Finding myself in the Middle East

Monday, December 31, 2012

And if You Don't Know, Now you Know

I know more about myself today than I did yesterday.

For example, I now know--it came to me in a flash, like an epiphany--why I have been spending an inordinate amount of time watching YouTube videos of military fathers returning home and surprising their loved ones. I knew because all of a sudden there were tears streaming down my face and I was sobbing, "Abba, Abba, I miss you so much Abba."

(I also knew because of the duh factor. Like, duh.)

I also know that there is so much that I can live without and so much that I cannot live without. For example,I can live without a real kitchen. I know that because our new apartment will be ready soon, but will not have a kitchen. For a year. Because we have to apply for permits and because of the blahblhablhah yawnyawnyawn official something something yada yada. Kablooey.

Point IS, we will build and temporary one out of pallet wood. And I am all, "yay!" Because Outdoorsman bought a table saw and how fun will it be to make our own cabinets? Totally fun! Awesomely fun! Wwwwrrrrrrrr! (that is the sound of a table saw. Good,eh?)

And also we get to appreciate our apartment in stages.

And I am grateful for the opportunity to work on being grateful.

(See what I did there?)

But one thing I have in my life right now that I cannot give up is Turtle's cheeks. I am going to have a hard time wiving wifout der squishy goodness. He still has way to go, but they are slimming down and while I know that that's what we want, for our kids to grow up, it breaks my heart a little tiny bit. And then I say to him, "I just know you are going to marry a girl from Australia and move halfway around the world from me,I just know it."

\(And he says, "cookie?" and smiles disarmingly and then of course I give him a cookie. And then they all ask for cookies and I give them all cookies and then they make a mess and then I glare and think that I can't wait for them to grow up and get married to someone from Australia.)

(Ignore the above. I just want to smush and kiss his cheeks all day long.

We should nuke Australia.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some Useful Dictionary Terms


As I am tucking her into bed, an hour past her bedtime: "Ima, for my Chanuka mesiba tomorrow, can you make a cake? Shaped like a doughnut? With icing and sprinkles?"

We are out of eggs and confectionary sugar. I will have to go shopping. I say "Sure!"


Outdoorsman goes shopping for the missing ingredients.


He also buys me candy.


I take the cake out of the oven at exactly the right time.


It is still raw in the middle

Diligence: 2: 

I put it back in for ten minutes.

Inexplicable: 2:

I go to sleep.


The baby wakes up at 2:00 in the morning for a cup of milk. I wake up to a house that is filled with billowing smoke.


The oven did not explode.


The cake looked like it was made from granite. I could use it for my new kitchen as a counter top. Shaped like a doughnut.

Love: 2:

I make a new cake and wait up until 3:10 in the morning until it is ready.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Up to the Sky

When the letter arrived, it was official looking and made me sort of want to vomit and also sort of want to punch people.

"Some people," I explained to my husband as he numbly allowed the letter to flutter down onto my chicken-gut covered counter, "some people are stupid and should die.Painfully. And first we should punch them."

I chopped the chicken on the counter. Chop-chop-CHOP.

Someone told on us. We are renovating and there is a room that has been dug in from the mountain that my apartment is built into but is technically not part of the official blueprint and we have been a little nervous about the illegalness (illegalality?) of it. But there were so many things that were illegal about that apartment, and we changed so much of it to suit the neighbors legitimate complaints, that we figured that room would go unnoticed.

Plus, who does that? What does it matter to you that I have an extra room that you can't even see on the outside of the house?

Someone does that, apparently. And so not only did it not go unnoticed, but other parts of the apartment are in peril as well, parts that are considered "storage," and not part of the actual apartment, but they are part of the apartment, but they are also I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE EVERYTHING IS SO COMPLICATED AND WEIRD are drawn over in the blueprint that accompanied the letter in heavy red lines. Now, I am no expert at Hebrew or legal stuff, but usually red lines in a sign of bad, bad stuff.

The letter arrived on Friday. Our lawyer sounded like we woke him up when we called him and told us to call back on Sunday. Perfect for an entire weekend of worrying. The layout was set, the electricity was laid out.They could just say, too bad. They could just say, rip everything out. They could just say, we don't care about your cryin' eyes.

And then I said, after the punching and murdering and vomiting urge passed, that we need to be more grateful. Because we are getting our own apartment after years of being pushed around by landlords and lack of money. We have been sweating the small stuff a bit, worrying about prices and fees and lawyers and holds and loans and maybe we lost sight a little, of the fact that we are so so lucky.

And then just because sometimes Hashem wants to say to you, "VERY good, you got it! Exactly!" I went to a shuir motze shabbas and the speaker was talking all about miracles and how they come about through us being grateful.


I am, so very.

So here is ten things that I am grateful for, in no particular order.

1. My husband. He is awesome, and funny, and talented, and cute. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend.

2. My children. They are individuals, and they bounce back in spite of me. They light up my life.

3. My mother. She is supportive and loving and we get each other and she finally figured out how to send e-mails, so yay for that!

4. My siblings. They are far, but near to my heart. And sometimes make me laugh so hard I cry.

5. My friends. They are awesome and there for me and are a great substitute for my far-away family.

6. You guys! You read and respond and sometimes argue and make me feel like I am not shouting in the dark.

7. My new house. But also my old house even though it is literally falling down around my ears. because it is a place that I can walk into and throw up my feet and make myself a coffee. It is a place to house our laughter and our tears, our ups and our downs. It is a place for us to live.

8. My words. I can express myself and be understood, and that that is a wonderful feeling. (Also, they pay me for my words! How awesome is that?)

9. My body. It is amazing. I open my eyes and see, I open my mouth and speak. I move my legs and arms and they move, walk, sit, and pretend to run. (Yeah, I need to get back into exercise.)

10. My father. It was the addition of some of his life insurance money that helped us to get this apartment, and while that can make me sad, I choose to think of that as exactly what he would have wanted; his gift to us. He is not here but he is so so much here, always in my heart, and watching out for me from above.

And now I can write a million things more, now that I got started.

But I guess the point is not just to write it; but to live it.


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