Sunday, March 31, 2013

Great times, with pictures to tell the stories.

Wow, it's been a whirlwind of a week! A wonderful whirlwind, that is. I have been healthy and happy, and traveling for about a week, the week of Pesach (Passover). Even though my wrist is still sprained and hurts, and it gets in the way with the brace I have on it, I can ignore it enough to keep on and have a great time!

First we went to Modi'in to spend the seder with my brother-in-law & sister-in-law and Robert's cousin. It was a lovely, family oriented seder, and very special. On Pesach, more so than all the other holidays, it seems to me, it is so important to me to be with family. There was one seder where we had invited people, but for various reasons, nobody could accept our invitation. We wound up that year doing it just our family together, just the 6 of us. That was one of the most special, most child-involved seder we ever had. We all went to sleep with a feeling of happiness and fullness. It doesn't mean I didn't miss having family & friends, but it was very special also to be just our family.

Anyway, after the first day of Passover, we went traveling up north. We had various plans of people to see, and things to do, and we also had wonderful lodgings at the three-room apartment which Robert's cousin (same one of upper paragraph fame) graciously lent us. We had some wonderful times. A tour learning about the history and torah references to the "T'chelet" blue string which many men have on their tallis, or tallit katan (tzitzit). Here is the website (in English) for this tour. Part of the tour was actually snorkeling in the ocean, looking for these special snails. Azriel found one!!! Hero of the day! This was in very coooold (!!!) Mediterranean waters, of the coast of Hof Dor. It was great! I didn't get pics of the kids snorkeling- my phone doesn't do well with sand and ocean water :) But I have some pics of making our own t'chelet afterward:

starting the task of putting chemicals together with snail glands to make the t'chelet

This will soon turn the holy shade of; first royal purple (Argaman), then the indigo (T'chelet) after the whole process is finished

mixing acid with base, with snail glands (yes, snail glands, from a very special selected rare snail).

After leaving it in the sun for some time, you pour water over the wool, and it turns indigo! (T'chelet) Wazi's expression is one of intense concentration (he's not sad, as it may look), and his huge sweatshirt is Dov's...
mixing and mixing and mixing

finished product, indigo wool! The exact kind used for tzitzit.


We headed back to "Cuz's place and tucked in for the night. Shifra had a bad caugh, and it kept her, and us (mostly me and her) awake in the middle of the night for a few nights in a row. No syrups worked, so we wound up taking her to the children's ER because there were no doctors hours which we could get to from where we were.
Not what we had in mind on vacation, but staying up between 3-5 every night wasn't either.
They gave her an inhalation of steroid medicine,
hospital in Tzfat, getting inhalation treatment.
and it seemed to have helped. We had to buy the machine in order to keep giving her the inhalation treatments. Last night was the first time in a week she slept through the night. Hoping tonight for a repeat performance!

After that brief interlude (only two hours, not bad for an ER visit), we salvaged the day by visiting Robert's 94-year-old cousin in Rosh Pina. This man is living, walking history. He has lived in Israel all his life, and has vivid stories to tell about it all. Stories about wars, small town stories, history in the making, with us right there sitting in his living room hearing it all directly from him. His house is a national historic landmark; it is one of the first houses in Rosh Pina (if not the first, I'm not sure). It also serves as a bed & breakfast, where we have stayed from time-to-time. Robert's great grandfather was born there, right in one of the now-refurbished rooms that serve as guest rooms. It is truly awesome. They were part of the small group of early settlers who founded the town of Rosh Pina, originally called "גיא אוני"; pronounced 'Gei Oni', meaning "Valley of Fortitude". This side of the family is on Robert's mother's side. Her maiden name was Keller, and this historical monument is called "Beit Keller".

 We came home on Friday for Shabbat. It was great to be home again.

Now there is laundry to do (it's Saturday night now), and the end of Pesach holiday tomorrow. Busy busy!

I feel like the most wonderful part of it all was maintaining my own health enough to really enjoy myself to the fullest. I even went snorkeling, braving the freezing waters!!

The drive home on Friday was for some reason quite nauseating, and I wound up feeling those effects into Shabbat as well, unfortunately. I didn't eat much on Friday night, and threw up what I did eat, unfortunately. But today I was back to normal, and even went to a friend's house for a lovely Shabbat lunch.

At the moment, I have a migraine!! :[. I really don't want to report downer type of news, so lets remember that it was a wonderful vacation. Shifra is writing it all into her diary, and taping the package of the personal clean-up wipe we got at a lovely restaurant we ate at. Then she wants to make a bracelet out of the shells she found. I keep falling more and more in love with her, you know? She is the daughter I dreamed of having, and more. Check out this picture from the BarMitzvah of her dancing-

My fireball enjoying her spinning in the dress that flays out.

 While we are at it- before I give into this migraine and close the computer and go to sleep, here are a few others from Ya'akov's BarMitzvah party:

Proud parents with Ya'akov

Klein kids, and their various growth stages (Shifra is wearing small heels...)

If you're gonna get all dressed up, ya better take lots of pics!

Ya'akov then and now- on the left, age 3, copying abba with pretend t'fillin and tallis, and on right, the real thing, 10 years later; a few weeks before his 13th birthday.

double-decker dancing.

Motherly love

my speech, talking about Ya'akov's unique specialness.

The manchild takes the microphone and captures everyone's attention with his personality and humor.

My brothers came from America for the auspicious occasion. Wonderful!

Wazi rockin' out

the photographer is on the floor looking through the camera while on his back- great pic, right?

The break dancer in a black suit

dancing with my big guy- he's now taller than me...

all of his body is balanced on his arms... and the black suit is half covered with dust. :)

My brother Tom being the cool dude we all know he is.

Me & Tom, after his trying to teach me to slow dance... a lost cause, and he got bruised toes.

Ya'akov, the last one out, sentimental about leaving his wonderful party

Having fun on his friend's shoulders! King for a day!

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