Summer in Tel Aviv

summer landscape
Jaffa palm trees

It’s nearly July and it just dawned on me that I should be making things to put in my website shop and Etsy shop for the Christmas season NOW. How am I going to get in the Christmas/Santa/Reindeer/Snowman mood while hiding from the summer heat, indoors in the air-conditioning?

Jaffa port
Boats in the Jaffa port

I’m not a summer person, I love the fall, although fall in Israel is just like summer at home, so here I look forward to the winter, which is the most like fall in the mid-west! Did you understand that?! For me summer is a problem, I avoid the sun so much, I end up having to take vitamin D for a deficiency and the air conditioning wreaks havoc with my lungs; I come out in the evening (like a vampire) to go to the beach and watch the sunset. This year, we haven’t seen any jellyfish, but we’re not going into the water because it’s contaminated again by a sewage leak! This happens a lot here and it grosses me out so much, I rarely go into the sea. So we make do at Grandma’s pool.

grandma's pool
Emili swimming in grandma's pool

We’re working on finding a little summer get away this year in which I hope to find some great photo ops-more to come. I’m working on several projects that I can’t show you yet, I’ve entered a few felting contests; the pieces will be unveiled in September. I’m looking into new projects to expand my horizons. I continue to felt natural toys and my little dog sculptures during the days. Since I closed the store, I’ve started cooking a lot, I believe that I could write a vegetarian cookbook soon. The girls and I will eat almost anything, but my husband won’t eat meat, pasta or bread and he insists his food be organic; this poses a meal puzzle for me nearly everyday. It takes a lot of creativity to find something that everyone will eat, I very often end up making several organic, vegetarian  dishes so the family can choose.

peonies
My favorite summer flowers are peonies

I’m off to the “organic” market at the Old Train Station to look for my favorite summer flowers, peonies; I hope I find them today. Asparagus, cilantro, goat’s cheese, Caesar lettuce, avocados and potatoes are on my shopping list, they will be part of the ingredients for this evening’s meal-Yum:)

Being an American Abroad

playground slide
American-steps on a child's playground slide

Photo Friday: A few thoughts about being an American Abroad: Living abroad can give you a new perspective on where you’re from, in my case, The United States of America. When I was a little girl and I said my prayers at night, I used to give God my address at the end of the prayer so he could find me. Friends of mine from South America have pointed out in the past that they too are from America, just in an another hemisphere and everyone from all “Americas” should point out which one so as not to be presumptuous. People here in Israel tell me that I don’t seem American. With great interest and surprise, I ask them “what does an American seem like?” Their answer is “loud”. I didn’t realize this. Some American reality shows, politicians and news stations (Fox) make me embarassed to be an American, foreingers see these things and make assumptions about all of us. Even though you shouldn’t lump all people into one category, many people do and it makes us look bad.  When something happens back home, like recently when the Americans killed Osama Bin Laden, a few Israelis congratulated ME. I told them I really couldn’t take credit for that, but I hope it makes the situation better (but I’m not holding my breath). My father was a soldier in the Korean war and he was very patriotic, he believed that you should not desecrate the flag in any way. I disagreed with him, I believe you should have the right to express yourself even if it means using the flag to do so-and I also believe that Americans should realize that to be able to protest and express yourself freely (normally) without government reprisal are a few of the many rights we have that shouldn’t be taken for granted-the Middle East is a good place to be reminded of this. My daughters have been learning the pledge of Alligence and the American National Anthem and this make me very proud indeed!

Photo Friday: Growing up in Israel

not many ice rinks in Israel
The Canada Sports Center in Metula

Photo Friday: I hope my girls look back at their childhoods in Israel and remember them fondly. I remember my childhood quite fondly, although it was so different from the way my girls are growing up. I think they will remember the quaint village of Neve Tzedek where we live, the beach near by that we use as our playground, the nice neighbors we have who say hi to us every day and invite us for holiday meals, walking most places in the hot sun, playing and riding their bikes at the Susan Dalal Center, trips to the desert and camel rides, sand storms that turn the sky orange, our travels in the region, their international friends and the yummy and organic food that we eat.

Fun with Needle Felting, Photography and Puppies!

Pitt the bulldog
Pitt the bulldog puppy chasing the girls.

I‘ve decided to make Fridays a day to post photographs-related or not related to my work. I’ve always taken a lot of photographs and I’m now experimenting with having my digital photos printed in book or magazine form so they’re accessable. I have many of my photos on Flickr, but for some people, like my aunt who dosn’t have a computer, I still need to print some of the photos.

The main photo is Pitt (with an Israeli accent it sounds like Pete, which is what I thought his name was untill just recently); he’s chasing Lili and Elli and trying to bite their feet!  He is the cutest little bulldog, fiesty and sweet. He just looks like a puddle when he lies down! Pitt was the inspiration for one of my first needle felted tiny dogs.

needle felted pets
Man's best friend in miniature.
Needle felted Pitt
Tiny 3" tall, needle felted Pitt the bulldog

I’m working on more tiny dogs now….