at home with ann


Posted on: 4 January 2007

but before that ……



Today is Anushka’s birthday and if I have got my sums right, she is now a teenager, sweet 13. Axe is unable to get her anything for her special day and thought that she would try to take her to an internet cafe over the weekend and it would be a wonderful present and surprise if everyone would visit her blog and leave a message for her. Look at her… she’s such a beautiful girl. May this new year be a turning point in her and her brother’s lives, and of course for our dear friend Axe.




I thought I would share with you some other things that bring me pleasure (!) Actually it doesn’t take too much to please me…. what do they say, “simple things please simple minds!”


If you thought you knew me, well even I don’t really understand myself. Firstly I have a thing about olive trees. Okay I do have a predilection for the fruit of the tree, quite a fondness… erm, maybe I should call it a weakness for olives…. yummy. However, I love the tree. The first thing I bought when I moved into my new home was an olive tree for the garden. Its leaves mesmerize me. Their grey-green surface and the white underside shimmers in the breeze. Btw, this picture is not my sweet little olive tree…. this particular mighty one grows in Jerusalem.

The olive is one of the most important and symbolic plants mentioned in the Bible. It is associated with the dove of peace and of course the biblical account of the dove returning to Noah’s ark at the end of the flood (Genesis 8:11).

Its oil anointed prophets and kings (Judges 9:8-9) and alongside grain and wine it was the third great product of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 7:13). Olive fruits provided the rich and the poor alike with oil for cooking, lighting, cosmetics, and medicine; while olives pickled in brine were an important food throughout the year. The Israelites were promised many things for which they had not laboured, including vineyards and olive trees which they had not planted (Deuteronomy 6:11) implying that olive cultivation was well established by the Canaanites at the time of the exodus. The Promised Land was to be “a land of olive trees and honey” (Deuteronomy 8:8).

I have an assortment of hamsa (yad) adorning the wall by my front door; they are crafted from ceramic, wood, glass or pewter. Some are decorated with doves or flowers or butterflies or scenes of Jerusalem, whilst others are inscribed with a Hebrew prayer like the Shema, (Hear O Israel, the L-ord our G-d, the L-rd is one) or the prayer for the home (Tefilat HaBayit) or the prayer for travelling (Tefilat HaDerech). A hamsa, or hand, gets its name from the Hebrew word chamesha which means five.

An alternative name for it is the Hand of Miriam, referring to Moses and Aaron’s sister Miriam. It serves as an ancient talisman, a way to avert and get protection from the evil eye or more generally speaking to provide a “protecting hand” or “Hand of G-d”. I am not at all superstitious and just collect them as ornaments because, well because I like them and they’re so pretty.

Ah, another thing I love… these pomegranates. I only have six so far in different sizes and assorted shades of red; some are slightly more decorated than others. They are handmade from terracotta and hand drip-glazed with a deep red marble glaze. The pomegranate is a symbol of fertility and prosperity and it is one of the seven species of Israel. “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey.” (Deuteronomy 8:8)

This picture was taken by Bridgitte last Wednesday when the snows fell on Jerusalem. It is where they live in Neve Daniel and it’s the last pomegranate standing so to speak. Notice the stone of the building… all buildings in Jerusalem have to be built in Jerusalem stone.

Of course these are my most ab fab fav Israeli things… born and bred Israelis…. litte Boaz with his new friend Mr Snowman and baby Moriah thinking that if no one else can be bothered to feed me, guess I’ll have to do it myself.

Now you may be wondering, what on earth has this got to do with Israel and although Vincent D’Onofrio may be my ab fab fav heartthrob, it’s the other guy who gets the mention… dearest Chris Noth.

To quote the man himself, β€œFrom what I’ve heard about Israel and its sites, landscape, beaches and historical and religious heritage, it is a wonderful place to visit. I told my friends that I’m going to Israel because I’m a New Yorker, and a New Yorker goes to Israel.”

Maybe the next time Chris goes to Israel he could bring his fellow detective and show him the sights and sites too… end of July in Herzliya would be perfect… sigh! Chris since Vincent seems to be a reluctant escort… what are you up to?

On that note, I think I have prattled more than enough, I shall sign off wishing all my lovely blogging friends an equally lovely weekend and Shabbat Shalom to those of the faith.




Wonderful post full of information I did not know. That you Ann for sharing your faith and heritage with us. You have such a beautiful life filled with joys of family and friends. The decorations only enhance the reasons you are so attractive.

I love the verses as they are unfolding, and no, I have no idea where the poem is going. Shhhh. *that’s my secret*

Happy birthday Anushka, may all your days be filled with love.

Olive pressed for oil
Lamps light kindled faith of hope
Share our daily bread

Don’t give up on haiku Ann. *see* with your soul.

Love you, talk to you soon. πŸ™‚

I am ashamed to say I have never seen an olive tree,but they are beautiful.

In the fundie church I grew up in olive oil was a BIG deal.It was used for anointing the sick,to make the sign of the cross and protect all and anything.

Funny how that is also used in Gnosticism (mine anyway) and Paganism…but I make the sign of the pentagram in place of the cross.

To me it is holy right out of the bottle!

I love the hand of Miriam talisman.Even “Pagans” use those as talisman and I have always been keen on having one tattooed on,with all sorts of filigree in the hand itself.

I always found pomegranates to be beautiful fruit,though I have yet to develop a taste for them,I wish I could but none so far!

I posted a message for Anushka.I explained a bit about what I sent to them.I wanted it there before Xmas,but alas that was not to be,so maybe what I sent can serve as a gift for her.

I sent Axe a Sun talisman with amber in the middle,because I loved it but it never seems to truly meld with me…so it shouldn’t be mine!

I also sent a beautiful fluorite whale tale and a small silver surfboard necklace I bought at one of my favorite local beaches.I had them both for years but they seem to be destined for other people and places,so I hope Axe and the kids like them.

Well,now that I wrote a book for a post I will stop;)

I will try to post some pics on my blog,but Blogger was a b*tch about it yesterday,so I must try today.

Now I am craving olives!

Here’s another juicy piece of information about the pomegranate that I left out…..

Exodus chapter 28:33-34 directed that images of pomegranates be woven onto the borders of Hebrew priestly robes. 1 Kings chapter 7:13-22 describes pomegranates depicted in the temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem. Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah. For this reason and others many Jews eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah.


Guess I’ll just have to be patient, as you are with me, and see how your words unfurl.

I could never never never have just come up with a haiku like that… you know what I think of you; guess I’ll have to tell you again, but I just don’t see it like you do, sorry.

Bryde: What lovely gifts you sent them… I think it will brighten their day. I don’t actually like eating pomegranates much, but the juice is delicious and olive oil is used for ritual.

lotsa luv ann xxxxx

great pictures ann! have you taken the pictures of the place where Jesus had his last supper with His apostles?

I’ve been tempted to buy pomegranates but I confess that I don’t know how to eat them!

Ann, you should extend an invite for Vincent to be your escort. Send him an invitation! You never know, he might take you up on it! He’s always doing research for his roles, maybe he’d welcome the opportunity to attend a Jewish wedding in Israel!

Hi Ann,

Thanks for all the cool stuff and pictures in this post. πŸ™‚

I want to travel the world with you and see all the wonderful sights and sounds.

Love you


anonymous: I don’t take pictures. What I post are either from the camera of my daughter in law or google…. however, I shall post you a picture of the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion another time.

jojo: smart thinking… now all I need is his address… or a phone number would be cooooooo. LOL

Rose: I love it when you use your real name… I would love a charming sassy travelling companion like you

lotsa luv ann xxxx

Dear sweet Ann. Welcome home. I am so sorry I’ve been absent and I have no excuse! Great information in this post – so much to learn.

Hope you had a wonderful day and I am off to catch up and read the rest.


Anushka is certainly a beautiful young lady. I hope things improve for her family in 2007.
I think the hamsa and pomegranate ornaments are exquisitely lovely. I love olive trees for their beauty but they sure make a mess when the olives are ripe (lots of olive trees here in NoCal that used to be part of groves that were developed for $$$). Fig trees are very nice looking too.

I never knew it snowed in Israel!! Boaz looks so cute with his snowman!

Hi Ann,
I’m kveling at these gorgeous punim. (My Yiddish spelling is horrible.) Oh the royal blue yad is gorgeous! Your post bathed me in memories, because I’ve been missing many people who have died or moved and as you know, so much of Judaism revolves around the family traditions.

I’ve never been to Israel but “Gem” (my husband) and I have wanted to go for a long time. I dream of the someday.

Your site is lovely. I’m so glad I found you from blog hopping via Poetry Thursday. I think I hopscotched from Madd’s site to Feline Frisky to here.

I’m an artist and a writer who loves music. (I title my blog posts with song titles.) Love your title here. Very creative. πŸ™‚
I’ll be returning.
Take care,

Happy Bday Anushka! Lovely girl she is. Anushka btw is also a Sri Lankan name!

And u have some pretty pics here Ann WOW!

U’ve been to Israel n back…how lucky!


Ann, this was a perfect post. I just lapped it all up. And you laid it all out so beautifully. I love how you thread the lovely bits of history and traditions together. Now then – those pomegranates – I love them. Any websites carry them ya think? I’ll be obsessing over them. Of course your babies are always a welcome site.

Happy Birthday to the Anushka, such gentle beauty in her face.

Shabbat Shalom Ann. XOX

Hi Ann
Another beautiful post from you!
Happy birthday Anushka!
She is so lovely!

Ann, I am going to be away for a while!
I am going to visit my sister, who is sick!
See you when I return!
Thank you so much for all your kindness!

Take care!


Thanks you for sharing – I learned a lot from reading. The Olive trees and the pomegranetes are gorgeous. And birthday blessings to Annushka – who is indeed gorgeous!
Shabat Shalom!

I really like those pomegranates, Ann. Even more than the way the greengrocers in Lewisham Market spell it – usually “pomegranite”, sounds rather hard to me! My parrots love ’em, so I have to buy them out of season and at very high prices.

Good grief, pomegranetes! Last time I had one of those was at school, using a pin to prick all the goodies out of it. Lovely post Ann, if you hear from Axe, please send love and best wishes.

Good Shabbos Ann. Jill

Amen, Ann! I so enjoy reading about your faith. I’ve learned much from you, sweetie. I am floored by how much Moriah is growing…my goodness…wasn’t she just born yesterday πŸ˜‰ Little Boaz is such a sweet little man…ahh…
I’m looking forward to returning to some sort of normalcy in my life, and visiting with my friends is on the top of my list.

pixie: hi welcome back

claire: oh my olive tree is so little it doesn’t bear any fruit, so no mess there

tess: Jerusalem gets the snow and up north I think one could ski on Mt Herman

gel: welcome, nice to meet you and thank you so much for your inspiring comment on my sestina

keshi: thanks, but your pics are brilliant

g: hi… just google ceramic pomegranates and there’s mail order in your neck of the woods

margie: your poetry is so uplifting, I’m sure you’ll be a great comfort to your sister

kate: thank you, they are rather beautiful

val: luv it.. pomegranite, bet they as hard as rocks

diane: I will

jill: shavuah tov

riccie: hi my friend, great to see you back with us

lotsa luv ann xxxx

Thank you, Ann, for the favour, hon!
Thank you to EVERYBODY who wished my girl. I really appreciate it.

Wish me luck, okay?

Have a great New Year,all!

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the loves of my life

at the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet ~~~ plato

thank you…

... to everyone whose pictures and videos I have borrowed; if anyone would like theirs to be removed, please tell me and I shall be happy to do so

all words here are mine ~ I’ll tell you when they’re not!

from long ago

in case I forget what day of the week it is

January 2007
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