Saturday, January 31, 2009
- Moma4Faith - your profile isn't enabled, please contact me within 4 days to collect your prize
- Phyllis Sommer
Congratulations to all three of you. I'll be forwarding each of your e-mail addresses to the lovely folks over at PakNaks, who will be in touch with you directly to arrange shipping of the four PakNaks of your choice.Thanks everyone for participating, and for those that didn't win remember that all Around the Island readers are eligible for a 15% discount on PakNak orders by entering the code LUV15 at checkout.
Here's your kids' chance to express their personalities right there on the backpacks, or their lunchboxes, or their notebooks, or even their bedposts (ask mom first!).
What are Pak Naks? Easy. They're super-cute texturized rubber decorations for things like backpacks and jackets. They attach easily with heavy duty velcro and come in over 40 different designs ranging from flowers to sports to animals to science to pretty much whatever you can think of, so you know your child will find one they like. Each one is named and comes with a cute little back story too, great for firing up the imagination.
I won a set of Pak Naks in a giveaway over at Sandier Pastures a few months ago and I think my kids had almost as much fun choosing their Naks as they did getting them! Can you tell by looking at the photos of their backpacks that I have one sports-obsessed boy and a real girlie-girl? Both kids were avidly stalking the mailbox waiting for the package and when it arrived (quite promptly I might add) they couldn't put them on fast enough. I did try to suggest that they could put just one or two and then rotate them but neither child was interested. If one is good more is better. My daughter especially made sure to show them off to everyone she came in contact with the next day, including total strangers in the elevator!
They've been on for a few months now and still look brand new. No fading or wear and tear and the velcro that holds them on is still going strong. Best of all Pak Naks is a mom-run business, so you know they stand behind their product.
My kids and I loved them so much that I actually wrote to Anne from PakNaks to see if she'd be interested having me host my own PakNaks giveaway here on my blog for the latest Bloggy Giveaways carnival. As you can see she thought it was a great idea and I'm delighted to be able to offer each of THREE WINNERS a chance to win FOUR PAKNAKS OF THEIR OWN CHOOSING.
They're adorable, fun to wear and fun to share, and sure to put a smile on your child's face. They'd make great party favors, too.
For your chance to win, just leave a comment here on this post.
For an extra entry, visit the PakNaks website and tell me which is your favorite Nak. For a third entry, subscribe to my blog and leave me an extra comment telling me you've done so. Easy peasy.
Winners will be selected by random drawing on Friday, January 30th. Be sure to leave a blog address or a valid e-mail so I can reach you if you win.
This giveaway is international and open to everyone.
And, for those who don't win, PakNaks is offering Around the Island readers a 15% discount - just enter the code LUV15 at checkout.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I pulled one out of the archives for this week's Sepia Scenes, since what could be more appropriate for sepia than an old-time kitchen. This one is a model from a musuem about 40 minutes out of Victoria, BC in Canada. During a family trip to the Pacific Northwest (one of my favorite parts of the world) about two years ago Jay and I were lucky to be able to sneak off for a weekend in Victoria while my parents watched the kids. While we were there, we spent an afternoon hiking near the town of Sooke, and then stopped by this really great little museum, the Sooke Region Museum, which was full of models and diaramas and full-scale mockups which really made the history of the area come alive.
I love the way they've left a load of unfolded laundry in a basket on the counter - a timeless touch if ever there was one.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Since it's Chinese New Year, here's a splash of red lacquer for this week's Ruby Tuesday. I don't remember where these chopsticks came from, I've had them for years. I like their elegant look, but the truth is they're round and so slick that they're actually a bit more challenging to use than the plain wooden ones. They do look great on the table though.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
In the Turkish culture, mirrors were traditionally turned towards the wall when not in use. I've heard several reasons for this custom - I was told by friends during my time in Turkey that this was to avoid even the appearance of praying to graven images, though the Turkish culture website I just googled says the custom arose to discourage vanity. Since the mirrors were back to the wall over time they began to decorate the reverse side, and then that developed into a tradition all its own, with many families displaying collections of three, four, even five different mirrors in a grouping on the wall. Once the storeowner reassured me that they were shellaqued and would never need polishing, I even bought the one you see above as this week's Monochrome Monday offering to display in my own home.
And nope, even eight years later it's still never needed a polishing.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Over the years I've shared some of our journey, the low points as well as the bright ones, and the deliberations along the way, so it seems only fair not to leave you hanging now.
Okay, I'm just going to come right out and say it.
*checks around for stray lightning bolts*
Maya is doing incredibly well.
There. I said it.
*looks around, ducks again*
It's true. Maya is doing so well I feel like my heart is going to burst with joy just from looking at her. She's made so many leaps forward these past few months that I don't even know where to begin. She's seeking out other children to play with, she's telling us about her day - actual stories of actual events, not just the scripted "How was your day? Fun. What did you do? Played. What did you play with? Toys." that we always saw in the past. Heck, she's even tattling on other children! (Not that we're encouraging that particular behavior, but it's so age and developmentally appropriate that we can't help but smile.) She's drawing families and flower gardens and jellyfish - the girl who refused to do more than scribble as recently as August. She's writing - in both Hebrew and English. Not just her name or the names of her family, but entire birthday cards ("Happy birthday Gali, Best Wishes, Maya" - I help her spell but the writing is all hers). She dances along (with moves that would put Britney Spears to shame, god help us when she becomes a teenager) to the soundtrack of this year's children's extravaganza (Festigal), announcing the names of each of the pop stars as they begin to sing, and naming her favorites. She has fairy parties with her friends, where they dress up in costumes and pretend to do their hair and makeup, and she makes up fairy stories which she pretends to "read" from a pretend book (this from the child they were worried might never achieve symbolic play). She reacts to a younger child scribbling on her drawing by coming to the other room to tell me, in a reasonably calm voice, what happened and asking me to make him stop, instead of screaming and flipping over furniture. Someone asked me recently if her tantrums had gotten any better (what does that mean, anyway, that she's better at throwing them?) and you know, I couldn't remember the last real tantrum she'd thrown. (That last one is going to bring down the wrath of the gods for sure, hubris thy name is Robin. Well, if it does, remind me that it will pass, eventually, and that it was all in the name of truth and honest disclosure. And then make me a really strong drink. With an umbrella in it.)
On that note, I'd better quit while I'm still (hopefully) ahead of the game and go off to bed, but before I go I'll leave you with this, and I dare you not to smile back.
Friday, January 23, 2009
First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to Sara Bonds from Subjective Beauty for doing such a fantastic job on the redesign! Sara was a pleasure to work with - she's got a great eye, terrific ideas, she's prompt and very responsive, and has the patience
Next order of business - blogrolls. I've finally moved over to one of those funky (no longer so) new smart blogrolls that display not only your link but also your most recent post. Since that extra line makes the blogroll a lot longer I've done a bit of pruning - you don't need me to tell you how to find Dooce. I had to import all the links from the old blogroll manually, so if I've missed yours out please let me know so that I can add it back in. Also, the new list only shows the 25 most recent posts, so if you're someone *cough* Mel *cough* who hasn't been posting lately you'll have to click on "see all" to find your link - or better yet, post more often!
Anything else I've missed? No? Then welcome to the new and improved Around the Island. Kick off your shoes, grab a chair, and make yourself at home.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
With a little bit of imagination this looks almost like a scene from my childhood. The pale branches remind me of the white birch trees which filled my front yard as a child, and the white background of snow.
In reality, the branches are those of my small and somewhat hard-done-by fig tree (we accidentally turned the water off for a week during one of the hottest week's of the summer and nearly sent it to its doom), the pointy tips of the branches the green of new growth, and the white in the background is simply the white stucco wall of my rooftop patio. Disappointing for a moment perhaps, until I look up at the clear blue sky and remember that I'm actually standing outside on January 18th in nothing more than jeans and a long-sleeved shirt and suddenly it all feels right again.
Visit Monochrome Monday for more of this week's visions in black and white.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I'm going to pass this one on to Dawn from Weldable Cookies for being so incredibly cool and for never being afraid to tell it like it is. Dawn describes herself as a cranky, middle-aged lesbian building contractor, though she doesn't strike me as all that cranky ;-), but I definitely dispute the middle aged bit - she's only a few years older than me! (Warning, some of her content is not family-friendly. Choose your moment wisely).
and to our own Ima on the Bima, Phyllis, for being such a force for good in blogosphere.
And then before I could turn around both Jjientje and Libby, two of our little corner of the blogosphere's loveliest and most generous of spirit bloggers, were sending the Honest Scrap award my way. This one comes with a catch though, you have to list ten honest facts about yourself. (Thankfully Dawn skipped me for this one, I don't think I could manage to keep up with her level of honesty LOL.)
Ten things? I'm pretty open here so you guys already know an awful lot about me. Let's see...
1. My number one escapist fantasy destination is Tahiti. When life gets rough I always fantasize about running away to Tahiti. Someday I may even get there.
2. I learned to ski when I was five.
3. I haven't skied in about ten years, but in all honesty I don't miss it that much. I've gotten too used to being warm!
4. I'm a dyed in the wool folkie, i.e. I love love love (English language) folk music. No, not just the Sixties Revival stuff, the really old stuff too - like ballads that have been handed down orally for five hundred years.
5. Neither of my children have middle names. They aren't common here in Israel and my own tends to really confuse things, so we didn't bother giving them one.
6. I used to speak fluent French, even writing college papers (in French of course) on medieval French literature, but when I moved to Israel and learned Hebrew it drove my French straight out of my head. Now it's all I can do to order dinner.
7. I've never been to South America.
8. My utter lack of willpower in the face of a good cream sauce is legendary, and apparently also not my fault - it's those Hungarian genes!
9. My dining rooms chairs are getting a bit worn and I keep getting poked in the butt by upholstery nails - and those suckers are sharp!
10. I'm finally seeing an allergist tomorrow to hopefully figure out why every mild cold that comes through lands in my lungs and leaves me with a miserable asthmatic upper respiratory infection.
There, that's ten. Now to pick my
I'm going to go with:
Susan (or perhaps Trevor) - the coolest rocker/writer chick around
Lea - an amazing beautiful soul, and an artist and labyrinth designer too!
Janet - a fantastic photographer and blog-turned-in real life friend
Nancy over at Marie Millard - for always putting a smile on my face
Thank you all - for the awards, for reading this blog, for commenting, and for making this little corner of cyberspace the warm wonderful place that it is.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The theme for this week's Thematic Photographic is aged. I like this one. My eye has always been drawn to the old and decrepit, I love the character of these old and half-forgotten objects.
I took this one last month at a nearby moshav. It's a closeup of an old rusted out piece of farming equipment (don't ask me which one, I'm a city kid). I assume it had a long and productive life in some field somewhere before it landed in a rock garden as part of the landscaping, or at least I hope it did.
(Anyone out there get the music reference? Shelly? Sunshine?)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Update: I'm back home. It was a beautiful, quiet afternoon in Ashdod, and indeed my friend received great comfort from the large numbers of people who turned out to bid her husband farewell.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The day the war started was the final day of my parents' visit. We'd taken them down south to visit the Joe Alon Center, a living history museum celebrating the culture of the region's Bedouin tribes. On the way there we noticed quite a few planes flying in formation overhead. That's odd for a Saturday, I thought to myself. I wonder what's going on.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
How quickly things can change. While I was writing this post they announced that Israel has finally begun the long-awaited and equally dreaded ground invasion of Gaza. Israel held off as long as it possibly could, and tried every other method possible, but the moment has come. There is no alternative. All my thoughts and whatever prayers I know how to offer are with our soldiers and those in the South as we begin this new and infinitely more difficult phase.
Send whatever good thoughts you've got our way. We're going to need them in the days to come.