27 October, 2007

A fancy new insult for anyone in need

I'm the first to admit that I'm just no good at identifying flowers and plants. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big lover of nature, and could easily spend hours outdoors, mesmerized by the beauty of anything growing, green or otherwise. It's just that my memory isn't very good, and so although I have indoor plants and outdoor plants, and I enjoy them all, I really don't remember the names of almost any.

That said, I wonder if the folks at the Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem have forgotten a few themselves, and are beginning to ad-lib. Anyone out there recognize this and can vouch for its name? If not, I'll assume it's what the sign-painting guy called the flower-expert guy when he discovered that the piece of paper with the real name had been misplaced...

21 October, 2007

A Sign from Above

I snapped this photo off of our balcony this past week. One of the things I enjoy most about our apartment is the unblocked view of the hills and sky. Generally summer here is pretty cloud-free, but when you see something like this, you know that winter is a-comin', and with it clouds, which help create breathtaking sunsets. Photos of those I'll post when they arrive, but this was breathtaking enough for me, for now...

17 October, 2007

They're prepared for anything!

I've noticed that a lot of the fences and gates around here have advertisements for the fencing/gate company on them. Apparently the companies take a lot of pride in their work, and assume that you'll want one for yourself just as soon as you see it. Some of the signs are simple, just a name and phone number. This one I found seems pretty advanced - it even has a website!

Some of the fences have logos, or some kind of picture to help you understand just how effective they are. This one seems to be trying to convey that with their fence, you can feel as secure as if you had your own personal lion guarding the premises. That's a nice idea.

Then there's this one. It's been entertaining my family for years, and I'm glad I finally have the opportunity to share it with you. I understand that the concept was "nothing's getting through this gate," and that may be true, but come on, who are they really expecting?

Maybe we're too easily entertained, my family and I. Well, I suppose that's not a bad thing...

10 October, 2007

Don't let hunger cloud your sense of direction

One evening in Chicago, my husband and I spontaneously decided to treat ourselves to some ice cream, and so we headed for a popular local place near my parents' house. On our way out, my brother asked me to check out what items were "chalav yisrael," meaning fully produced by Jews, or at least supervised by Jews from start to finish. As we were waiting in line, I was prepared to ask his question, when I was suddenly confronted with one of the most astonishing signs I've seen:

Where can I begin? Perhaps I should further explain that the ice cream "parlor" of point is relatively unique in its layout - the customers stand outside and place their orders through a tiny, low-set window, and sit at picnic tables around the parking lot. There really isn't any opportunity to see anything inside, and certainly not whether or not your ice cream is coming out of a particular spout. It would seem easier to just ask each time which Chalav Yisrael flavor is available...

But even if you could see what was going on, I find it funny that the cRc fully expects every customer to know which way is West! I know that Chicagoans pride themselves on the ease with which their streets can be navigated, all lined up in a lovely grid, and so it may be obvious to most of them, but some of us out-of-towners have a harder time.

Well, at least they showed their Zionist loyalties and chose the Western Wall - no way that could be coincidental, right?

05 October, 2007

A photo history of the Curwin Express

When we moved to Kibbutz Yavne, we didn't have a car of our own, but rather a small fleet of cars at our disposal (more or less at our disposal). When we left, we initially intended to try and make it in the big world without a car, a goal that we achieved for about two months. When we made the decision to move to a neighborhood without bus service, we realized that the no-car option was a thing of the past, and so invested in our first family car - a 1993 Subaru station wagon. It was an old car, but it tried hard, and with its help we spent almost seven years transporting ourselves and other large objects all over the country.

Surprising us all, our loyal, locked car was stolen early this summer, leaving us with a rental car from the insurance company. It was cute and spiffy, not at all what we were used to driving around.And then, when the we were scheduled to take a summer trip to the States, we turned in our yellow car. Upon our return, we received the same model in a more serious color. We never could decide what the color was - not quite red - in the end we called it burnt orange.

Just before Rosh HaShana, we bought our new family car - a 1999 Mazda Lantis 323. We can't quite tell what color this one is either, although it looks very blue in the picture. The registration has it listed as turquoise, but it goes from very greenish in the morning to deep blue in the evening. Obviously the color is irrelevant - we hope that it will drive happily for many long years.