Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Tel Meggido

Although the archaeological site of Tel Meggido is only a 20 minutes' drive away, we never visited the site in all these years.
So we thought it was about time to go and check out this place.
Tel Meggido is ancient (well… like almost every place in this country where you dig a bit in the dirt).

The oldest remains are from 3500 BCE! There are layers of cities that were destroyed and re-built on top of each other. It was a place of great importance in the ancient world- situated on the most important trade route (Via Maris). There were historical battles there and huge stables that could hold up to 480 horses, there's a tunnel that was dug underneath the city walls to access the spring outside the city- this turned out to be the most exciting part of the whole site for the kids. (How did they manage to build this tunnel without any power tools??? Amazing)

climbing down to the water tunnel

Well- apart from that it was rather boring despite the historical importance. The kids will most probably remember the water tunnel and the huge, black caterpillars that were everywhere.

Nice view- in the back you can see parts of Jenin 

According to the bible Tel Meggido (Armaggedon) will also be the place of the last huge battle in the end of times.

Ramat Hanadiv- a short walk

I love to hike, but there are some problems in Israel if you want to hike as a family. One is that there are only few circular hiking trails and there's no public transportation- so you basically always need a second car to somehow return to your car at the beginning of the trail.
Summer is hot and I really do not like to hike in the burning sun.

A few days ago we took advantage of the still "not-so-hot" weather and the still green surrounding and went for a short walk (I would not call it a hike) with friends.
Ramat Hanadiv has beautiful gardens which you can enjoy (probably better on a weekday since Saturdays are very crowded!).
But there are also a few short trails through the "bush". We bought an activity booklet for each family with nice little activities on certain points of the trail.
We started relatively early and avoided the worst of the Saturday-crowd.
There were still a lot of flowers and we saw lizards, birds and butterflies. 

The highlight was "Ein Tzur"- a spring that flows year round through an over 2000 year old tunnel that was hewn in the rock. The kids enjoyed walking through the tunnel.

There are also an ancient bath house, remains of an old farmhouse, a columbarium (dovecote) and queries.

Some nice shady trees are perfect for climbing and playing :-)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

the house update

After another long waiting period our new house is finally being built!
We took down our side of the building in July- it looked like the right side that is still standing and belongs to our future neighbours.
Within 3 days there was a house- of course not finished, but a house. :-)

20.03.17 morning

20.03.17 afternoon

22.03.17 afternoon

We are very excited. There's still a lot of work to do but it finally takes shape. There are many things that need to be choosen and it's not easy sometimes to figure out what exactly we want/ can afford/ will fit together :-)
In the end of this week also the roof should be finished.

airport adventures

I did not write for a while. A few times I meant to post something and in the end didn't.

Yesterday we made a trip to the airport. We have a friend who works in the control-tower and he took us on a very interesting tour.
Amongst other things, we had the chance to see the fire department and make a short trip with one of the firefighter-trucks, we could enter one of the airplanes and sit in the cockpit and we went up to the 100 meter high control tower.

We saw airplanes land and take off. Neomi would have liked to take the waiting airplane to New York. Helen would have preferred to fly to Switzerland. Yotam was proud that he could push a button in the firetruck and activate the water cannon.
Thanks to all the people willing to show and explain us things we had a great experience. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Some time passed since my last post.
We spent a snowless holiday in Switzerland. It was frustrating. We took two weeks off so we would have enough time for family celebration (Christmas)/ spending time with my family AND go skiing.
I looked forward for months- to be in the snow, to ski with the kids, to do cross-country-skiing… and well- there was no snow at all. At least we had nice weather and could go ice skating and hiking.

We came back home straight to the funeral of my father in law who died a day before our return. He was sick for years- a sickness called CBD (Corticobasal degeneration). For years he was not really himself anymore, could not communicate and had a lovely caretaker for all the daily needs besides my mother in law who did everything she could to allow him a comfortable and interesting life despite everything…
We passed the week of the "Shiva" (the week long mourning period) with hosting loads of visitors, telling stories, looking at photos and slides and just sitting together. It is a stressful time but also a very good part of saying good-bye, mourning, getting over the first week.

It is cold now, but due to plenty of rain so far everything is turning green. It is my favourite time of the year in Israel (if it would just not be so f8%# cold inside the houses). If it is not too rainy we go walks in the field/ forest, mud-walks in the wadi, enjoy the first flowers and the clear air. I especially love the white, fluffy clouds that are my personal snow-mountains (did I ever mention how much I miss the mountains :-)

Now it's also the start of the season for collecting all kinds of plants. I already dried a batch of young nettle for teas and we collected a lot of wild asparagus (the latin name is asparagus acutifolius, if I am not mistaken)- they are delicious if steamed for a short time and served with olive oil and garlic.

I am looking forward  to forage more for herbs - such as more nettle, wild calendula, mallow, daisies, shepherd's purse, zuta (a wild hyssop), za'atar (syrian oregano) etc.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

yarn along

I almost finished the hat I knit for my godchild. She's a mountain girl and I hope she will like the pattern of the chamois (I guess that would be the right name of this animal).

I am still a bit struggling with the fair isle knitting when it comes to the right thread tension so it would look more even...
I still need to add a fleece on the inside of the cap.
And then I need to finish my other secret knitting project.

I am reading "Family Matters" by Rohinton Mistry. A nice book but at times a bit "slow"...

Join Ginny and her yarn along.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

yarn along

I managed to finish one of my three ongoing knitting projects (I have already 2 more lining up).
I knitted handwarmers (it will be a present) and used my pattern from this project as a base.

I love the strong blue colour of this yarn. I used 100% soft merino wool- the same I used for the hat I knitted for my husband.

I also finished another book: The Rosetta Key by William Dietrich. I enjoyed the story- a mix of fiction and real history. The story plays partially in the area I live and know and this made it even more interesting.

Join Ginny at her yarn along.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

olive harvest

We started to harvest the olives. The kibbutz owns some smaller fields with olive trees and the harvest is done by a group of volunteers. We will get some of the oil as a reward for the work. The oil we got last year lasted a whole year- we even have still some left. We are cooking/ baking almost only with olive oil (in addition I use sometimes butter and coconut-oil).

Harvest is done on the weekend. Last week on Saturday also the kids joined- it is a nice experience.
The olives are beaten from the trees with sticks. They fall on nets on the floor and we collect them in containers. The oil will be pressed in another place.

part of one of the olive orchards- the trees are still quite young

The kids in action :-)

Having fun... :-) Yotam did not want to leave the machine- he loved it so much.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

wood and kites

My husband is being very creative- he started to carve wooden spoons- he probably has made already around a dozen and is improving fast- the last ones turned our very nice. I especially like the reddish one from an Eucalyptus tree he fell by himself. Below some more cutting boards he made. I am replacing the plastic ones we had so far and they also make nice presents.
He just loves to work with wood and I love to watch him work and to see him being so enthusiastic about something. :-)

It is also kite flying time. The annual kite-flying day in the kibbutz was a success. Usually we create our own kites some days before- this year was the first time the kibbutz offered kite-building kits beside the traditional material. Those kites flew so good that we created 2 more at home with the same pattern. My husband also made a traditional one that flew very good.

Since the "official" kite-flying-day we went several more days to fly our kites and I want to go again on the weekend. It is a very nice thing to do- somehow relaxing :-)
They are building a new neighbourhood and the wind is very good there. (That's why it looks like a building site)

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

shaving cream marble paper

We made some marble paper with shaving cream and gouache. I have no good picture of the paper- but then the process was much more important.
I got the idea from here.

First I covered a baking dish with a plastic bag and some tape. We sprayed shaving cream into the dish and added some small drops of gouache (I guess you could use watercolour or other paint too). With a small stick the girls swirled the coulour until they thought that it looked nice.

A paper was placed on top of the shaving cream mixtre and gently pressed down.

The paper was peeled off and the excess shaving cream scrapped down. We hanged the paper outside- in the dry heat we had for a few days the artwork was dry within a very short time... well almost. It turned out that the shaving cream was rather sticky and did not really dry so the end result was pleasing to look at but not very nice to touch...

But playing with the foam was fun! :-)
Only the boy did not want to join- he preferred to simply paint with the brush.