Friday, June 29, 2007

Newest member to the blog universe

He didn't want to do it, but he done it! My son, wise beyond his years and sometimes way too intense for his simple farmgirl Imma has joined the big, wide, world of bloggers. Go check him out and see if he doesn't get the wheels of your mind spinning.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Day in the Life of the VWWIT (Village Wise Woman in Training)

Knock, Knock, Knock

Philly: "Someone grab the dog, it's the neighbor!"

Neighbor holding what appears to be herbs: "Can you tell me what this is?"

Philly looks at first bunch then sniffs it. "This is sage."

"I can cook with this?"

"Yes. You have quite a bit there. I would take some and dry it also."

Neighbor hands her the next bunch.

"This is rosemary. These are very nice herbs, where did you get them?" Philly asks, wondering if her neighor has a secret garden somewhere.

"My husband brought them to me."


The neighbor thanks Philly and runs off to try out her new prize.

Philly closes the doors and smiles.

She loves her job!

Adventures in Weaving Part 2 : Houston, we have lift off!

Oh, rejoice with me, all ye peoples! Sing with me oh, weavers of old, for Philly Farmgirl, in true farmgirl fashion has set her hand to the plow, or this case the heddle, and is off and weaving!!!

Ok, 'nuf of that! °Ü°

In case you are wondering, yes, I have woven before. As a matter of fact, on several types of looms. But this time it was different. I always sat at a loom that was already set up for me, or that had a simple wrap around type warp, like a tapestry loom. I also had access to other weavers, in real life. This time I only had a couple of forums and websites to glean from. I set the warp, figured out the problems and I must say, I am quite satsified right now.

Alright, time to get back to weaving!

PS. My youngest daughter said to me, " I wonder how many sixteen year old girls can say they helped thier mother set up a loom. "

Kewl, huh?!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Adventures in weaving

After about a week of trying to figure it out, reading and rereading the instructions, watching the video, agonizing over warp boards and such, I thought I had it...and I almost did.

I finally figured out how to warp my rigid heddle loom and I was so pleased. My youngest and I rolled the last bit of warp up and I tied the ends, rechecked the tension and I thought I was off and weaving.

But alas, after only a few rows I have yet met another obstacle. One of my warp threads have broken. I am so bummed. I have no idea why I have not thrown in the towel by now.

It has been an arduous week. But true to my stubborn nature (my name means mountain goat after all) I cannot, will not, give up.

And so I plod along...

I will weave, darn it! And I am going to be very good at it too.

So there!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I stumbled across this...hmmm.....

I was searching for a website and I stumbled somewhere completely different. As I was about to click out my eyes caught this paragraph. These words spoke to me in many ways, not only financially. Nothing is a coincidence, right?

"Debt can drive you to suicide. Get out of debt before you lose your house, your car, and even your family. In our society being in debt is equivalent to being in a psychological jail, you will spend your entire life trying to get out while your debt grows. You will never completely happy and never completely satisfied, there will always be the burden of debt and owing inside your heart."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Development of a Halacha

Reprinted with permission from Yosid For the Chosid

Many years ago, in a far away country, there was a well known rabbi who was consulted on all sorts of matters relating to the Jewish people. His wise counsel was sought from people of all walks of life, and his decisions were accepted by the community at large, as they understood that his rulings and pronouncements were divinely inspired.

So when one time he met with some parents of his students, and a few mothers complained that their children were not making their beds, he assured them that he would deal with the matter. That week, in his public address to his students, he mentioned that the students should always make sure to make their beds in the morning. When the person transcribing the speech wrote up his review of the talk, he made sure to emphasize the rabbi's intention. He wrote, "The Rosh Yeshiva today ruled that one is m'chuyav to make his bed in the morning." Word spread fast. The halacha had been established: One was obligated to make their bed.

Later that day, someone came to the Rosh Yeshiva and asked, "I don't have time to make my bed before I go to davening. By the time I get back my mother is gone for the day so she doesn't think I make my bed, and isn't pleased. What should I do?"

After hearing the answer that was given, the halacha was suitably amended to say that the bed should be made as soon as one gets up. "One is m'chuyav to make his bed in the morning, as soon as he gets up."

The next day, he was approached by a bochur that wanted to know, "When you said 'as soon as he gets up', do you mean immediately - right when one steps out of the bed - or is one allowed some time first?

So they added to the text: "One is m'chuyav to make his bed in the morning, soon after he gets up."

"How long soon after?" he was immediately asked. "How much time exactly?" 10-15 minutes, he replied, figuring that's a reasonable amount of time. And so it was added: "One is m'chuyav to make his bed in the morning, within 10-15 minutes from when he gets up." The bochurim found this to be a satisfactory resolution, but unsurprisingly, it resulted in some bochurim insisting that it should be made by 10 minutes, and others saying it was fine to wait even 15 minutes. After some time, they settled on an unofficial resolution by considering 10 minutes to be the first zman, and 15 minutes the second zman. Things went along smoothly until one day a bochur came over and explained to him a problem he had run into. "My roommate doesn't like the way I make my bed! He claims it's not really made!" "What do you mean?", asked the Rosh Yeshiva. "Well, he claims that for a bed to be considered 'made' the pillow needs to be on top and the sides need to be even or tucked in, and I just lay out the cover on top, covering everything, however it comes out. What should I do?"

The Rosh Yeshiva mulled this over for a while, and replied: You're allowed to make it however your family does it. What's acceptable to your mother (or father) is acceptable here. Hakol k'minhago.

An addition was added to the halacha: "One is m'chuyav to make his bed in the morning, within 10-15 minutes from when he gets up. The manner of making the bed should be done according to one's established minhag."

(Later that week when the bochurim went home for the weekend, many parents were somewhat confused when they were asked by their sons, "What is the minhag of our family of how to make our beds?", but they figured it was all part of the tremendous spiritual growth they could see in their young bnei torah.)

One morning a few weeks later, as shacharis was beginning, the Rosh Yeshiva was notified about an argument that had broken out between 2 bochurim. Approaching their room, he heard loud shouting through the closed door. As he entered, he found one of the bochurim vehemently yelling at the other. Seeing him come in, the young man turned to him and exclaimed loudly, "Rebbe! I'm so glad you're here! I tried to get him to make his bed but he wouldn't listen! He just ignored me, and now it's 5 minutes after the zman, and look - his bed is still not made!"

Before the Rosh Yeshiva had a chance to respond, the other bochur quickly spoke up in his defense, "That's not true. I only got out of bed 2 minutes ago! I still have 8 minutes until the zman!"

"Yes, he only got out of bed 2 minutes ago. But he woke up 20 minutes ago! That means he should have made his bed 10 minutes ago!"

It was clear that there needed to be some clarification: When the psak was issued that a bed must be made 10-15 minutes after getting up, did 'after getting up' mean after waking up ('m'sha'as kumuso') or did it mean after getting out of bed ('m'sha'as yitziaso')? At this point a small crowd had gathered around the room and a vociferous discussion had broken out. Everyone started buzzing, talking, sharing their thoughts of why it meant this interpretation and not the other one. Realizing what was happening, the Rosh Yeshiva put an abrupt stop to it all by loudly demanding that everyone should immediately go to davening and they would deal with it later on.

By lunchtime that day the Rosh Yeshiva had still not addressed the burning issue and a fierce debate had already broken out in the halls of the yeshiva. Even the rabbeim had gotten involved. Some felt that the halacha had to mean from when a person got out of bed, because as they explained, "if it meant 'from when he woke up' then the first thing he would have to do upon awaking would be to look at his clock and remember the time. But this can't be, because we all know that the first thing a person must do when he wakes up is say 'modeh ani'.

Therefore it must mean 'from when he gets out of bed'." In spite of this convincing logic others still held it was better to be machmir and go by from when a person wakes up and not to wait until he gets outof bed. They pointed out that all that was needed to avoid the above-mentioned conflict was to first say modeh ani and then subtract 15 seconds from whenever he first looks at the clock. "But not all clocks have second hands on them," countered the first opinion, "and besides, it is too easy to forget the exact time including the seconds." The machmirim had a ready response: "Firstly, someone who cares about the halacha properly can make sure to have a clock with seconds on it, and secondly, he should also have a paper and pen next to his clock so he can mark down the proper time, in order to avoid the chance of forgetting it."

Seeing that positions had already been staked out in this dispute, the Rosh Yeshiva decided not to voice his own opinion and instead told everyone to go by whatever their rebbe held.

Unfortunately, this had the effect of causing a lot of machlokes in the school as some people didn't agree with their rabbeim, and resented being forced out of their beds sooner than they preferred.

The problems were soon settled when a young illuy came up with an ingenious solution. He pointed out that even though someone had woken up, if they had in mind that they were sleeping it was like they actually were, since 'machshava k'ma'ase'.

Although his reasoning was roundly rejected by many others, it satisfied those lazier bochurim and they let the matter slide. No one was much surprised at their reaction, as these sorts of students

had already demonstrated their laxity of the halacha when it was realized that they were deliberately getting dressed while still sitting in their bed, in order to give themselves more time until the zman of 'when you get up' would commence (according to the shita of m'sha'as yitziaso).

For a brief while the yeshiva had some complaints from bochurim who wanted to switch rooms because their roommates were not keeping what they felt was the right zman for making their beds. Already very disturbed by the problems that the previous issue had caused and not wanting to cause any more machlokes in the yeshiva, the Rosh Yeshiva wisely dealt with the problem by declaring that if anyone was concerned about another not making the zman, they were allowed to make the other persons bed for them, as long as the first one had da'as that the other would be yotzei for himself. He also said that the person making the bed didn't have to specific da'as because obviously if he was making it he had da'as to do such a thing. Despite that, it wasn't uncommon to hear people loudly declaring, "Have in mind to be yotzei so-and-so when making his bed!"

Some months after the initial psak was issued, an enterprising bochur started selling a unique clock that had a special alarm. The alarm would wake you up, and when you pushed the right button it would turn off and ring 9 minutes later to remind you that you had 1 minute left to make your bed. He actually also made a second one that gave you 14 minutes instead of 9, but no one bought it since they felt it was better not to be meikel.

Another issue that the yeshiva had to resolve was that according to the opinions that one must make their beds from when they first woke up, what was to be done if someone fell asleep again shortly after waking up? After much learned discussion it was decided that falling back asleep wasn't a problem, and the zman only started after the real, final wakingup. This was derived from the situation of if one woke up in the middle of the night: Was he then obligated to make his bed shortly after? For a brief time, some people in the yeshiva began to follow this custom. But when the Rosh Yeshiva ruled that it wasn't necessary, they understood from that that the zman only began after the last, real waking up.

These events all occurred many, many years ago, and boruch hashem nowadays it isn't as heated an issue as it once was. Everyone understands and accepts the principles of eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim chaim, minhag avoseinu b'yadeinu, ba'al nefesh yachmir, and shomer p'saim hashem. Each person has a tradition or chumra that he's entitled to follow. In addition, there have been many wonderful books written on this subject, most recently Artscroll's splendid translation of Hilchos Ish U'Mitoso, which sheds much light on this subject for the average layman (also available in a laminated, newly type-set, pocket edition that one can keep by their bed!). However, legend has it that if you go to this yeshiva and poke in on some of the rooms, you'll still occasionally find a bochur here and there that tries to be extra zahir in this inyan and - even on a cold winter night -will sleep on top of his carefully made blanket so that he never will - chas v'chalila! - find his bed unmade past the proper zman!

"Ratzah hakadosh baruch hu l'zakos es yisroel, l'fichach hirba lahem torah u'mitzvos!"

"To receive a laminated, large print edition of the special tefila to say before making your bed, please send a fax to 1800-BE-ZAHIR with your proper mailing address and we will be glad to send you one free of charge. "This publication is in memory of Masha Mushka bas Pesha Pushka o"h."

Please do not read this publication in untzniyusdik places, before you daven, during chazaras hashatz, in the middle of leining, during shiur or seder, while operating heavy machinery, on the Internet, in the mikva, or while under the influence of da'as torah.

" This publication is not intended to be used as a guide to practical halacha. All halachic questions should be directed to your local ultra-orthodox halachic authority."

The Internet is assur.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Everytime he comes home...

He cleans his room.
Nice, right? Good boy, right?

Everytime he cleans his room he throws things out.
He throws out things HE no longer needs.
Things he is no longer interested in.
Things that, as an adult are of no use to him.
Things that have memories...

for me.

Memories of a baby asleep in my arms.
Memories of a child who took his teddy bear everywhere.
Memories of a boy who collected bears and yo-yos.
memories of a teen who loved to skateboard and Bruce Lee.
Memories of a young man...
Memories of a young man who no longer is that baby...
that child...
that boy..
that teen...
The young man is grown man now,


and I am so proud.

but, the truth is...

that man will forever remain...
the baby in my arms,
the child with the bear,
the boy practicing 'around the world' and 'rock the baby',
the teen who strove for the ultimate ollie and carried wax around with him.

and the man,
who works so late,
prays so early,
who loves Hashem,
and studies His Torah,
who never gives up,
and looks for the best,
the son of my womb,
and the pride of my heart.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hello again!

You should all know how much I miss you when I am not here. This blog is quite a little haven for me. I can write about most anything I enjoy here , things that not everyone around me wants to hear me ramble on and on about. °Ü° So thank you to all of you out there who read the ramblings of this gypsy/farmgirl. I appreciate the emails you send me and your words of encouragement. I apologize for not being so quick to write back, it's just the same 'ol excuse, life is too busy.

But...G-d willing that should be ending soon, at least for a bit! My outside of the home jobs will be coming to an end this Sunday and I am not ashamed to tell you I cannot wait! Oh yes, I just want to be home in the worst way. Other than the fact I love my home shall I tell you another of my motivations... something that I have been absolutely DYING to tell you all for weeks now. Are you ready??? Come just a bit closer...closer...OK! guess what I got for Mother's Day??

A SPINNING WHEEL!!!! YES!!! My very own Ashford Traveller! I am so excited! The only problem is I have not been able to spin anything yet because I have not had time to finish and assemble it. Yes, it is indeed a very sad state, so here I wait. Talk about delayed gratification. I figure I have waited this long for a wheel, another week or so will not kill me.

So let me tell you, G-d willing, I will be spinning and weaving my way through this summer. I really think I need it as much as I want it. Those of you who understand the spirituality of these things get exactly what I am saying...and those of you who don't, go ahead and find the holiness of the day to day things you do and the creative ways you express yourself and then you will understand.