Sunday, May 6, 2018

And the Jets Roared...

Shavua Tov!

For the past 24 years Eretz Yisrael has been our home. We have had many ups and downs, but we have never regretted making Aliyah. 

Life in Israel is good!

Since 2004 we have lived in the Negev, in the South of the country, 9 kms. from Gaza.

We have a couple of airbases not far from us and we are used to hearing helicopters, jets, tank fire, booming. Sometimes all the activity is the IDF doing a targil [practice], sometimes our neighbours are misbehaving and our brave chayalim go to work defending our nation. 

Unless necessary, IAF aircrafts do not fly on Shabbat.

That being said, yesterday morning, our Yishuv was quiet. We were relaxing, reading the newspaper, when suddenly the quiet was broken with the roar of several jets soaring across the sky.

The sounds of jets, Shabbat morning is very worrisome. We waited for a boom, to know if they were heading to Gaza. No boom came. Problems in the North or did something cross our airspace? Who knows. We waited for the sounds of our jets returning. 

Two hours later, we heard jets again. I’m so in tune to the sounds around me, that I heard them from a distance, and said to my husband, “jets again”. 

Do you remember Radar, in the 1960’s TV series MASH, when Radar would shout incoming helicopters several seconds before anyone else heard them flying. That’s me.

Late in the afternoon, I was getting seuda shlishi ready, when once again we heard jets. Three times in one Shabbat, what was happening in our precious country? 

May the Hand of Hashem protect our chayalim and chayalot who so bravely defend our nation and may He protect our precious homeland.

That’s all for now

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ode to the English Language and more..

Because of the tragedy in Israel last week, and everyone feeling so down, I thought I would post something light to put a smile on our face, even for just a couple of seconds.

Ode to the English Language. Google describes the word ‘ode’ as a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style, manner and written in varied or irregular meter, or a historical a poem meant to be sung.

Many years ago I came across these wonderful pieces. I don’t know who authored them but he/she was certainly quick wit. 

English is a strange and fun language.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

We must polish the Polish furniture.

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

There was a row among the oarsmen how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

Let’s face it, English is a funny language.

There is no egg in eggplantham in hamburger, pine or apple in pineappleEnglish muffins weren’t invented in England or french fries in France. Sweetmeat are candies and sweetbreads which aren’t sweet, is meat.

We take English for granted, but if we really explore we will find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is not from Guinea or a pig

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beethOne goose, two geese, so why not one moose two meeseIf a vegetarian eats vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? 

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Park in a driveway and drive on a parkway? Have a nose that runs and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposite

And why does an alarm go off by going on?

English was invented by people, not computers and it reflects 
the creativity of the human race. 

That is why when the stars are out they are visible, but when the lights are out they are invisible. And the last word, why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’

And then we have the Tate Family? A very unusual family.

The father is Dictate, who wants to run everything and Uncle Rotate, who wants to change everything around. 

There is sister Agitate, who stirs up everything and her brother Irritate who helps her.  

Whenever something new is suggested, Hesitate and his sister Vegetate always pour cold water on the suggestions.  

Then there is Imitate, who tries to have the organization the same as everywhere else he has been. 

Everybody tends to quake if Devastate stands up to speak at a meeting.  

And of course there is his brother Potentate, who wants to be a big shot in the organization.

The twins Cogitate and Meditate are always delightful. 

Facilitate is very helpful and is often supported by Felicitate

And there is Resuscitate who gives people all the help they need. 

But one family should not run the organization, bring in those other members Activate and Participate
Please pass along for others to enjoy!  

Until next time

Tuesday, April 17, 2018



Tonight [Tuesday] and tomorrow is Yom HaZikaron
23,645 Israeli soldiers have fallen. 

Yom Hazikaron was declared by the Israeli Knesset in 1963 and enacted into law, as the national Remembrance Day, to be observed in Israel on the 4th of Iyar [April], for all Israeli military personnel who served our country with pride and honour and lost their lives in the establishment of the State of Israel and for those who have been killed while on active duty in Israel’s armed forces. IDF

We are also remembering the Victims of Arab Terrorism. 

Yom Hazikaron begins at sundown when a siren is sounded across the country for one minute. The official state ceremony will then take place at the Western Wall (the Kotel) in Jerusalem. The following day, a siren sounds for two minutes, at 11.00am.

In our house, after the siren, we light a yartzeit candle in honour of those who paid the ultimate price so that we can live in our Jewish homeland. We will be forever grateful to them.

Yom Hazikaron ends Wednesday evening with a state ceremony and Yom Ha’atzmaut begins. This year, we are celebrating our 70th year of independence.

A couple of years ago I wrote a poem for our chayalim and chayalot.


Thank-you dear chayalim and chayalot
of the Israel Defence Force.
Thank-you for your service
in defending our nation.

Thank-you dear Reservist
for answering the call to serve
so that our country will not fall.

Many have sacrificed their lives
So that we can live in our homeland.
Baruch Dayan Emet
May your name be honored. 

To those who are serving
all over our precious land
our prayers are with you.

May The Hand of the One Above
watch over you day and night
and bring you home safely
into the arms of your families.

That’s all for now.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Raindrops of Rockets

As I have blogged my times before, my family and I have been living in Israel for 23 years and for the past 13 years we have lived in the Negev, in the South.

The yishuv [community] where we live is 5 minutes from Netivot, 12 minutes from Sederot, half an hour from Beer Sheva and 9 kilometers [5 1/2 miles] from Gaza. 

The most common question I am asked from people who do not live in Israel and some Israelis for that matter is: why do you want to live so close to Gaza? It is so dangerous. Aren’t you afraid of missiles and terror attacks? 

My answer is: Why wouldn’t we want to live in the Negev? The South is a beautiful part of our country.

Just imagine living on the same land that our forefather Avraham Avinu lived. A couple of kilometers from where I live, Avraham Avinu set up his tents, made purchases from passing merchants and where his sheep grazed.

The land that we walk on today is the same land Avraham Avinu walked. Amazing!

In Parshat Breshei, my area is referred to as Gerar. Today, there is a National park on this land called Nahal Gerar

My grandchildren love to visit and walk the trails.

When we decided to live in the Negev, the arabs in Gaza were never a consideration. We are not heroes. We don’t have our head in the sand and during war time we followed the instructions of the IDF. 

But on the other hand, we will never allow arabs to dictate where we live or where we go. And yes, Grad missiles have exploded in our backyard and on streets not far from us. 

Hamas and company, the different factions that live in Gaza and Sinai are once again firing missiles towards the southern communities of Israel.

Our yishuv had an incoming missile warning siren two weeks ago, just as we were finishing our Shabbat meal.  
Other communities have had almost nightly sirens.

Last night a rocket exploded next to a home where a family was home. B”H there wasn’t any physical injuries but there was extensive damage to the home and their car was totaled.

We have been awaken during the night to the incoming warning siren where we have only 15 seconds to go to safety. My grandchildren who live on my yishuv attend a fortified school and Yeshiva 3kms from Gaza. 

I could go on and on...but I will end by saying, if you are planning a visit to Israel or planning to make Aliyah, consider visiting / living in the south.  You won’t be sorry. 

The Negev is a great place to raise a family and call home.

That’s all for now. Feel free to share and comment.

Post Script: I have a Facebook group page. To join our group page  Klal Yisrael Under Attack Everywhere 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Memories are a Wonderful Gift......


We made Aliyah [moved to Israel] twenty-three years ago and our only regret was that we didn’t come earlier....even though earlier wasn’t the right time, but that’s for another blog. 

Living in Israel, our homeland, with its ups and downs, is an honour and privilege. 

One of the very few things that I miss from my birth country Canada is autumn. Israel has only two seasons, winter and summer.

Growing up in Montreal, by the middle of August, the weather was changing and so was the season. 

The arrival of Autumn meant summer vacation was almost over and we would go back to school. The chagim [the Jewish High Holidays] were not far away and my mother a”H would be busy baking and cooking. 

The best part of autumn for me were the leaves changing colours. 

I loved to stand on our apartment balcony and see how many colours I could count.  Red, orange, yellow, orange, brown leaves, the combination producing a magnificent sight.

As a child, a Sunday afternoon treat, was when my parents  would take my brother a”H and I for a drive to the Laurentian Mountains

The fallen leaves lined the mountain tops and the highway. Along the route were look-outs where you could stop and enjoy the view.

Jumping into piles of leaves was so much fun. My brother and I would race to see who could gather more leaves to make the bigger pile.

For years, usually on Labour day. [first Monday in September] we would have an extended family adventure to the Laurentians. 

My dad and uncles would plan where we could stop to have a picnic and my mom and aunts would make sandwiches and bring thermoses filled with hot water. The adults had their coffee and we kids enjoy hot chocolate. 

I remember having so much fun playing ball and tag with my cousins. While my mom and her sisters sat, talked and knitted, my dad and uncles would take us on a walk on one of the trails to look at the scenery. 

Each family had a Brownie camera  and we kids had fun taking pictures of each other, rocks and of course the trees 

By the middle of the afternoon, the wind would pick up and it was time to go home. We said our good-bys with hugs and kisses.

Many autumns came and went, I grew up, got married and had kids.

My dad’s greatest pleasure was to take his grandchildren on a Sunday afternoon drive to the Laurentians to see the Autumn leaves. 

Typing this blog, I am smiling, remembering my parents, my brother and our childhood. 

Memories are a wonderful gift.

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Loss is Great!


In memory of: Esther Rochel a”H 
Yitzchak Shalom HaKohen a”H

As many of you know, I just got up from sitting shiva. During the shiva I thought a lot about my brother and sister-in-law, trying to make any sense of these tragedies. I couldn’t. They were both so young and had so much to live for. But, I know that Hashem makes decisions that we don’t understand.

I decided to put pen to paper and blog about my thoughts.

Three years ago my dear sister-in-law Esther a”H told me she had been diagnosis with lung cancer.  Esther wasn’t just my sister-in-law, she was my sister and best friend. Esther was a fighter. She wanted to live for her husband Yitzchak a”H, their children, and grandchildren. Whatever treatment was offered she agreed to try. 

With all her pain she tried not to complain. Her faith in Hashem was strong.

And by her side day in and day out was Yitzchak, all their children and their spouses and the older grandchildren.
The kids would go with her to doctor appointments and treatments. 

Their home was filled with kindness and humility.

But Esther’s illness had consequences and took a toll on Yitzchak.

On 28th of Av 5776 [September 1 2016] Esther returned her neshama to her maker.

Eleven months later, 29th of Tammuz 5777 [July 23rd, 2017] Esther’s beloved husband, returned his neshama to his maker.

In eleven months my nine nieces and nephews and their spouses and children lost their parents and grandparents and I lost my brother and sister-in-law. I feel empty. The loss is great.

My nephew asked me if I would like to speak at the funeral. I said yes. These were my words.

Yitzchak, I was 6 years old when you were born and I was so excited to have a little brother. In those days mothers and babies stayed in the hospital for 10 days and your brit was in the hospital. I didn’t get to meet my baby brother until your brit. It was love at first sight. 

Last week when I visited you, your eyes were wide open and I remembered a story from 60 years ago.  You were 4 years old and I was 10. We were on a vacation at Old Orchard Beach Maine. We were getting ready to go somewhere and mommy told us to wait in the hotel lobby but not to go outside. 

One second you were with me, the next second you were gone. We looked everywhere. The hotel manger called the police and described you as the sweetest little boy with big round brown eyes and a patch on your knee. They found you 15 minutes later. When asked why you went outside you said “I saw a little puppy go by and it was alone so I went to see if it was okay.” And this is how you led your life.

Yitzchak, you had a heart of gold.  If someone needed help, you were the first person to help. I want to thank-you for being my little brother and I want to thank-you for bringing Esther into our family. She wasn’t just my sister-in-law, she was my best friend and I miss her so much.

Together you and Esther raised a beautiful family. Your children are so very special. The respect they had for you and Esther and the way they care about each other is heartwarming.

Yitzchak when you see mommy and daddy please tell them I love and miss them. Tell them about their beautiful family. About all their grandchild, about the many great-grandchildren they have and that they have a little great-great granddaughter.   

Yitzchak you and Esther have earned your places in Gan Eden. I love you.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Best Three Hours of the Week....

Last November I joined an over 60 mosaic class run by our Moetza, Sdot Negev. We finished for the summer at the end of June and resume after the chagim.

I have always like working with my hands and creating. When I was a young mother, I learned how to needlepoint and I made many beautiful wall hangings.

Interesting fact is that I can copy a picture and then make changes adding my own thoughts about I wanted to see in the design but I can’t trace a picture. It comes out all wrong.

Using my imagination to create a mosaic totally relaxes me. Instead of thinking about everything at home, I think only about my picture. What colours I want to use, what shape to cut the glass, which glue to use and where am I going to hang the finished work. 

Our chug is 3 hours once a week. It is the best 3 hours of the week for me.

We had several sessions learning about ceramics and I had an opportunity to make a wall hanging.

It was so much fun to go outside and hammer piece of pottery and tiles for my abstract. 

Once again I saw myself. I like structure and I need to have a place for everything. My husband goes crazy when I get upset because he put something in the fridge on the wrong shelf or in the wrong place. 

After I finished my abstract, I saw me...the stones, shapes and colour were so balanced. 

In Netivot, we have a couple of stores that sell mosaic stones. I purchased a variety of stones and have created pictures at home.

My son made a comment to me that is really so true. He said “you have very little patience to sit around and you do several jobs at the same time. You finish everything so quickly, but when it comes to your mosaic, you have all the time in the world. You have patience to cut the stones, and figure where they will fit perfectly. It is like you are doing a jig saw puzzle to create your picture. It’s amazing!”

So now if you don’t mind I would like to show off my work.

My first creation
A hanger wall hanging for my great-granddaughter Oriya.
hot plates
Shabbat candlesticks
My ceramic abstract wall hanging
Jewellery box
A nameplate for our front door
A wall hanging

That's all for now. I have a couple of other projects I want to try during the summer.

Feel free to comment.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Fifty Years....Where Has The Time Gone?

Fifty years ago, as a young woman, never did I realize the life adventure I was embarking on.

You see, 50 years ago, on the Hebrew calendar, 17th of Sivan, my parents a”H, proudly walked with me down the aisle at the Young Israel of Chomedey. 

Standing under the chuppah, my chatan Avraham’s  parents had already escorted him. 

Our two little flower girls dropped rose pedals as they walked down the aisle along side our sweet 4 year old page boy, who carried my wedding ring on a velvet pillow.

The secular date was June 25th, 1967.

Israel’s six day war was a couple of weeks earlier, and the Rav of the Shul told my parents that if the war continues, we couldn't have any music or dancing. 

We listened to every newscast to hear what was happening in Israel. 

The day they announced the war was over and Jerusalem had been liberated, I was so happy. I told my parents, one day I am going to Israel.

The shul was beautiful. The chuppah was decked out with gorgeous white orchids with green ribbons, the colour I chose for my theme. 

From the souvenir kippot, to the match boxes on the tables to the benchers, everything was a lovely shade of green.

My mother a”H and mother-in-law a”H and maid of honour wore light green gowns.

Wearing white dinner jackets, our ushers lined the aisle.  Both father’s a”H, Avraham and his best man wore tails with top hats and white gloves. Avraham still doesn’t know how I managed to convince him to wear tails. Those were the days.

Our wedding was a fairy tale wedding. Everything was perfect. When one of our guests called me “Mrs. Goodman”, I said “that’s my mother-in-law.”

Avraham’s parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary the next day, and my parents surprised them with an anniversary cake. 

The band and singer serenaded them with the ‘Anniversary Song’. As they danced, my mother-in-law was so over whelmed, she couldn’t stop crying. 

During the past fifty years, we have had our ups and downs. We have been blessed many times. Even when life looked black, Hashem was always there for us.

He blessed us three beautiful children, two fabulous sons-in-laws, thirteen precious Sabra grandchildren, and two years ago, a grandson-in-law. 

Last year we were blessed with Oriya, our first great-granddaughter. What a precious gift. 

A month ago, we celebrated 23 years since our aliyah. Definitely one of our better decisions.

Our grandchildren are growing up. Some have served in the IDF. Another is serving now. We have a grandson in Hesdar and will serve.

We have 2 grandchildren in higher learning. We have a grandson in high school yeshiva and three granddaughters in the Ulpana.

We have grandchildren in elementary school and our youngest grandson is finishing gan [kindergarten] and will start kita א [grade 1] in September.

We are now retired. I still tutor a couple of hours, one afternoon a week. I joined a mosaic and ceramics group from our moetza, and I am enjoying using my imagination and creating pictures.

Avraham and I are shepping nachas from our family. We are Truly Blessed.

That’s all for now

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Today is April 2nd...... And it is MY Special Day!


Today, April 2nd I am doing very much the same thing I was doing on April 2nd 2015, cleaning for Pesach. 

Little did I know that when I woke up that morning the adventure I was about to go on. The Hebrew date for my story was the day before Erev Pesach.

Many of you know my story:
-I had bronchitis
-Revisited the doctor for a second time because I could barely breathe or hold my head up.  
-The doctor did an EKG, didn't like the results and said he was calling for an ambulance.
-I argued that it was Erev Pesach and I didn't have time.  He said no choice.
-In the ambulance I had a heart attack
-The driver flew
-Arrived at the hospital in 20 minutes instead of normally 35 minutes
-The emergency staff was marvelous
-The ICU cardiologist came to see me
-10 minutes later I was moved to the ICU
-Next thing I knew I was in the cauterization room signing away in case of surgery if the stent didnt work
-Baruch Hashem it worked!

Back in the ICU, the cardiologist came to see me again. He said I want you to know, you had a miracle today...your heart attack was so serious, I wasnt sure you were going to make it. Today is April 2nd...your new birthday date.

And so, for the past 2 years, April 2nd has become my unofficial birthday.

During the past two years I have received many blessing and I am very grateful to Hashem for all He has granted me.

-My cardiologist has told me that my heart is now working nicely.

-I am capable of doing anything I want.

-I have joined an over 60 club at our Moetza Sdot Negev. I tried to do yoga.  I didn’t realize how uncoordinated I am, but continued to attend the sessions for 8 weeks.  Finally, I had to admit I can’t bend myself in umpteen positions.

-I also joined a mosaic craft class and I’m loving it. Using my imagination and creating gives me a lot of satisfaction.  I posted a blog about my experiences on The Blogging Safta Reflections of Life...Happiness, Sadness..CHANGE! 

But the best blessing I received was last year with the birth of my precious great-granddaughter Oriya.  It is hard to believe in a couple of months she will be a year old.

At the bottom of ‘compose’ on my e-mails is a saying that I really like. I don’t know who the author is but I believe in the words.

Life is not the way it's supposed to be [Everything good]. It's the way it is! No two lives are the same. The way we cope with our life is what makes the difference.

Hashem maps out a life for us. Accepting His path, the good and the bad, gives us the strength to live our life to the fullest.

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment.
Pesach Sameach to you and yours


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Anti Semitism is Alive and Flourishing....


This morning, on the Israel National News [Arutz 7] site, there was this headline..............

No Jews' posted in Toronto condo building. Anti-Semitic notes found on doors of several units at condo. article

Reading the article, memories of September 1993, a week or so before Rosh Hashana, when my family faced an anti Semitic act. 

We were living in Hamilton Ontario, a city about 45 minutes from Toronto. It was 7:30 A.M. when I told my twelve year old son to go and wait for me at the car to go to school. I worked in the same school that he attended.

Eli-Chaim opened the door, and screamed “Mommy”! The mat outside the apartment was soaked with smelly rotten eggs. On the front door, the apartment walls and on the exit door to the stairs were large swastikas.

My husband called the police, the Super in our building and we took pictures.

I can’t start to post how scared my son was. The Hamilton police were wonderful and very understanding. They took a report, spoke with my son to calm him and asked if they could have the pictures when I developed them.

The building manager, took his own pictures, and told us he would have everything cleaned up, which he did. 

Two days before Yom Kippur, we had another attack. This one was more serious. Along with swastikas everywhere, on the front door with black spray paint we had a death threat.. DIE JEW! Once again, we called the police, and the building manager. We sort of suspected it was the Super’s son, who was a neo nazis. 

The police questioned him, and the building manager installed a hidden camera facing our door, hoping to be able to catch whoever was doing this.

We told the police, that Yom Kippur was 2 days away and I was scared we would have trouble again. 

The police agreed with me and said they would give us protection. A patrol car passed our apartment building every half hour and checked our front door.

Unfortunately, the hidden camera didn’t catch the person doing this. I think after the police questioned the Super’s son, he got the message, because we had no more trouble.

I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe that everything happens for a reason. 

Our two older daughters and 3 grandchildren lived in Israel. My husband and I talked about making aliyah for years, but we could never find the right time. We always had an excuse.

The anti Semitic attack made us ask ourselves, why are we living in Canada, when the majority of our family lives in Israel. Eli-Chaim only wanted to celebrate his bar-mitzvah at the Kotel.

After Succot, I called the Aliyah office in Toronto and made an appointment.  

We met with a shaliach who told us he was leaving at the end of the month and that the new shaliach would arrive in December. He gave us the forms to fill out, but asked if would wait until the new shaliach arrived to hand them in. 

There were many complaints about making aliyah with the Jewish Agency, but our experience was terrific. The new shaliach, a Navy Commander, went out of his way to help us and made sure everything went smoothly.

Five months later, May 31, 1994 we came home. 

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment and share.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Special Pair of Booties..


My mother a’’H was a knitter.  As children, my Bubby a’’H taught all her daughters to knit. Many of the items they made, they sold for parnassa. 

From a very young age, I can remember my mother always had knitting needles and yarn in her basket. Whenever she was sitting, she was knitting. 

Give her a pattern, and one, two, three the item was finished. And if she wasn’t knitting, she was sewing. My mom was so proud of her Singer sewing machine that was a piece of furniture. It was the latest 1950 model. 

As a young girl, I took ballet lessons, and my mom made me gorgeous costumes. 

Growing up in Montreal, where the winters are very cold, my mother would knit for my brother and I. She made us hats with designs and matching scarves and mittens. We had so many sweaters. My brother had vests with collars and pockets. Every now and then, she would knit for herself. 

When neighbours gave birth in she always knitted a hat with 'pussycat' ears and booties for the newborn . My mom once knitted me a skirt with two different tops. On the skirt she sewed poodle appliques. I loved that skirt. 

My mother did teach me to knit but I never really got the bug.  I started many, many scarves but didn’t finish any. As a teenager, I once asked my mom to knit a sweater for me that I saw in a magazine.  She told me to knit it myself and she would help me.  Long story short my mom finished the sweater and that was the end of me knitting. 

Times were changing and my mom sort of lost her taste for knitting. My brother and I were getting older, and hand knitting was going out of style.  

Once she stopped, I didn’t see my mom pick up knitting needles until my daughters were born. It is amazing what grandchildren can do. A couple of years later, my brother got married and there were more grandchildren.  My mom was back to knitting sweaters, booties and hats.

My daughter Naomi, sent me a picture of her granddaughter Oriya, my great granddaughter, and my mom’s great-great-granddaughter, wearing booties that she made for her great granddaughter Bat-el [the baby’s mother] 24 years ago. 

What a thrill I had to see this picture! Naomi told me she also has a sweater and hat that my mother made. 

My mom passed away in 1999. I can only imagine how pleased she would be to know her great-great granddaughter is wearing booties that she made for her mother.

That’s all for now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Reflections of Life...Happiness, Sadness..CHANGE!


On November 14th, I posted a blog called Reinventing Me! In my blog, I wrote that for the past year and a half, I have been going through a merry-go-round of emotions, but mostly I have felt sad because of family illnesses and the loss of my dear sister-in-law in August.

I know being sad is not healthy for me....I needed change but how?

I enjoy blogging. I don’t blog often, but when I do, I feel satisfied that I said my two cents. My blog is my journal. 

As I mentioned in my blog Reinventing Me!, the first thing I changed was the name of the blog from Miriam’s Words to ‘The Blogging Safta’. The link is still Miriam’s Words. 

Next, I took a good look in the mirror. I wanted to see me! Life is full of ups and downs. There are things I’m proud of and situations I should and could have done differently and things today that I absolutely need to change. 

I have been blessed...believe me, when I was a young bride of 19, I didn’t think that I would have 3 terrific kids, 2 super sons-in-laws, 13 wonderful sabra grandchildren and a very precious great-granddaughter. Next June, G-d willing, my husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Unbelievable!  

I had wanted to make aliyah forever. When I was a teenager, I remember telling my mother a”H, “one day I’m going to live in Israel.”  Because of my kids, my dream was fulfilled 22 ½ years ago.

Second change I needed was to get out of the house more often and try new experiences. Other than walking Patches, which I don’t do very often, [that’s my husband’s job] shopping in Netivot, appointments, and now my chugim, I’m home.

I believe everything happens for a reason. Before the Chagim, our Moetza, Sdot Negev, sent out a brochure of chugim they were offering for children and adults.

Usually, I flip through it and then file the brochure in the round basket but this time I put the brochure in the magazine rack. My husband must have asked me 10 times, why am I keeping the brochure. I told him I don’t know but keep it.

I have wanted to take yoga for some time, but couldn’t find an only women’s group in Netivot. The moetza was offering a yoga chug for women.

After speaking to the coordinator of the 60 plus groups, she convinced me to join two chugim on Sunday morning from 8:15a.m. until noon. Actually there is a third chug after the mosaic that she wanted me to join, but I said no because my language skills are not good enough and that frustrates me.

And so on Sunday mornings at 8:15 you can find me at my yoga chug...after 7 sessions of an hour of stretching, I am still finding muscles I didn’t know I had.

Fifteen minutes later, my mosaic chug starts. Here we create pictures using different mediums either by following a pattern or just our imagination and drawing freehand.  Our group is made up of 11 women and 1 man who is the husband of one of the women.

We are 4 English speakers and we usually sit together chatting as we work. I must admit that I am enjoying the activity very much.

Outside of our art room, the Moetza set up a refreshment table for us to enjoy that is constantly being refilled with crackers, a veggie platter, hummus, cheese, cake, tea and coffee.

Our first project was making a hanging picture on a piece of plywood. I decided to make a sunflower. Most used a pattern to trace a picture. I drew free hand.

Using different colours of ceramics including mirror tile, my sunflower took on a life of its own. Each colour represented an emotion. I used a strip of mirror in each petal of my sunflower because it took a good look in the mirror for me to see what I needed to change.

I named my finished picture Reflections of life..happiness, sadness and CHANGE!

We are now creating a stained glass abstract picture on a window pane and working with see through coloured glass tiles. This is much harder and slower than working on plywood. I have never used glass glue. You need very little as it is thin and runs.

Knowing that on Sunday morning I’m out of the house and having a nice time is something I now look forward too. I’m on my way to reinventing me!

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment
Chag Chanukah Sameach!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grateful for all my Blessings!

November 14th was World Diabetes Day.  In an article about diabetes in Hamodia, it was reported that in Israel there are about 500,000 diabetics, according to a private health advocacy group and the Israel Diabetes Council headed by Professor Itamar Raz.

I am one of the 500,000 diabetic Israelis. My diagnosis 10 years ago, turned out to be a blessing. I remember that Sunday morning as if it was yesterday.

Today, my diabetes is in total control and I have been medicine free for years. After my serious heart attack last year, my doctor told me that one of the reasons I survived the heart attack without any further complications was because my diabetes is in control .. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease.

When I was first diagnosed I was in shock. I shouldn't have really been so surprised because my late father and my brother both were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes years earlier.

But since I never showed any symptoms, I thought that this particular gene didn’t pass on to me. Boy was I wrong!

That Sunday morning started off pretty routine. Among the many other things I had to do, my first stop was to the health clinic to do a routine blood test to check my cholesterol. I got the results the next day.

Although my cholesterol was high, the doctor was much more concerned and very shocked to see how high my blood glucose was. “Must be a mistake,” he said to me. And with that he sent me to the nurse’s office to recheck my blood sugar with her glucose monitor.  My blood glucose 410. Anything over 126 spells trouble.

Suddenly, my world came crashing down when the doctor said, “You have diabetes.” He called the diabetic counselor to come to his office and told me she will be my best friend.

Dalia was wonderful. She gave me the ins and outs, gave me a glucose monitor and taught me how to use it. She arranged for me to see the dietitian and the diabetic doctor. Dalia told me, she would always be available to answer questions and gave me her e-mail address.

Truthfully, when I went home, I couldn't remember one word she said.

After moping around the house for 3 days feeling very sorry myself, I had a deep chat with Hashem, and told Him that since He added something else to my plate, He was going to have to help me go to war with my diabetes and win. He did! I saw Hashem’s Hand everywhere.

From the first day, He made sure everything fell into place. The diabetic counselor was in her office the day I was diagnosed [she only worked two days a week], the dietician had an opening for the next day. The diabetic doctor who only comes twice a month was going to be in his office a week later and he had one appointment time opened.

I parked myself in front of the computer and started my research. I had so many questions. What exactly is diabetes? How did I get it? Is it really hereditary? Is it a virus? Do I have to stay away from sugar forever? Do I have to give up all my favorite foods? Am I going to have to stab myself for the rest of my life? So many questions that now require answers.

The Israeli, British, American & Canadian Diabetic Associations were my first stops. So much information was available. I printed out information that I really wanted to remember and made myself a handbook. 

In Hebrew, diabetes is called sukeret. The Israel Diabetes Association
 web site is in Hebrew but can be translated properly into English .The general information page is loaded with good information. 

The association has a symbol on foods that are safe for diabetics to eat. Over the years, this symbol is appearing on more and more food products.

Truthfully, I‘m not lacking any foods. I’m just careful about what I eat and how much.  If you Google recipes for diabetics, hundreds of recipes are available.

As opposed to many other serious illnesses, diabetes can be controlled. Proper nutrition, [my dietician helped me lose a lot of weight and I have kept it off], close and individualized follow-ups, physical activity and an appropriate drug regimen [when necessary] can prevent complications and offer people with diabetes a good quality of life.

In other words follow your doctor's instructions, do research, the internet is full of information, just be careful to take your information from reliable sites. There are loads of ‘quacks’ out there who want to sell you everything from A to Z and promise if you take their medicine or buy their product you will be cured of diabetes.

Just remember, if the advertisement or information sounds too good to be true...take it with a grain of salt.

Some hospitals have support groups for diabetics. Talking is a great way to learn and to deal with your diagnosis. Keep a journal or write a blog. You will see your progress first hand.

I am a very spiritual person and I believe that everything happens for a reason. And the reason for me being diagnosed with diabetes was to give me a wakeup call [a good kick] to get healthy, so that I can be around for my husband, children, grandchildren, and great granddaughter.

I am very grateful for all my blessings.

That’s all for now..Feel free to share and comment.