Sunday, August 23, 2009


If Shabbat is supposed to be yom menucha, why am I so wiped after it?

On Thursday, we spent the day in Yerushalayim, but lest you think the best of us, there was really no spiritual aspect to the visit. We started by heading in to the center of town. Lots of traffic and roadblocks added time to our journey, so I jumped out of the car with Shana, Ayelet, and Shana's friend Elana, and we ran to Maoz falafel - awesomely good! - and after a quick lunch, headed to the centerpiece of the day: Chor BaKir. Literally, the "hole in the wall," Chor BaKir is a store on Ben Yehuda that sells skirts. Lots and lots of skirts. They also sell some tops and other items, but the key there is the endless quantities of denim and other skirts. Ayelet really needed new skirts before school starts, as she has grown up/out of many of her skirts from last year. Shana and I also wanted to replenish the supply a little. Even thought the store is almost always crowded, there are many helpful salesgirls who make the process rather painless. It was so painless, in fact, that we found a total of eight skirts to bring home - four for Ayelet, and two each for me and Shana. By that time, David, Dani, and Ariella who had parked the car and then enjoyed their own lunch at Maoz, had joined us. After a quick discussion with Ayelet to explain that I would not allow her to have any skirts shortened - what if she grows more?! - we negotiated with the owner, paid, and headed for the seamstress to adjust one of Shana's skirts. We left the skirt with her and made a beeline for Fro-Yo, everyone's favorite frozen yogurt store, also known as Katzefet. After enjoying all sorts of frozen confections - the favorite being a frozen yogurt with all kinds of options for swirl-ins, including frozen fruit and berries, and a few kinds of chocolate - we returned to pick up Shana's skirt. Our next stop was Givat Shmuel, to shop a little more. We did not do as well there, but had a small level of success which was enough, not to mention less costly.

We then moved on to Har Nof, to Savta and Saba's, for a family barbeque. David's cousin and his family were visiting Israel for a week, so it was a great opportunity to catch up. It was a very late night, and we returned home exhausted. But as there is no rest for the wicked, I had to do some finishing on the week's baking. It was a late night, but aren't they all?

Friday was non-stop with Shabbat preparations, especially with a slightly late start in the morning. The funniest interlude of the day was when a customer/friend called to ask if I had extra cookies left, because her pregnant daughter was here for Shabbat, and was afraid there would not be enough cookies for her to enjoy and allow their guests, more than expected, to have some too. While I did not have enough for another platter (our guests needed dessert too!)I packed up a doggie bag for her daughter - it would not do to have anyone's hand bitten off! Shana and Ayelet were pretty helpful and made the load lighter, but it was nice to light candles and sit down!

Shabbat was very nice. The neighborhood is filling back up, and the park and the shul were crowded. We had a new family for lunch, and Ayelet brought their daughter, who will be in school with her, to hang out with the girls in the afternoon. Thankfully, they seemed to have hit it off, which should be good for everyone involved. Our friends Sara and Akiva, who just got back from the US, where they celebrated two family weddings, and Sergio and Tzippy came by when they had finished lunch. It was nice to see everyone and made the dessert part of the meal more lively. Eventually we ended lunch, cleaned up, and napped. Then it was time for sheva brachot! A new family made aliyah two weeks ago, and on Thursday, their oldest daughter go married. They did not think they would be able to make sheva brachot here, as they felt it would be presumptious to ask people they had just/never met to house their guests. But friends convinced them it was doable, and it was. We hosted the chattan's grandparents, who were a very sweet couple. As a result, we were invited to seuda shlishit, which could have been weird but wasn't! We actually met the couple in the morning after shul - more accurately, David had met the husband, but we rest of us needed to meet. The evening was fun, and we headed back home to make havdala and take Elana to the airport.

Elana was very nervous about getting on to the airplane, and as a 16 year old, she is no longer eligible to fly as an unaccompanied minor. Her father sent her a blow by blow list of the actions she would be taking in the airport that another father had sent his son before he flew home by himself. That helped, and we took her through the initial layer of security and check-in, where we found friends from the yishuv who were putting their daughter on the plane as well, though she is older and heading to a year of sherut leumi on her own. We introduced the ladies so that Elana would know of a friendly face. It was good for her to know that someone on the plane would know who she was. She was still kind of rattled, especially by the security trainee who asked every question in the book. We left her at the entrance to security and passport control, where we were not allowed to enter. By then she seemed a little calmer, as her suitcases were not overweight, and because from that point, there was really no way to miss the stops she needed to make. So we headed home, tried to unwind, and get a little sleep. Now it's Sunday, and I am still tired.

Will add this week's cookies shortly!


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