Living Up to Her Name

One of the biggest dilemmas we had planning this trip was figuring out what to do with Trouble. There is a local open boarding establishment that we, and she, love. However, the cost for the extended amount of time that we are going to be away was staggering.

We were able to find another frum dog lover who was willing to exchange dog sitting. So we watched her dog over the Yomim Noraim, and she now has Trouble.

Big Trouble.

Apparently, Trouble is having a hard time adjusting, and is using their ENTIRE house as a toilet. I am embarrassed, upset, frustrated, and feeling awful. But I am also thousands of miles away!

Thinking about how confused and angry she must be is breaking my heart. But thinking about cleaning up those messes is just terrible. It's a sacrifice that's hard to ask someone to make.

I have to give her credit though, the woman watching her is being a trouper. She just wants some ideas on how to deal with it.

I have no idea.


Jet Lag & a Quiet House - A Chance to Update!

Wow. We are really here. It has been such a whirlwind since we landed that I am actually savoring the peace and quiet now, even though I have been up since 6 am. Hey, with a house full of 7 kids (most of whom are under the age of 5) and 6 adults, you take it when you can.

Israel is amazing. UM and AM live on an absolutely beautiful Yishuv with a warm and friendly community. AM always says that since Olim very often do not have their own family here, their friends become their family and support system. You can really see how this is true, and how much they care for each other.

My nephew did unbelieveably well on his layning, even though he only learned the last 2 aliyot in the past few days, and apparently was being fed his Haftorah line-by-line.
He reminded me so much of UM at his Bar Mitzvah. You know, he has always been musical, even as a tiny boy when he hit the "star" in "Twinkle, Twinkle" with perfect pitch.

At Shabbat lunch, I was able to regale the entire crowd with funny stories of my nephew as a precocious todder. I was a big hit...maybe I have a career in comedy...

Little people have started to stir and A has just appeared with the cat. In typical A fashion, I am getting a full report on the status of the house, and hit with a ton questions. Uh oh, here comes C...

Better go. But will blog more on Israel, Yishuv life and more, when I get a little more quiet...

Leaving on a Jet Plane

All TEN bags are packed,
We're ready to go...

I don't have time to continue with a witty little version.

What is El Al thinking?? Their in-flight entertainment includes not ONE animated or little kid friendly movie. But I am really excited that I am going to finally see Mamma Mia!!

Emergency addition to our entertainment plan, 2 portable DVD players and any DVDs we could find in the house.

Kids are getting bathed, then lunch, and out the door!!

Next post will be from the Holy Land!

Bear apprehended!!

The missing "friend" bear was found today with just minutes to spare before candle lighting.

He was hanging out on the wrong side of the hamper indulging in his dirty laundry habit.

After Shabbos, we will be sent to detox to rid him of the smelly residue of this addiction.

C is said to be relieved.

APB: Bear

The Trip'n house is in a state of serious alert. Trip'n Mommy and H have issued an All-Points-Bulletin.

Bear is missing.

Suspect is a blue bear head with white arms and a blue blanket (with satin trim) attached. Known to be fuzzy, cuddle, and a little bit ratty.

Looks very similar to this photo (a twin?) but has no moon tattoo:
His absence had terrified a little boy, to be named here as C. C has been crying himself to sleep and fears Bear will miss his flight to Israel if not aprehended in time.

Anyone with any knowledge of Bear's whereabouts is encouraged to contact Trip'n Mommy immediately.

Thank you.

Okay, We're Going Already

Parshat Lech Lecha has the "moving" story of G-d telling Avraham to get up and leave his homeland, his father's house, and all that is familiar to go to a foreign land (Eretz Yisrael.) Well, this week there have been a number of things that have made me think about moving, going, traveling, growing.

1. C's school took up the theme and the boys were asked to bring in a transportation related item for Show and Tell. Now for a boy like C, this is a real challenge. How to choose from the plethora of cars, trucks, boats, roads, tracks, planes, and books? I was preparing myself for a long discussion and heart-rendering decisions. Once again, my Mommy radar was off. C walked into the playroom, picked up "Mr. The King" and was done. Being the Mommy Librarian that I am, I suggested on of his transportation books (Freight Train! Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
! My Big Truck Book!) Alas, to no avail. Mr. The King was already in his Cars backpack. I think the coolness factor has already taken hold of my precious little boy. *sniff*

2. We are leaving for Israel in matter of days and the house looks it. The fridge is empty (Thank G-d we are invited out for both meals this Shabbat!) There are empty,, and boxes piled up to be thrown out. There are 3 packed suitcases (yay!) and many more empty ones. There are mounds of clothes that seem to have a life of their own and are growing. We are definitely going somewhere.

3. The election of Obama this week shows that country is certainly moving on and moving in a completely different direction. I have serious reservations and concerns, but am hoping for the best. May this move be a good one for the world.

4. I have been reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next Series and listening to The Big Over Easy. Been fantasizing about traveling in and out of books and nursery tales. I know, weird librarian stuff.

5. Filling up my ipod with all types of music to keep me calm and serene on the trip. Today was Grateful Dead download day. So of course on my mind are Casey Jones, his train, and "what a long, strange trip it's been..."

Packing It In

I am now faced with the task of packing clothes for 5 people for 3 weeks, including formal wear, PLUS gifts, wedding paraphernalia, hand-me-downs from C to his cousin, Bar-Mitzvah stuff, shoes, toiletries...the list goes on...

Truth be told, we have plenty of room. We are entitled to 10 suitcases - 500 lbs!! But the logistics of pulling it all out, planning where to put it and actually putting it there are a challenge.

Quite frankly, it is daunting.

But the trip is less than a week away, and I CAN'T WAIT!!

Insomniac Ramblings

It's 4:30 am and it appears that I have insomnia. This is not surprising given all that is going on in my world and in the rest of the world.

Firstly, it's Election Day! Whoopee! Today we find out what the people of the United States are really thinking, and in what direction they want this country to go.
Some would argue, myself included, that the overwhelming popularity of Obama, and even the mere fact that he is a nominee is an indicator. Since I have been voting, the Presidential elections have been pretty exciting, but I have a strange feeling that this one is going to provide tons of stories for my grandchildren. Certainly, just the race and gender issues alone make it historic. Then there is the idea that an unpopular war and bad economy can make people so desperate for what they feel is "change," that they want to go in as far an opposite direction as they can from the current administration. It astounds me that the Cold War, the USSR, Cuba, China, etc. don't come to mind when people hear phrases like "redistribution of wealth" and a government health plan for "universal health care."

Now, I don't vote based on policies towards Israel alone. I don't think that is fair to the country of my birth and the one in which I live and pay taxes. However, as a student of Jewish history (my college major), a Zionist, and a Jew, I do take notice. How a candidate feels about Israel MIGHT be a good indicator of how he feels about Jews in general. It seems that even the most pro-Israel, well-meaning President and State Department (Pro-Israel State Department? Okay, that's an oxymoron...) can do great damage. It terrifies me what someone with ties to the PLO could do. Alright, I am selfish, I just want there to be an Israel left for me to move to when I want or NEED.

That's something to lose sleep over.

Next, is our trip to Israel. We leave in a week, and while I have begun packing, it is just in the beginning stages. We have a Bar-Mitzvah Shabbat and party, Wedding, Sheva Brachot, trips to the North and Eilat all squeezed into the three weeks we are there. Given the rate the Trips go through clothes (I think my girls are convinced that they are award show hosts who need to change after each commercial break), I feel like we could bring 5000 lbs of clothes and it would still not be enough. We are only entitled to 500 lbs...

Then I am worried about the dog. Trouble is going to stay with a new friend who's dog we watched over the Yomim Noraim. Funny how she already knows something is up. She gets weird whenever suitcases come out. Intellectually, I know she'll be fine, but emotionally, I know she doesn't understand what is going on. She is going to feel abandoned until we come back to pick her up. Then she'll pee on the floor, wag her tail like a helicopter propeller, and all will be good again. Also, how am I going to sleep for three weeks without her warm little body on my feet and her snoring like a freight train?

Next, I am a little worried about my general well-being. I popped something in my neck last week and have been suffering pretty badly. The doctor gave me a cortisone shot, steroids, and muscle relaxers to try to help me get better quickly. Later today I am going for an MRI and I am supposed to fit in a couple of physical therapy sessions before we leave. Right.

Finally, work has become incredibly stressful. I am so thankful for my position and my ability to work for an unbelievable institution that does really important work. My position there has evolved into a senior management position and I love most of it. Unfortunately, a huge part of my job has become finances and development. This is never where I expected to see myself! Let's just say I am more of a humanities person. Nonprofits suffer tremendously in economies like this one, and ours is no exception.

You know it's funny
(Baruch Hashem! Bli Ayin Hara! Poo-poo-poo! and all that) that none of the Trips are on my list of current worries .

Maybe that's something I should be worried about...

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