neomi.

Helen in her bird-costume.
Neomi is Pippi Longstocking.

I managed to finish the costumes and the girls could wear them today. We went to visit friends in another kibbutz and joined the Purim-party there. It was a very nice, sunny day and we had lots of fun. Tomorrow and on Monday we have some Purim- celebrations here in our kibbutz and the girls can get dressed up again.
*******
For the ones who are interested to make a stick horse too: I used the tutorial of Hetty. You can find it here.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

gratitude


During those days with all those terrible news I feel that it is also very important to be happy about all the nice and wonderful things in the world, to feel gratitude for all the good things we are blessed with!
I dug out a lovely book my husband gave me years ago to my birthday shortly after we met.
It is a lovely handcrafted book. I keep there some precious things- like some early pictures of the two of us, some letters from the beginning of our relationship. I also started to use the book to write down all the wonderful things that make me happy- small notes that make me smile even after years passed.
Somehow I stopped but now I want to start again.

So here some of the wonderful things from yesterday:

- the first sweet smell of lemon-blossom

- the smell of freshly cut grass in the sunshine

- the wonderful pink blossom on some trees

- the happy face of Helen- smeared all over with chocolate-spread while baking pita over the fire

- reading Pippi Longstocking to Neomi before she went to sleep

I am so grateful that we have everything we need- food, a warm place to sleep, clothes, water to drink and wash... and most of all- that we have eachother and that we are healthy!


Monday, 14 March 2011

purim


Purim is getting closer. On Purim the story of Esther from the Bible is told and the kids dress up. Neomi will be Pippi Longstocking. I sew her a shirt and pants and I am also making her a stick-horse (since Pippi is living with a mokey and a horse). For Helen I am doing a bird-costume... I already cut almost 200 "feathers" from left over fabric... I guess I will have to make "night-shifts" to get everything ready on time.

In the mean time we have some fun with just dressing up and especially Helen likes to make a lot of noise with the collection of rattles (another thing that belongs to Purim). Neomi sings all the Purim-songs and is fascinated by the story of Esther.
For me all the dressing up on Purim is a bit like the "Fasnacht" (carnival) I used to celebrate in Switzerland. Only that the costumes in Switzerland are much more creative...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

my day

This is the present I got from my daughter for my birthday. She is more into abstract painting but for me she drew a girl :o)

I wanted to make some nice cheese-cake-muffins I saw here.
But then I can never really figure out what kind of white cheese I need to take here- so I ended up with something salty. In the end I had to improvise and it turned out quite okay. I will have to try the real thing another time.


Birthday is always a bit a hard day since I am here in Israel. One of two days in the year (the other one being Christmas) I miss my family in Switzerland more than usual and I can get quite sentimental about it.
So I wish myself a happy birthday and hope it will pass okay...

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

a bit of history, part 1

Since some of you don't know what a Kibbutz is and for those who would like to know more I will write from time to time about the history of our Kibbutz- the place I am living today.
I plan to go to the archive of the Kibbutz one day (when I will find time...) and maybe get more pictures...
If you have any questions just contact me and I will be happy to answer to my best knowledge.


The Beginning

In the year 1933 the first pioneers who later would form the founders of Kibbutz Dalia came to Israel from Romania, Transilvania and Germany. They had studied agriculture and industry and worked in their first years in exactly those sectors.
On the 1st of May 1939 the group built over night a temporary settlement. They used the settlement method called "tower and stockade". The land was bought from the neighbouring Arab village of Daliat-el-Ruha. (later more about this village) The settlers lived for their first year in tents and I can imagine that life was not easy for them. Amongst those first settlers were also the grandparents of my husband.

the temporary settlement 1939
The more permanent watch-tower is still standing today. We call this place today "Migdal HaDvorim"- bee-tower. It is a lovely place surrounded with Eucalyptus trees and Avocado orchards to the east and west.



the tower today (picture taken during the 70years celebration in 2009)
When those first settlers came, there was only a lonely fig-tree on a hill- otherwise not more than lots of stones covered the hills.
In the summer of 1940 the permanent settlement was built on a nearby hill near Daliat-el-Ruha. The group had at this time 160 members and 14 children. The pioneers planted 600 dunams (600,000 m2) of forest- mostly pine, cypress and carob. They tried agriculture- which was not easy- the ground being so rocky and stony.
The first time I came to the Kibbutz on a December day in 1998 I saw those barren hills covered with stones and someone told me that soon the fields would be covered with wheat. I did not really believe him- being only used to the rich and almost stone-free earth in Swizterland… but not even a month later I saw it with my own eyes.

The pioneers tried to grow wheat, they planted orchards with apples, pears and plums. They planted a vine yard and grew chickens, sheep and bees.
They very fast came to the conclusion that agriculture alone would not give them a future- so they built a blacksmith's shop and a soap kettle. The blacksmith's shop turned into a water meter factory- "ARAD"- my working place today. The soap-kettle developed to the "Zohar"-factory - a soap and detergents factory.


And- what can I say- what a success they had!


read part 2 and part 3.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

sunny saturday

garden full of anemones

Our garden is covered with anemones- it's so beautiful. And this weekend was so warm and sunny that we were mostly outside. We finally managed to get our new compost started- it was so annoying to not have one- especially because we eat a great deal of vegetables and fruits.

Today we went for a walk through the fields, we made a fire and collected "zuta" (white micromeria) for tea. It is so beautiful now that everything is green and covered with flowers- I can't get enough of it.

I started to sew a costume for Neomi for "Purim". Purim is the holiday of Esther- the story from the bible and everyone- especially the kids- dress up. Neomi want's to be Pippi Longstocking (and also a dwarf and a butterfly and a bunny and ....).


our lazy cat sleeping on my new magazine...



Thursday, 3 March 2011

back home again





Since Tuesday we are back home again. And finally I get my hands on the computer- trying to sort out all the pictures we made, checking all my personal e-mails and reading all the posts on other blogs I missed...

So we are back after 2 weeks enjoying my family and the luxury of:
  • a warm and nicely tiled bathroom that is not flooded after taking a shower

  • a roomy kitchen with light in the right places and a dish-washer

  • warm rooms heated with a central heating system and -even better- cozy fires

  • having always someone around to help with the girls

  • sleeping a little bit longer in the mornings (well... maybe 20 minutes more)

  • fresh, clean, cold air

  • 2 days skiing

  • eating good cheese and bread

But it is also nice to be back home- to go outside without having to wear thick jackets and hats and mittens and shawls. The garden is full of anemones and everything is so green. To come back to a much younger society and much more relaxed people (although generally ruder) is also nice.

Helen seems so big now- she walks alone to wherever she pleases, understands everything I say and babbles a lot.

Neomi is using more Swiss-german words and was happy to see her friends again and she loves the book I bought her: Pippi Langstrumpf (Pippi Longstocking). Astrid Lindgren was such a gifted writer.

Now we already have weekend again- just perfect! :o)