Saturday, August 23, 2014

Vacation pictures, and a special announcement

I decided to have an update here with mostly pictures. We've been having a great summer vacation here! Between having everyone home, going away up north for a week, working on my new website (it's gonna be a surprise soon!!), and working on my book, I haven't had much time to write. That also means that nothing crazy and urgent is happening. This is an unusual time in my life... no health crises to dig my way out of, no surgeries on the horizon, and thank God the family is healthy and vibrant! Even our bunnies are better from their bunny illnesses... three weeks of shots once a week, and they are bunnying around like usual. :) Like usual... get it? Yeah... and I thought we had two girls......................... they're gonna need a doula soon. Oy.

So, here are some pics of what we've been up to this summer (after three kids in sleep-away camp for three weeks!).

Azriel was at horse riding camp. It was a huge success! Turns out he's quite the little jockey. Last night we saw his final show at the stables. (Unfortunately for some reason the video clips of his galloping, and of him waving at the spectator stands as he goes by wouldn't upload to the blog properly. They are on my Facebook page if you want to see them.)

trotting merrily along. :)

Last week we took a week up north. We try to do this every summer, it's good for the soul. We live in the southern region of Israel, where it is hot and dry, and rain comes five or six times a year, in the mid-winter months, if we are lucky. Any greenery around here is heavily watered, all on elaborate, electronic water drip systems. There are no natural bodies of water anywhere nearby. The beach nearest to us is about 50 minutes away. This region of Israel is *beige*. Lots of dirt and dust, white stone buildings and beige. Driving out of the city in any direction is *beige*. The year before I came to live here, on my first visit to Israel, I was mesmerized by the one-ness of the terrain, the breathtaking hills, mountains and valleys of the ride down to the Dead Sea- it really is stunning. It is stunning *because* of the sand dunes and hues within the beige. The hues are much more subtle than in more vegetated areas. I still love the Negev (the name of this region of Israel, and where, in the Torah, Abraham actually lived), but it is a treat to go up north where the roads are tree-lined and wild flowers, bushes and grasses are everywhere.

Robert has family from a town called Rosh Pina, in the Galilee region. His family goes back many generations, to the first settling families of the area. They are a very historical family, on his mother's side. Robert's great-grandfather was one of the founding fathers of what is now Rosh Pina, and there are many, many stories from his days. His grandfather was the chief of police in a neighboring town- Tzfat. He rode a white horse. We have an old picture in our dining room of him and his police force surrounding him. It's really awesome. We stayed, in Rosh pina last week, at the very house his grandfather lived in. It is a historical monument in the town. Robert's 95 year old cousin lives there, and there are boarding rooms that they rent out to tourists. He gave us two of the boarding rooms for the week, which is completely amazingly awesome (I sound like I'm 16, don't I). We also heard some unbelievable stories from this 95-year-old cousin, who is extremely lucid and *really* knows how to tell a story. Stories of early Israel, before the state, and during the British mandate, everything. His army stories, historical stories, family stories. He is an incredible man- may God give him many more years in his colorful life!

The house where Robert's grandfather was born,

So, from his place, we did day trips. We were "Day Trippers" :)

There was some canoeing (which was really fun!)...

my three dudes (Dov- was at the helm, not pictured)
Me & my co-pilot

The family in front of the Jordan river where we went canoeing

... and we also went swimming in the Sea of Galillee- the Kineret in Hebrew, where the water was so clean feeling on the skin, you almost didn't want to shower afterward. It is a very unusual feeling in the Sea as opposed to the ocean. I *loved* it. Didn't want to leave!

The Kineret "oh, Kineret she'li".... a wonderful song.

That night we went to a wonderful "night safari". Not a real African-style safari like you may be picturing, but a very cool adventure, nonetheless. It was at the Hula valley, which is a marsh land, known for it's exquisite array of birds migrating certain times of the year. It is a large nature preserve. We went in tractor-pulled stadium seating carts (hard to describe, but it was such that everyone could see out of the open front, being pulled from the right side by a tractor.) Anyway, we saw many sorts of owls and birds (the guide has a spotlight she was shining right and left until she saw movement or eyes shining in the light.), a pregnant beaver (really! she was *totally* pregnant!), two donkeys, a fox, a few wild cats, and a beautiful buzzard perched on a branch like a fashion model. Of course, I don't have pictures of these animals for you, but Robert does, in his non-internet, awesome telephoto digital camera which needs to be uploaded with a cable. When we upload them, and if I remember and the stars are all aligned properly, I will post them for you. :) It was a wonderful night adventure.

We had some great meals out, and spent some time with another of Robert's cousins who lives up in the area as well.

me, in the room where we stayed in Robert's great-grandfather's house.

There were two nights where I decided not to go out to dinner with the family because I was in pain. One night I had a migraine with all the trimmings, unfortunately. But you know what? It's OK. I got through those parts. Also the night after I went zipping down on an omega ("zip line"), my hips were *really* angry with me. But, I did it! I zipped. And I am glad I did. But that was One Sore Night. And following day. But oh well.

I won't be writing much for a little while, I am working hard on my website and my book, getting the kids ready for school, and getting myself ready to go to the US in two weeks (August 31st. More on that later! I'll be there for 18 days, until Sept. 17th.

So, in the title it says a surprise is in this post... so without any further ado, I would like to present to you... the announcement of the official title of my book.


"A Pound of Flesh, A Piece of Soul"
A transformational journey of the body and spirit
surviving Necrotizing Fasciitis, “the flesh-eating bacteria”

You can see my new facebook page that I created for the book publicity. (I am also in the midst of creating a real website, at a ".com" domain, where this blog will officially be).

Please go to the facebook page here, and give it a "Like". I get cosmic facebook points for the "likes", and it helps the book's platform to get a head start.


  1. So exciting about your book! BRAVO GIRL!

  2. Shu- I came to you a long time ago saying I wasn't able to make progress on my book, and I really wanted to. What it took for me was to join the class with the mentor I have on the net. I am so glad I fell upon the right book-writing program for me! I feel so good to have momentum. :) Thanks for your support! With everything!!

    1. Yes, I have followed you around and I am so glad you are coming to these amazing achievements! I honor you and I'm so proud of you Sarah!

  3. Please everyone, don't miss going to my facebook page for the book and giving it a "like"!
    It can be reached at:


  4. mazel tov on the title. may you be able to write in good health. the pics of the vacation are amazing. so good to get away with the family!

  5. Yasher Koach on your wonderful achievements to date on your book. Keep plugging away, a la JK Rowling. And I loved hearing about your memorable vacation, especially when you stayed in Tzfat and hung out with Robert's veteran cousin. What a terrific experience for all! lots o love, Devorah from NJ