Saturday, August 15, 2009

A new dawn, a new day, a new week

Shavua tov, everyone. It's what we call Sunday, but it's not an American Sunday. We always have to gallop straight out of the gate on Sunday morning. None of this sleeping in and staying in pajamas for us Israelis. Okay, it is vacation, but Ayelet had to be at her job at 8:30, David went to 7:30 shacharit, and I had laundry in the machine by 8. Not bad. Ariella wanted to know if she would have to wake up this early for kitah alef - didn't have the heart to tell her that 7:30, today's wake-up time for her, is not nearly early enough. Maybe I didn't want to say it to myself; school is creeping up on us!

Shabbat was very nice. We had our friend David and his son Yacov visiting from Passaic. They are here for a whirlwind, see the whole country, visit lots of friends and relatives, in honor of Yacov's bar mitzvah trip. It was nice to catch up. We also had a new family, Jeff and Jamie and their four kids, over for lunch. It is a comfortable feeling to not be the new people - to actually feel like we know, to an extent, what we are doing. My neighbor Judy, who has lived in Israel for 30 years and has observed our evolution here, commented on this phenomenon - how much fun it is for her to watch us grow in confidence and - for want of a better term - Israeli-ness.

After lunch Ariella's new friend Avital showed up at our door - she had insisted to her mother that she knew the way, and she did! Her mom, Tamar, was not too far behind, but we were both impressed with Avital's navigational prowess, and I was impressed with her confidence after just three days in her new home. Ariella went over to their house to play, and a couple of hours later, after not managing a nap, we picked her up and headed for the park. It was nice to hang out in the shade with friends, though it was a reminder that people are starting to return and fill the place up. The lazy days of summer seem to be coming to an end. No offense travelers (except for a couple of you we really miss, and you know who you are), but stay away a little longer - we like the way summer is here! And absolutely no complaining when you get back about what Israel is missing or lacking. We like it fine, and if you don't, get over it and ask yourself what you are really doing here!

This week's cookies were really yum, if I say so myself.
Espresso double chocolate chunk cookies, apple crumble bars, orange chocolate chipsters, mint brownies, old-fashioned sugar cookies, and caramel brownies. The next pictures will not do justice to these flavors, but they were ready for their close-ups (closer, closer, too close, too close!).

Apple crumble barsCaramel brownies, with a rich layer of homemade caramel in the center and another layer swirled in to the top

Espresso double chocolate chunk cookies - one of Ayelet's favorites

Old-fashioned sugar cookies - look so unassuming, but really good with hints of lemon and brown sugar.

Last night Shana's friend Elana, who just finished up a summer program here, came to spend the week with us. We have a bar mitzvah party tonight, and who knows what other fun the week will bring...


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