Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jerusalem and Netanya

Tiyul to Jerusalem
Last night we had a wonderful evening listening to the Israel Philharmonic.  Today we went on a bus the long way to Jerusalem, with many stops along the way to learn the history of the “Burma Road” – the beginning of the state of Israel, the siege etc.  The guide was fascinating and Joe bought her book to read. We also learned about the engineering of the road, saw the difficulties with construction due to the hills and valleys.

We had lunch at a kibbutz, then onto the Kotel (Western Wall) for a brief prayer before the return to Netanya. Since it was Rosh Chodesh (new month), there was a large crowd. Also a famous rabbi’s son was sick, so there were many prayers being said for him.  This is the first time I have heard a leader of the prayers wailing the prayer for the sick. It sounded like a lamentation.  I prayed for my friends and family, but there were too many people there to go up to the wall.  We’ll have time to go again in March. I hope it won’t be so crowded then.

We are volunteering time in the mornings to teaching English. Two mornings a week we are at a religious school for boys (mostly boarding students). Many of them are Ethiopian immigrants to Israel and are learning both English and Hebrew.  They are also studying regular subjects and technology subjects.  Two mornings a week we volunteer at the regular high school in Netanya.  Our help has been welcomed and the students cannot figure out why we are happy to help them.

 We have Hebrew classes in the afternoon and usually a lecture.  Joe and I finally had an hour this afternoon to go walk on the beach (and the weather was cooperative). I posted the Netanya pictures here:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tel Aviv/Kibbutz etc.

Tel Aviv was interesting. We went to the craft market (artists/musicians/artisans/shops/cafes) and then over to the regular market (fruit/vegetables/clothing). It was very crowded and I am not used to being in a big city. When I told one of our group that I thought it was crowded, she said this wasn’t bad, it was much worse in the summer. I guess I wouldn’t be happy living in a big city.  Anyway, we walked along Allenby Street and I enjoyed looking at everything. I posted some pictures:

We spent Saturday morning with our friend at Kibbutz Ma’agan Micha’el (I don’t know how to spell it in English). The kibbutz has a plastics factory (injection molding), raises koi (ornamental fish) for Europe and some other kind of fish for the local markets.  He gave us a wonderful tour of the hatchery and fish ponds. The kibbutz is along the Mediterranean sea. The fish ponds have netting over them to keep the birds from eating all the fish. Some birds get inside the netting and can’t get out. That was sad. Some of  them do get out. We had a lovely lunch in the kibbutz dining room and then went back to their apartment for coffee and cake.   I took many pictures. Posted them here:

 We have been tutoring students in English in two different schools in the mornings (our volunteer work) and taking Hebrew classes in the afternoon. It’s been a wonderful experience to be here in Israel.

We had a wonderful, inspiring lecture last night on Hadassah by Barbara Sofer. Today we tutored at a high school, then had Ulpan Hebrew classes in the afternoon. Tonight we are going to a classical music concert. I hope I don't fall asleep during it! Tomorrow we go to Jerusalem, just for the day. We will be going there for a week at the end of this trip, in March. We are having a wonderful, slightly exhausting time. Very happy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Netanya, Israel

We are a bit jet-lagged, but enjoyed a walk to the central area of Netanya to see some shops and change our dollars to Israeli shekels. We're enjoying the group that we are with and I am not the youngest member (but close). Lots of signs in Russian and French as well as Hebrew and English. Many TV stations in Russian too. The view of the sea is lovely and I'm really enjoying the artwork that is all over, many statues etc. Even the electric utility boxes have paintings on them!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

a lifetime ago

a lifetime ago a slim brunette fell in love
with a brash young man
they married, had children
and twenty years later fell out of love
a common tale, but true

the story doesn’t end there, though
she got a second chance to love
met a man with a good heart
someone who loved kids
and loved her as she was
accepted her and encouraged her
to grow, develop, change and improve

now they’re seniors, but still together
still in love and growing old together
on this journey we call life
each problem looked at
as an opportunity and blessing
to give and receive love
to be there for each other
until the angels call them home

©Linda H. Feinberg

Monday, January 9, 2012

WIP - Acrylic Paintings

I haven't finished the two paintings I was working on. I decided to leave them for the spring when I will be back in class and I can review with a teacher. The barn still needs to have some work in the foreground (some grasses and maybe some hints of color). I prefer working on landscapes, but this was interesting for a man-made structure. It's the same barn that I did awhile back, but this is the side of the barn and larger (11 X 14).

I think Drake's Brook is done. I used glazing medium with a touch of ultramarine blue on the water areas (the brook). I'm not sure what else I need to do, so I'll come back to it in a few months and look at it again.

I am finishing a good art book and returning it to the library soon: "Expressive Oil Painting" by George Allen Durkee. "An Open Air Approach to Creative Landscapes" -- while I am not doing any plein aire painting, it was still a worthwhile read. The composition information and creative ideas work just as well for acrylic painting as oil painting.

Meanwhile, the only snow in Manchester is the man-made stuff at McIntyre ski area. I was missing it so much that I took a walk there today and took some photos. This was before the end of the school day so there were very few skiers. This is a hill that I like to hike in the other seasons. It makes a nice loop around Weston Tower and the old city reservoir. Not too steep and a good workout for my senior legs.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Still no snow

Here we are again in a beautiful new year, but we still do not have snow. I have been walking every day, but hope that we will have snow soon so I can do some cross country skiing. Meanwhile, Dorrs Pond is starting to freeze over, but the ducks are still here and haven't flown south.
Also saw some interesting cloud formations while out on my walk yesterday.
And while I'm posting photos, here are some of the millyard in Manchester. I took these in December from the garage. (Taken the same day, but at different times.) I did work on two paintings over the weekend, but my paintings are not finished yet. I'll try to finish them up this week and post them within the week. Happy new year to all.