Time for a quick family update

It’s been rather quiet on this blog this past week (besides the Mitt Romney thread which has garnered unexpected attention) for which my apologies.  It’s not that peace has suddenly broken out in the Middle East, but I’m just too distracted to care right now.

The assorted branches of my family had a few minor adventures this week, all quite amusing in hindsight, but rather frustrating and distracting, not to mention time-consuming at the time.

An ex-TV

An ex-TV

We start on Sunday, which was Tisha Be’Av, when my parents’ TV burst into (almost) flames. OK, let’s backtrack just a bit. First they suffered a power cut, right in the middle of a fast day and one of the hottest days of the year. When the power came back on, they found that the TV didn’t work. (They only wanted to catch up on the news).

“Don’t worry Mum” I said. “Our TV isn’t working either. The cables are down, they’ve probably got a power cut too”.

“No, it’s not the cable company. It’s just that there’s a bright white light shining across the TV screen”.  Various bright sparks in the family suggested it was a sign that the Mashiach was coming, but my brother had a more practical solution. “The tube’s gone”.

“But try unplugging and re-plugging the TV in, just to see”. Well, that’s what Mum did, and the next thing that happened was a sizzle and then clouds of smoke pouring out of the TV.

Kappara* on the TV.

(*Kappara meaning “atonement” – i.e. let the material value be an atonement, a punishment, instead of something more serious).

We move to Monday, when hubby called me from a friend’s house nearby to say his car wouldn’t start. When I offered to come and jump start his car with the jump leads he said, “It’s not the battery. It’s my starter motor”.  Half an hour and 150 shekels later, with the car towed to the garage, he discovered that indeed it was a flat battery…  😉

Kappara on the 150 shekels.

On to Tuesday, my sister and brother-in-law were getting a new (second-hand car), and trading in their old one. But first they were off to the brit of their niece’s new baby. And the car wouldn’t start. There was no time to try jump leads or calling a mechanic. It was a matter of “Get me to the shul on time” :-).  So they got a ride to the brit with a relative.

When they got home, my dad got out his faithful jump leads and helped to start their car. They took themselves straight to a car battery garage and asked for “the cheapest used battery you have – enough to get us from here to Tel Aviv to trade in the car”. 100 shekels later – mission accomplished. One new car. One old traded-in car.  🙂

car for sale, gently used

Car for sale, one careful family owner, gently used

And Kappara on the 100 shekels.

Meanwhile, still on Tuesday, while my son, his wife and 3 tiny girls arrived to visit, my neighbour comes knocking on my door. “Your solar water heater is leaking all over the roof”. I thought our hot water wasn’t working properly for a while now.  I called the plumbers, they climbed up on the roof and diagnosed “Your solar water heater has burst”. Duh. I could have told them that. They closed off the tap to stop any more water loss, but that meant we had no hot water at home. This is not as bad as you might think, since our “cold” water is not exactly cold at this time of year. Pleasantly luke-warm is a more accurate description.

Kappara on the solar heater.

Not my solar panels

Not my solar panels

And so to Wednesday.  The plumbers were supposed to come with the new heater “some time during the day”. As long as the roof is accessible I didn’t even need to be at home. So I went to work (more of which to follow). By 5 p.m. the plumbers still hadn’t arrived so I called them.

“Your heater stands on a platform on the roof and the easiest access is through the top floor apartment. But your neighbour has guests and he told me to come after 6 pm.”. At 6 on the dot the plumbers turned up – and the neighbour wouldn’t allow them “to take that dirty water heater through our apartment”. So I had to pay an extra 300 shekels for the plumbers to climb up and down ladders on the roof. But we’ve now got a brand new solar heater and unlimited hot water thanks to the sun.

My free solar heater

My free solar heater

So Kappara on the 300 shekels.

Meanwhile I had been at work on Wednesday.  Let me clarify – I was AT work but didn’t actually DO any work. This minor mishap didn’t involve any money (kappara) this time, but it did involve nerves. My nerves to be precise.

At my place of work we just had a new server installed, and in the process of transferring our data to it, the last 18 months of my work disappeared.  That was when my nerves finally ran out and I actually burst into tears from frustration and panic. I’ve been told there’s a backup but until it’s all installed I’m stalled.

Well, Kappara on the work.

Hm. I forgot to mention my freezer. My almost ex-freezer. It’s in its dying days and keeps icing up. I can’t really complain since it’s 29½ years old. We bought it on the day our first son (2nd child) was born which was the last day of our 3 years of olim (new immigrant) rights. Any immigrants among you will remember those days I’m sure.  On hubby’s urging I actually tried calling in a fridge technician. The conversation went something like this:

“I have a 29 year old freezer and it’s icing up”.

Tech: “tikni chadash” (“buy a new one”).

“Perhaps it just needs some gas?”

Tech: “tikni chadash”

“Does a permanent puddle on the top of the freezer have any significance?”

Tech: “Giveret, the insulation has gone. Tikni chadash”.

Kappara on my poor old freezer.


A serious side note: My constant “kapparot” here are fuelled partly by the worrying news from Aussie Dave at Israellycool.  Please keep Erika bat Chava Eta in your prayers.


So back to wedding plans.  Today hubby and I and the happy young couple headed off to the Wild and Woolly West Bank to look at small flats for renting. It’s making this whole wedding thing suddenly a lot more real. Gulp…

The band has been booked. Next stop (next week) – wedding dresses! We’re getting there… Until then, the Middle East can take an occasional back seat.

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14 Responses to Time for a quick family update

  1. Earl says:

    It’s like Corrie- no end of continuing urban stresses and tiresome family dynamics, in PT, eh, annie? I should send my producer mate over to IL and film your travails…


    • anneinpt says:

      My life as a soap opera… LOL! I could provide your producer mate with enough material to keep him occupied for a lifetime. 😀

      Any one of those “adventures” happens to people all the time. It just struck me this week that it all happened in the space of a few days, and since we’re a very close family and always on the phone to each other (if not in each other’s houses) we could hardy keep up with the next mishap. It certainly kept us amused during the week, that’s for sure!

  2. Paddy O'P says:

    And you think you were busy ? My word, think how busy Mahmoud Abbas was, what with
    Ramadan, Iftea, bashing Israel, stealing Euro money, etc. Or think of the Police chief in
    Jerusalem having it off with lady cops – that’s what I call stress and busy !!

    • anneinpt says:

      Very true. But did any of their cars break down or freezers defrost? Or TVs explode? If they didn’t then it doesn’t classify as a nerve-wracking week. 🙂

  3. rrw says:

    and I have had an interesting week too. Dog came into heat last shabbat – so we have constantly cleaning behind her (more of that later). Got a stomach bug whilst going on Holiday in Tverya. During trip, fell on the water slide and bruised my ribs – that in addition to my cracked feet from the heat, an infected wart on my finger, and also a root canal in process. To top it off, I fell in a hole in the pavement in Tverya (it was dark) and jabbed my ribs again – my youngest son was bitten by a monkey yesterday ( I hope without Ebola) , and the dog may now be pregnant since it was jumped on by another dog whilst my oldest son was taking her out for a walk this morning…. – I am emmigrating to fiji – c u all ….

    • anneinpt says:

      Dog came into heat last shabbat – so we have constantly cleaning behind her (more of that later).

      Don’t say we didn’t warn you about taking on a dog…

      Got a stomach bug whilst going on Holiday in Tverya.

      You probably got it from the dog…

      During trip, fell on the water slide and bruised my ribs

      Well, if you will act like a kid, that’s what happens. (Listen to big sister)

      an infected wart on my finger, and also a root canal in process.

      Oy. Sounds ‘orrible. I wish you refuah shlema.

      To top it off, I fell in a hole in the pavement in Tverya (it was dark) and jabbed my ribs again

      Perhaps you should avoid Tverya for a decade or two?

      my youngest son was bitten by a monkey yesterday

      I thought HE was the monkey in the family. 😉

      and the dog may now be pregnant since it was jumped on by another dog whilst my oldest son was taking her out for a walk this morning…

      Go back to my first comment and start all over again. Rinse and repeat…

      I am emmigrating to fiji – c u all ….

      Not without your dog you’re not!

  4. Andrea says:

    Too many troubles everywhere I see. I have to pay strong taxes this year in spite of fact income has not changed ( a good link for EU crisis ) and then I have decided to come back home for one week holiday. Cheap solution you can afford if you live in a mediterranean town.
    PS Your entry on Romney was a great success ( more than 50 comments ) – did you expect this ?

    • anneinpt says:

      Andrea, as I was writing this post my main thought was “may all our troubles never be worse”. They really were only minor problems, and all were solvable – well, besides rrw’s dog possibly being pregnant :-). I’m sorry your tax bill has not eased. It’s going to get worse in Israel too. The government has just announced tax increases for everyone.

      Regarding my Romney post, I had absolutely no idea it would generate so much interest. I wrote it as a sort of “filler” because I didn’t want to leave the blog “untended” for too long. And then this avalanche of comments. Quite fascinating! I was writing as an Anglo-Israeli and didn’t really consider the reactions of Americans – which turned out to be as passionate as Israelis.

      • Andrea says:

        Americans US are really a consistent part of “audience” for each blog focused on Israel and for sure the most passionate. In respect of non – english speakers they take the good advantage of full ownership of language and their opinions are supported by proper rhetoric and emphasis . Not all expression used by Americans are familiar to me and this is the main reason I found difficult to exchange views in a direct dialogue ( i.e. Mitt Romney comments ).A quite good training for American language !

        Incidentally it would be interesting ( at least for me ) to know which country entries in Israeli blogs come from ( in your rather easy since flags of people are shown on your front page ).
        Reason of my interest is the fact that Elder of Ziyon once asked by me on the same gave a quite surprisingly information. Would you ever imagine a strong contribution from Latin America and many entries from Arab countries ?
        In a general view this could be helpful to understand where attention for Israel comes from and the proper way to meet their interest.

        • anneinpt says:

          You guess correctly that Americans are the majority of my readers. I have less Israeli readers because I’m writing in English, so the Israeli segment are immigrants like myself, but they still form the second biggest contingent of my readers. A lot of readers also come from the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy (that would be you 🙂 ).

          At this moment as I’m typing, besides a fair number from the US, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the UK, Israel and Italy, I have 2 each from India, Bangladesh and Colombia, and 1 each from South Africa and the Philippines (there are a few regulars from the Philippines too).

          I find it fascinating to see where my readers come from. I have some some regular readers from Egypt and Lebanon, and occasionally from other Arab states too, e.g. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, even Syria and Iraq! I’m sure they land on my page because they googled something, and my blog appeared. They don’t normally stay for more than a few seconds. I have regular readers from Australia and New Zealand, and also from Brazil. I think they are from the local Jewish communities though I could be mistaken.

          I have had the occasional reader from Mongolia (! – I didn’t know they even had internet there!), Yemen and some other strange places. I always wonder how on earth they got to me!

  5. reality says:

    you forgot to mention that on Tisha b’av 2 of my 4 baby birds were thrown out of the nest & we spent the nite feeding them milk through an old acamol syringe! & then spent 1 1/2 hours during the heat of the day in the middle of the fast looking for a pet shop who wouldn’t “trow them to the snakes”to eat( eeuuww! But 2 of them so far have survived! But the car tfoo tfoo runs nicely! Oh by the way my airconditioning is playing up & couldn’t find a technician to come before shabbat so will try again tommorrow! I may turn up at you to cool off (fiji sounds good though!)

  6. reality says:

    I think hubby may have a new job as an airconditioning fixit! We may have discovered the problem! Meanwhile my tooth hurts!!!

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