Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Unexpectedly disconnected

Dear friends,

We quite unexpectedly lost our internet connection for over a week, and literally the first thing I'm doing now that I'm back online is pop in here and let you all know we are OK (there were some anxious inquiries). There's quite a bit going on here, so that I hardly know where to begin!

I know most of the world is just resurfacing from holidays, and I hope you all had an enjoyable time with your dear ones. Around here, we've had quite a bit of rain... well, actually that's an understatement. It's been stormy starting from the weekend, so that I've been watching from my window for a small break in the rain to go and feed the animals, and eventually had to go dancing between the drops. Today was the first time in 4 days that I've been able to venture out and throw away the accumulated garbage. On my way back I came running inside, chased by drops of rain.  

All around Israel, we've been having floods, and major highways were blocked. A river is now flowing in the valley beneath our house, a wide muddy current. The rains have been so strong that there was a downfall of rocks on the only road that connects us to the outside world, and people haven't been able to leave for work until it was cleared. I just spoke to a friend in Jerusalem, who told me it's snowing there - as it is in many other mountain areas throughout the country. As for us, we've had hail that threatened to break the windowpanes. 

So, we finally have some real winter around here... and the main question is, of course, how do you entertain kids when day after day, you are forced to remain inside without a possibility to get out of the house even for a short while? I pulled out all my resources in the shape of games and crafts, and my husband brought me a wonderful old book from his parents' house, full of little scientific experiments one can do at home with one's own children, with the aid of materials that can be found practically in every home. Here's one cute experiment with static electricity we did yesterday.

If you want to try it out, you'll need:
1 plastic spoon
1 piece of woolen cloth
some coarsely ground salt
some finely ground black pepper

Mix salt and pepper and spread out on a table. Then ask your children how they think it might be possible to separate the salt and pepper. 
Rub plastic spoon with wool, and hold it close to the salt and pepper mixture. The grains of pepper, which are lighter, will fly up and attach to the spoon, while the heavier coarse salt will stay down. It's really very simple, but cool to watch, and a nice way to explain about static electricity.

A little ray of sunshine that peeked through the clouds gave us the gift of a beautiful rainbow. 

I hope you are all snug, cozy and warm in your homes, with big steaming mugs of tea, good books, knitting and sewing projects, board games, candlelight and soft music playing, and everything to help brighten up a cold and grey day. It is also my sincere hope that the internet connection (indeed, electricity, as we've had some problems with that as well) will continue holding up, so that I can talk to you again soon. 


Miriam said...

Oh it was nice you took the time to post here! What a relief! :-)

Rosemary said...

So glad you are ok. I missed your posts.

Tia said...

I like the experiment.

My mother used to have us go skating around the kitchen floor, by tying tags (old nappies) to our feet. Great fun for us, especially when she put wax down. And the useful side effect for her that the floor would get polished really, really well!