Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 31

Thursday, July 31st:Group 8 spent the day with Danny Siegel doing "Tzedakah Day!" Some of the USYers went to visit a facility where elderly people make toys for children. The USYers sat with them, sang with them, and made some toys too! Other USYers bought school supplies to donate to the Rabbanit Kapach, who they then met. She is a very special woman who has spent her life helping others, and even won the Israel Prize for her work. This afternoon the group learned about some other Mitzvah Heroes who have spent their lives doing for others. This evening they played fun drama games together!
News from the front: Ashleigh had an awesome day..."Cause I spent it with the little old people". The girls are getting ready for their last Shabbat in Israel and they are not so ready to come we talked to Ashleigh as they were starting their Friday it will be spent at the beach and then about 4 groups will be together at base for shabbat. And on Tuesday night they will be home!!!! I don't think they are as excited about that as we are. So you will have to remember to check back next week to see the pictures they brought home.

We are off tothe River EN15

9:00 am we are off to the river ... who is we you ask? well the total we is Barry's Rotary Club but the car we is Barry, the club president Andy and me. I am sitting in the back seat Ashleigh style (across the whole back set just blogging away).

So where are we going? we are off to the South Fork of the American River to go river rafting. Yes Barry and I are going river rafting. Some of the pictures will be slightly delayed since the only waterproof cameras I could find are old fashion disposable film cameras....

We will be going with a company called River Runners and the good thing is they do most of the work for us... who ever though we will be sleeping in a tent (yes the Bear will be sleeping in a tent) they will set it up. and our meals will be cooked over a camp fire... but it will be cooked by them... and they will do the clean up too.... so we have our sleeping bags (yes that is green and pink) and we have an air mattress (we are not that crazy) and we are on the road..

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yellow and Blue Bruins make a GREEN Cheetah EN14

We were thinking about a the Toyota Highlander Hybrid or maybe the Ford Escape Hybrid... but they really didn't do what we needed... I know we will need one more type of transportationn as soon as Ash gets her licenses... but let's face it our needs are changing any major travel is really done together so another petroleum burning vehicle is not what we need or want.

I was at the market last week just to get a few things and I realized that if I weren't rushing I could have walked over yes I know that would have been good for both me and the environment, but there was not enough time. So I gave some thought to a place that Barry had told me about after a Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce event called The Green Bike so that night we checked out the website and found all kinds of things like the Green Bike and the Puma and all kinds of environmentally friendly forms of transportation. But the one that really caught my eye was the Cheetah, see the first picture, a cute little two seater, it looks kind of like a life size tonka truck.
We have not tested it out yet so stay tuned for another green entry.

On tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 30

Wednesday, July 30th:Today, Group 8 spent the day experiencing the theme "From Holocaust to Uplifting." They began at Yad Vashem, Israel's National Holocaust Museum. They had a tour of the newly rebuilt museum, and then walked through the very moving Children's' Memorial. From there they went to Neot Kedumim, a biblical archaeological reserve, where the group learned about many plants that grow in Israel, made their own zatar spice, and planted trees in a greenhouse because it is the shmittah year and the land must lie fallow. This evening they heard a story and had a discussion with Jules Gutin, Director of USY, and played a Jerusalem Municipality game.

And Morgan has another hat!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 29

Tuesday, July 29th:Group 8 woke up before the sun this morning, and drove to the bottom of Masada. They began climbing the Snake path and made it to the top with plenty of time to see the beautiful sunrise over the Jerusalem Hills. Although tired when they reached the top, the group davened a beautiful Shacharit after sunrise, and then had a tour of the ruins at the top. After hiking down the mountain, they ate breakfast, and then drove to Ein Gedi, where they had a nice walk to a waterfall, and then swam in the Dead Sea. This afternoon they returned to Jerusalem and had some hours to sleep, before gathering for dinner. Tonight they had the chance to buy custom silver jewelry from a well known artist called Hadaya.

News from the front: Morgan claims the the Dead Sea stings..... but her skin is as smooth as a baby's bottom. Ashleigh claims that she didn't think that such torture could end in something so beautiful. The girls have a week to go which is way soon and still not soon enough.

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 28

Monday, July 28th:Group 8 spent the day learning about the Second Temple period in Jerusalem. They began at the Israel Museum where they saw a large and intricate model of Jerusalem from the period before 70 C.E. They also saw the Dead Sea Scrolls. From there they drove to the Old City, went to the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter and then toured a Herodian Mansion that has been dug up and made into a sort of museum. After lunch they went to the walls surrounding the Temple Mount itself, starting at Robinson's Arch, named for the person who discovered it. It was beneath this arch that the marketplace next to the Temple stood where people would be able to buy food and animals during their stay on Pilgrimage Festivals. From there they walked across to the Davidson Center and the Southern Wall excavations. It is at the Southern Wall that you can see the gates to the inner part of the Temple. From there they went to the Kotel, the Western Wall, for mincha, concluding their day of touring. This evening they took their group photo and learned a bit of Talmud with Rabbi Paul Freedman, former director of USY.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 27

Sunday, July 27th:After a fun and relaxing free weekend, Group 8 reunited in Jerusalem. They drove to the Latrun tank museum where they learned about the tanks used by the Israeli army. They then drove to the Harel mall where they ate Kosher McDonalds and had a chance to see some Israeli stores. Tonight they did a program on the Israeli army.

Notes from the front: Morgan called to say that during her Israeli army program her eye made contact with someones head. She warned that we should not be surprised if we see some pictures with a little black and blue around her eye, but other than that she is having a great time.

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 25

Friday, July 25th:Group 8 said their temporary good-byes this morning and departed for Free Weekend. Some USYers stayed at Agron and were excited to have time to relax and hang out with friends. Others were picked up by relatives and friends in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, in the north, and in the south. Everyone is excited to have some time to rest and rejuvenate for the coming week. Shabbat Shalom!

Notes from the front; Ashleigh went with Rebecca to a kibbutz and Morgan stayed on base. Pictures will be posted as soon as there are some

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 24

Thursday, July 24th:Group 8 spent their morning volunteering and enjoyed the opportunity to help others while in Israel for the summer. After lunch they drove to Yaar Ben Shemen for the mega USY Event. Dressed in blue and covered in face paint they participated in group bonding and ropes course activities. Competing against the other 9 USY groups with cheers and ruach, they danced and sang and had a great time. After a BBQ dinner, the group returned to Jerusalem for the Jewish Agency Event and concert tonight!

We are going for a walk EN13

The boys are all fresh and ready to go

We started up the path actually we went down the path...
Maeva and I were on snake patrol (and picture patrol)

They got to the Half Way point (only 20 minuets)

and then we turned around and went back

20 minuets later we were back at the start...
they had made it
now we just need to see if they will come back

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Tour with Ashleigh and Morgan July 23

Wednesday, July 23rd:Group 8 davened Shacharit and ate breakfast on kibbutz and then hiked the Jilabun. From there they went to Kibbutz El Rom where the visited the Oz 77 monument on the very battlefield where the tanks clashed in 1973. There they also viewed a short film about the heroic Oz 77 Tank Brigade which fought against overwhelming odds to successfully defend the Golan during the Yom Kippur War. This afternoon they went to an overlook from Har Bental where they learned about the importance of the Golan Heights for Israel and viewed the area from the Gadot overlook. This evening they ate dinner and had free time in Tiberias before returning to Hanaton to prepare for the mega USY Event tomorrow afternoon!

My Little Terrace Garden EN12

but then what?

The first issue was that there was not any irrigation system in place but that could be fixed with the old standby manual system of a hose....

except you with a hose you get Shomer as a helper

but hey how can you say no to that face

So irrigation is out of the way next what do put in the bins....

I know plants but what do you put the plants in basically there is nothing but rocks and cement (a base for the wall) so first I need to condition the rock and clay dirt into soil the stuff is called Soil amender... it should come equipt with a gas smelt pretty bad but with 400 pounds of amender in all 4 bins I was ready for the next step.

600 pounds of planting soil also known as manure... and if you thought 400 pounds of amender smelt bad.... try 600 pounds of manure.
o.k. so you would think 600 pound of smelly stuff would be just bin worth.... so we will be going back for stuff...but I have my first bin filled.
which is a good thing since my little pumpkin plants were starting to sprout
So today I put my little plants in the ground.