Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hebrew, Hose

Today's dialogues:

Window screen man discussion #1:
  • "Keep that window open for 2 hours until the cement dries."
  •  "OK, 200 hours?"
  •  [blank stare]
  •  "Oh, oh, I mean 2 hours?"
  •  "That's what I said."
  Window screen man discussion #2:
  • "I will come back to check the cement."
  • " I have to go out at three ['three' was said incorrectly]"
  • "You have to go out at three ['three' was said correctly]"
Window screen man discussion #3:
  • "Here is your money"
  • "Don't you want your change"
  • "What change?"
  • "You paid me 200 shekel too much."
  • "oh."
Went back to the home supply store yesterday to review the garden hose situation.  We found a simple garden hose with its attachy-thingies attached already, and I asked the nice man if this was appropriate for a mirpeset.  THAT I asked correctly, I think.

He said it was just fine.

Brought it home.  Screwed in nicely to the outdoor faucet.  Turned the water on.  Water comes out, let's say, much less enthusiastically than one would want.  It kind of comes out as big drops. 

Don't know if I have the energy to return this one and start again.  I may just deal with it.

Yesterday we drove to the big Jerusalem Mall - our Waze lady was a big help and we didn't get lost.  She said she knows the way to Efrat, but I'm not sure we can trust her.  I mean I don't really know her that well.  But Waze is very cool - they warned us of a "speed trap" even though it was actually the checkpoint on 443.  But I mean how would they know that? 

Friday, May 25, 2012

This is What it Feels Like...

You know how it is in the US as one of the major (non-Jewish) holidays approaches? You know how ALL you hear on the radio is the music, the talk of the sales, the ideas for cooking, etc.? You know how everyone at work is talking about nothing else?

You know how that used to make me feel?

Like an outsider. 

I used to think to myself, OK this is their country, it is basically about their religion, and we are here and we have a nice life, but we are not in our own country.  I'm happy for them that they are so excited. We have to live with the entire country revolving around those holidays.

And our holidays?

Well, we prepare we talk amongs ourselves, the radio and TV stations barely give it more than a passing mention, and we go to work where no one else is talking or thinking about our upcoming holiday and on erev yom tov we rush home and try to get ourselves mentally into it.

This, however, is what it feels like to approach a yom tov in Israel:

  • The radio announcers mention how many days it is until Shavuot
  • The DJs on the rock station have a morning debate about which blintz is best, and mention that everyone should remember that it is "z'man matan Torateinu" (yes, this is a real rock station)
  • The supermarket has fixings for blintzes and cheese cake as soon as you walk in, and Shavuot specials on every aisle ("Bargain!  For Shavuot!" signs are everywhere)
  • Flower stalls pop up all along roadsides, and most of the flowers are white, with stalks of wheat in them
  • You go to the mall on Erev Shabbos and they have a harpist and a flutist playing special music to welcome the chag
  • EVERYONE in the mall is buying flowers, cheesecakes, etc. at the little stands that go up every Friday right in the middle of the mall

In short, the preparation for a chag is country wide - by the time you get to the chag, you and everyone around you has been talking about it for days / weeks, and everyone is into it. 

You know how that makes me feel?

Like (I know, I know, I've said this before, stop rolling your eyes) I'm home, for the first time ever. 

I never understood what people meant by this.  It is not something one can easily describe, sort of a feeling of rightness like you've never felt before, and a feeling of such pride and love that sometimes the littlest thing can bring tears to your eyes.

Today I saw a chayal, his rifle slung over his shoulder, walking in the mall with an elderly woman holding onto his arm.  They were speaking softly to one another, smiling and laughing, and she looked so proud of him.  They had packages of flowers and cakes. 

That is Israel, where everyone you see is family, and everyone is home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's It All For?

This blog isn't about aliyah.  The nice thing about blogging is that you can to pick a topic and blah blah blah all you want.  So today I'll blah blah blah about the "asifa" that was held on Sunday in New York.

In case you haven't heard, this gathering was held to warn everyone of the dangers of the Internet.  I downloaded the "kinus" that went with it and looked through it.

I'm not going to bash anyone here, so if that is what you were hoping for, move on. 

I am just terribly curious.

I am not a very well educated person, Jewishly.  I went to public school, to Hebrew School, and to the Baltimore Hebrew College. the latter providing me with outstanding command of Hebrew, familiarity with Hebrew literature, with traditional texts, and with philosophy.  But I didn't have what one would consider a traditional Jewish education.

So when I approach things it is not with a great deal of background, texts, explanations, etc.  It's usually just with very simple thoughts and questions.

So here goes.

I was always incredibly moved by Parshas Kedoshim when (I think I'm right), we are told that we are a holy nation.  I embrace the idea of holiness, and in my thinking the mitzvos were given to us to make us different and holy.  The incredible genius (a poor word and please forgive me) of Torah is that it lays out how we are to live our lives in the world, with others, in order to comport ourselves as Hashem wants us to - 24/7.  All of the warts of humankind are illustrated in one way or another by the mitzvos - the 'dos' and the 'don'ts' - because we are human, we err, but Hashem wants us to conquer our impulses and go forth to show the world how tough and brave an eved Hashem really is.

With me so far?  Anyone disagree?  I sure hope not or I reallly do have to go back to Hebrew School.

Now the Torah is timeless - Hashem gave it to us knowing full well what temptations were coming our way, and gave us mitzvos to help us to stay straight and show the world how to act.

Now, if we do conquer our bad inclinations, it makes us tough.  Incredibly tough.  I mean, look at us - despite the world the way it is we still keep Shabbos, dress modestly, daven, learn, etc.  That takes a kind of toughness that we probably don't realize we have. 

We live in the real world and see real things, and have to deal with them and we CAN because the mitzvos make us tough.  We were given the mitzvos to show the rest of the world what it means to follow Hashem's Torah. 

We can't do that if we don't live in the world.

So here's my question - why are people not able to overcome the obstacle of the internet?  Believe me, I'm not bashing anyone, chas v'shalom, I'm just confounded by this state of affairs.

If people are looking at pornography on the internet and it is ruining their families and marriages, then why does no one look any further than the computer screen? 

How about looking at the family dynamics and perhaps the yeshiva educations that exist today and ask why they are so fragile that a computer site can dissolve them?

  • Are couples not open enough with each other? 
  • Do yeshiva boys and girls have too much pressure on them to be perfect, modest angels and not allowed to express themselves outside of the classroom or yeshiva? 
  • Do men and women feel so stressed and unhappy that they seek satisfaction outside of their marriages? 
  • Are young couples not given enough guidance about how to have a relationship so that they know how to deal with problems?
  • Is everyone so anxious to find some escape from their lives that they go to the nearst available website and imagine a different life? Why?
  • What is their life so desperately missing that they feel the need to escape?
Aren't those, perhaps, the real problems?

In every generation there are incredible challenges to the Torah Jew - but we have to live in the world, otherwise we are just being mekadesh shem shamayim to each other and that is not how it's supposed to be - at least I don't think so. 

If we think this is bad, I'm pretty sure the temptations will get even more difficult as the years go by.  Shutting ourselves off from the world and what it has to offer does not make sense to me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Two Sides, One Israel

Somehow Yom Yerushalayim doesn't get the status of Yom Haatzmaut.  Schools are not closed, life goes on as usual, no big banners across the roads, no flags. 

But in Ulpan today our teacher handed out a brief history of Jerusalem, which we read together, and then handed out the words of "Yerushalayim shel Zahav' which we translated together, and then sang.  She then played the live broadcast of the soldiers going in to the old city during the Six Day War and singing at the Kotel.  I don't think I'm exaggerating to tell you that there was not a dry eye in the room.

Every year on Yom Yerushalyim I make it a point to listen to the broadcast.  When the soldiers say that the Old City is "in our hands" I'm overwhelmed each time.  This year of course it has more meaning. I was impressed by our teacher's passion and emotion when talking about Jerusalem - I always love hearing Israelis talk about this country - it's such a deep, abiding love of the land and everything in it.  It's at the same time touching and inspiring.

And then......

We went shopping.  And another side of Israeli life hit us.

Walked into a hardware store.  Looking for a garden hose.  As you may recall my last attempt at garden hose maintenance has not altogether been successful.  Once I attach the nozzle to the hose and get it to stay on the spigot outside on the mirpeset, it usualy falls off the spigot when the water is turned on.  Then, and I am not proud of this, I cannot for the life of me re-wind the hose back onto the windy-uppy-thingy.  Tried 3 times, can't figure it out.

So what does a good ex-American do?  I figure, "I'll buy another one."  So off to the hardware store we go, this time a different store, figuring maybe they have better hoses.  We also needed some kind of adhesive to re-post our house alarm sign (this house is protected by ....blah blah blah) which had fallen off during a recent windstorm.  And it has to adhere to the stone facade of the apartment.  And, um, crazy glue does not work.  Trust me.

So, ok, we walk into the hardware store.  The man behind the counter glares at us.  Uh oh, what did we do?  I think we interrupted his staring into space or something.  We ask, in broken (I think more like shattered into a million teeny tiny bits) Hebrew for some kind of glue for the sign.  He brings out a huge container of caulk.  Hmmmm.  So we ask and what do we apply this with?

He brings out a huge caulking gun.  The kind they must use to put highway bridges together.  We look at each other.  He is still not smiling.  We decline the offer, then ask if he has a garden hose.  Except we don't know the word for garden hose.  So I do a pantomime of spraying the grass with water, which probably looks like I'm shooting bullets at the other customers.  He does not look amused and is not trying in any way to help us.  We, of course, are laughing at my ineptness in explaining what we want.  Then we see a hose sitting right there!  Exactly what we want!  We point to it and say, "Ka Zeh!" [like this!']. 

He looks at us.  He looks at the hose.

And he says, "Ayn." [There aren't any]. 

"Ayn?" I ask, with my hand on the hose.

"Ayn."  he says, shaking his head.

Then I get fed up.  "Ooooookkkkaaaaaaayyyy," I say, "we are outta here."

And we walk out trying not to giggle.

Now maybe he was having a hard day.  Or maybe he is the boss and had decided he didn't want to make any sales that day for what I'm sure must be a very good reason.  Or maybe for him that WAS customer service.

Either way, his loss we are not going back there ever again. 

All in a day's work for us Isarelis.  And you know what?  I love living here.  Because no matter what, when all is said and done, he and I are always going to be on the same side.  And that's all that matters.

Monday, May 14, 2012

They Got Me

Remember the story about the gas station in Beit Shemesh?  And the one about driving on the wrong side of the road in Modiin?

What did those stories have in common?  You in the back there with the blue shirt!  Right!  They all involved the police who are out to get me.

Done.  Check that one off the list.  The entire police force of the State of Israel can sit back and relax because Soozannnn Libteg has been ticketed.

Today I was driving home from Ulpan and noticed something on my windshield. "Wow, I thought, that looks like a ticket!  But of course it can't be!"

When I got home I pulled said item out from under the wiper blade.  Yup, it was a ticket. 

You know how when something happens your brain tries to make sense of it, tries to find a reason for it (like when the earthquake happened in Baltimore and I thought it was a big truck outside]?  Well, the first thing I thought was that I had somehow parked badly at Ulpan.  But I park in the same place every day. "Ah," I thought, "you are not supposed to park in front of the 'don't walk here walk there' metal sidewalk barriers, that's it!"

So I read the ticket and it says it was issued on May 10.  That was last Thursday.  Lag B'Omer.  And where was it issued?  Rishon Lezion, at the beach.  This is where my "there must be a reason for this" brain kicks into even higher gear.

Waiiiiiiiit a minute.  They issue the ticket in Rishon LeZion on May 10 and they just put it on my windshield today in Modiin?  How did they find me?

Did they write up the ticket, take it home with them, and then follow me for 4 days until I got out of the car at Ulpan, then stick it on my windshield and run away giggling? 

Do they follow everyone everywhere and surprise them with tickets for old offenses?  How can this be?  I mean I've washed my windshield at least 3 times in the past 4 days, surely I'd have seen it!

I was (this is a fun word so I'm going to use it) flummoxed. 

First thing I did was go home and pay it - online, of course.  100 shekel, not so bad.

But still I was scratching my head over this one.  And I had another mystery to solve.  I had just checked my mail and there was a bill from the City of Modiin for 100 shekel.  Come on, what is this, guys? 

So I look at the bill and cannot figure out what it is for.  I'm only kind of a sucker, I'm not going to pay this bill if I don't know what it's for.  Then I look at the address - correct!  Then I look at the name on the bill.  Incorrect!  Then I read more carefully - it is a bill for my child's after-school care.  Well, my two grown, married daughters don't actually need afternoon care anymore (although I think they might enjoy it) so I wrote something in Hebrew on the letter and put it back near the mailbox so that the mailman can ignore it and not deliver it and some poor shmo will not realize that his kid is not signed up for the program.  And as a good neighbor I did look up the person's name in the phone book but he was not listed.

Back to the traffic ticket.  Seems that the Israeli parking meter watchers and ticketers like to fold up tickets into teensy weensy sizes and stuff them into your windshield as deeply as they can go.  I don't mean to sound cynical, but I think they don't want you to find it so that they can charge you a late fee.  Other people have since told me that this has happened to them as well.

Out of this story came some good advice from friends about paying for parking in new and ingenious ways here in the Holy Land - apparently there are cards you can buy, and transponders (like EZ Pass) that you can put money on and use to pay for municipal parking. 

My luck the transponder won't work and I'll end up in prison.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Get It

Sometimes it just hits you.

Prepare yourselves, this is going to be kind of emotional.

I am not proud of this, but this past Shabbos was the first time I went to shul since we made aliyah.  For one reason or another I have not made it for an entire davening these past four months.

So this past week I went to shul.  The shul looks out onto a gorgeous view of the hills.  I was standing there, and I kept thinking of the various phrases in Chumash where we learn that Hashem has given us this land to live in.  It is ours, the land that Hashem gave to the Jews.  Very simple truth.

So if HaKadosh Baruch Hu gives you something, what do you do with it?  Well, He gave us Shabbos and Yom Tov, and we treasure them and do our best to enhance them.  He gave us 613 mitzvos and we work very hard to keep each and every one.

And He gave us this land.   To live in.  As if to say to us, "THIS is where you should live.  I am giving you this place to live in, so live in it."  Can't think of many other ways to express it.

I felt embarrased that I was just figuring this out, that I was just letting it sink in, really sink in to my soul.  I realized that until now I'd never really, truly internalized that concept.  But maybe you can't until you do live here - until you feel that incredible "rightness" of living in the land that was given to us.

To be honest, I still can't believe that I am living here, and this is my home.  I'm struck and shocked and thrilled each time I say it to myself. 

I hope that never ends.  By hearing the love and pride with which so many native Israelis speak of their country, I can imagine that it won't.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I have a suggestion for whatever misrad regulates automobiles in Israel - require that car horns play a lovely tune, like some piece of classical music, or part of Hatikva. 

Because there is so much honking here. Israelis LOVE to honk.  Here are some of the reasons they honk:

  1. They like the noise.
  2. They like to irritate other drivers.
  3. The car in front of them is not moving fast enough.
  4. The car in front of them front of them.
  5. At a red light, the light has turned to yellow-red and the first driver in line has not burst forth at 80 kph through the intersection yet.
  6. In a parking lot, someone is trying to get into a space and is not pulling fast enough into the teeny tiny space with his "I have an American car" car (ooh, I think I mixed issues there, sorry).
  7. The car in front of them is waiting waaaaaaay too long to make a left into a treacherous road, when he or she CLEARLY had at least .23 seconds to do so but didn't want to risk life and limb.
  8. They like the noise.

I am sure there are many scholarly articles written about the Israelis taking their frustrations out while in their cars, but (and you don't have to pay me for this) my professional assessment of this situation is that (ahem): THERE ARE A LOT OF VERY VERY VERY TENSE PEOPLE IN ISRAEL.

I know there are many rational explanations for this - um, being surrounded by people who want to wipe you and all of your future generations off the face of the earth might be one.

In Baltimore I lived for the past seven years on Park Heights Avenue.  It is a very noisy street - fire engines, police cars, honking, etc.  But outside my window on Rechov Sara Imeinu in little old Modiin the honking surprises me.  I mean, it's just people taking their kids to school, people driving to work, there are no red lights.  But if you are pulling out of your building and someone is 2 blocks away and they see you, I believe it is, for the Israelis anyway, an opportunity to honk.  Seriously?  I am looking at you as you are driving, I SEE YOU, and you see me looking at you - I am not going to put myself at risk by trying to pull out at 70 kph to beat you into the street.

So I guess I live now in a more competitive country.  But I will keep doing what I do - being a considerate driver, letting people pull in ahead of me, waiting patiently for someone to move at a stop sign or light.

I mean, unless they are really not going fast enough.  Then I might honk. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Head Won't Stop - HaRosh Sheli ......

Today we had a day off from Ulpan since it was Lag B'Omer and schools are closed (the Ulpan people follow the school schedule).

We had a nice day at the beach in Rishon LeZion.  We drove there with no problems, it is a beautiful place, the weather was perfect, I got to watch Tani and Amichai play and be cute, etc.  The problem was that after almost 3 months of Ulpan, my head will not stop thinking about Hebrew words.  I kept listening to people on the beach having conversations and trying to translate them.

It's kind of like when little kids start reading and you take them on a road trip and they say "What's that say, Mommy?"  "What's THAT say?"  and it drives you crazy, but you're pleased because after all it means the little kid is learning to read and is curious.

So indeed I am pleased that I am learning Hebrew but I would like to find a way for my brain to take a rest for a few hours.  Everywhere I go now I am looking at the words and trying to figure out if it is paal, hiphil, hitpael, pilpul, liplip, dipdip, hoophoop, etc. 

I am trying to figure out its shoresh (root) and then figure out what the word means from that.  I am trying to "use it in a sentence" like we do in Ulpan every day.  I am taking it from present to past to future.  Help!

I guess when you are learning a (relatively) new language for 4 hours 5 days every week it gets so deep into your head that you can't stop.  As I am falling to sleep, almost every night, I hear phrases in my head that wake me up.  "Wait, what was that?  I KNOW that word!  We learned it!"

And then sometimes a word just comes into my head and I don't know what it means.  I am usually driving at the time so I can't pull out my phone and ask Mr. Morfix.  It drives me crazy until I figure it out. 

Then there are those groups of words that kind of sound alike and you know you learned them but you don't know which one to use - like l'hophia and l'haphria - very different, but so similar sounding!

And I find that I started talking to myself.  I keep saying phrases that I've heard or trying to figure out how to express something in Hebrew. 

Granted, my mumblings have become more advanced - why just the other day I used a "hitpael" that I didn't even knew I knew.

So all in all it's good but sometimes I feel like I'm going out of my mind.  Yotzei min harosh?

Monday, May 7, 2012


There are many things one has to get used to when one moves to another country: currency, language, cutural mores, weather, bureaucracy - you get the idea. 

One also has to get used to the food of the new country. 

Now, I've been going food shopping these past three months and trying to learn what equals what - e.g., what is cream cheese? (g'vina shmena - fat cheese - I mean might as well call it what it is), "cottage" = cottage cheese, etc. etc.

There are many things that are hard to find here and one has to just realize that one is not going to have those foods and get on with it.  Hot dogs, for instance.  It is not easy to find beef hot dogs here.  They are called "Amerikayi" = "American" so that is how you identify a beef hot dog.  I know, I know, who needs beef hot dogs anyway, but we kind of like them once in a while and detest detest detest turkey or chicken dogs.

So here comes the preparation and shopping for this week's dinners.  We went to Rami Levi on Sunday afternoon to fill up the shopping cart.  We spent (I am not kidding) 15 minutes studying hot dogs.  Another American couple was doing the same thing and I almost made a funny "hey look at us and how we are trying to find beef hot dogs" comment to become buddy buddy with them, but they looked incredibly serious and I was afraid they'd be offended by my comment.

We finally found hot dogs which were called "Vieners" - ok you can stop laughing now.  But come on, they were not "of" (chicken) or "hodu" (turkey) so it was a good chance they were something else, right?  Maybe even beef!

Then we looked for hamburgers.  I found a package that looked like a package I'd picked up before and it had picutres of hamburgers on it!  They looked beefy!  So I bought them.

Then came the search for baked beans.  Well, I found a can of something called "baked beans in tomato sauce" and the picture on the front LOOKED like the right thing so in the cart it went.


The hamburgers were not beef, and I do not know from what animal they came, but they shall never enter my house again.  They were yellow/grey, greasy, and weird tasting.

The hot dogs were tasteless and had a very frightening consistency.  And then the baked beans. They were beans all right.  And they were kind of cooked.  And the sauce they were swimming in was red.  They tasted like feet.

So we continue to search for good food for dinner.  

I think we'll go out tomorow night.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nail Down Your Furniture, Close Your Windows, and Don't Go to Meron!

I don't think Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai would appreciate that these are the warnings associated with Lag B'Omer, but there it is.

Here's what happens about 2 weeks before Lag B'Omer:

1.  You notice that groups of school kids are walking around your neighborhood with shopping carts.  You see adults with them (sometimes) and figure they are on some sort of educational tiyul.  You feel good that the schools want kids to walk around the neighborhood with their teachers.

2.  Then you notice that the kids are filling the shopping carts with huge pieces of wood, many from building sites.

3.  Then you notice that the kids are filling the shopping carts with actual pieces of construction from building sites.

4. Then you hope that the workers don't fall from the scaffolding the next day.

5.  Then someone you know tells you that the kids stole the wooden support stakes from the trees in front of her house and every house on her street.

6.  Then the rabbis, on the Shabbos before Lag B'Omer, all speak about how wrong it is for kids to steal wood to make their Lag B'Omer bonfires.

7. Then you scratch your head in wonder.

8.  You also can't stop thinking about the scene in "Dr. Zhivago" when Yuri steals a plank of wood from a fence to heat his and Tonya's apartment, his brother the policeman sees him, and lets him go, and that great line, "One man desperate for a bit of fuel is pathetic; five million people desperate for fuel will destroy a city."  [No one can deliver a line like Alec Guiness].

Everywhere you go you see signs put up by the Fire Department about not playing with fire and being careful with bonfires.  Kids in school come home with fire warnings, go on visits to fire stations, etc.

Also, I have heard from perhaps five friends to KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLOSED starting today through Lag B'Omer because the entire country will smell like a bonfire.

Article after article warn people NOT to go to Meron on Thursday - the crowds will be unmanageable, the fire danger is terrible, etc. etc.

So what do we have here?  Basically a day of celebration for a great man's life has turned into a reason to steal, torch the country, and avoid crowds.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dust to Dust to Dust to Dust

I haven't written in a week because I've been lost in a dust storm and haven't been able to find my way out.

The past week in Israel has been, well, murky.  The skies are hazy and people say it is hard to breathe.  Every once in a while a huge wind comes by and scares you. 

And then there's the dirt rain.

I'm not kidding. Literally, on these dusty days it begins to rain and big globs of dirt fall out of the sky onto my mirpeset.  Just mine.  And my newly washed car.

And then there's the house dust.  You sweep the floor one day and the next day you sweep again and literally, I am not kidding, sweep up PILES of dust.  PILES, people, not just little puny lumps.  Every. Single Day.

So now I'm addicted to walking through my apartment looking at the floor, saying things like, "AHA!  I saw you, you little dust bunny, come out from under that desk!  I WILL get you, so don't think you can escape!"  And then I hear myself and get a little scared.

I also walk around daydreaming about sweeping.  Like I see the floor and think, "Oh, wow, later today I'll take my big broom and sweep and for maybe 5 minutes the house will be dust free."   I actually try to remember where I saw the last dust bunny so that when it is sweeping time I can get all of them.  I kind of chase them with a look of semi-madness on my face.

I have already tossed out or given away my carpets.  I mean the thought of how the dust would just dig its little paws into that carpet and hide there from me makes me so glad I gave away those things.

Since the dirt rain a few days ago I've been trying to figure out how to clean the mirpeset which literally went from white to brown.  I just look sadly at my chairs and the tile and wonder how I am going to clean it.  Then last night I thought, "A HOSE!"  So off we went to our favorite home "thingies" store and bought a hose.

Not as simple as it seems.  Brought the house home.  Started to unroll it from its nifty little carrying thing.  And guess what?  It is literally a hose - a piece of hosing with NOTHING on either end.  But they do give you thingies to attach to either end.  With instructions.

After about a half hour I figured I should at least try it to see if it works.  So outside the house and I went, and I managed to attach it to the faucet on the mirpeset.  Turned the water on.  POOM!  The hosing comes off the faucet and shpritzes water all over me.  Great.  Now I am dusty and dirty and muddy.

Well, after a little trial and error we got it to work and now I have a semi-cleaner, kinda better mirpeset.  The funny moment came when I thought I'd also hose off the railings until I caught myself becuase if I did that I would have shpritzed dirty water all over my daughter's clothes drying on the mirpeset below.  Oops. 

We'll talk about the clothes drying on the mirpeset in another blog.  I kind of feel like Aunt Bea hanging up Opie's laundry on the back porch, but all the Israelis do it so I do it too.