Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Storms, storms and the roads to ruination for us all..

Wind splatters rain hard against my kitchen windows which are large and usually allow lots of natural light in. Not today however. I awoke this morning quite early with the roof creaking and groaning as wind driven rain pelted the colour-bond. The boy was difficult to get out of bed on a morning that invites one to snuggle under the Donna rather than throw it back and leap out out of bed to greet the early summer sunshine. We had a glimpse of summer for two days and now it has gone AWOL. The season is right for spring, but whence has spring sprung?
The hills hoist jerks crazily. The clothes I had hung optimistically to dry on it last night flips and dances hugging the lines in tighter wraps, flipping themselves over and over. The cat is curled in a tight ball on the sideboard under the glass ware cabinet. Dolly, the goat is hunched up in a corner of the yard under a little lean to near the kitchen windows on the northern side. Her normally buoyant demeanour is subdued. At least I am dry, she could be thinking. Her jaws move methodically and rapidly. What do goats reflect I wonder?
I have just had last nights roast beetroot, sweet potato, pumpkin and potato for lunch. One of the marvellous things about this place is that I have rediscovered baked veggies in a pan with a drizzle of oil and herbs. Sublime culinary experiences that make you want to roll over and purr with delight after eating. Sandra E I am making good use now of the grill you gave me that you got from someone in Adass. Thank you girl.  I think of you every time I use it. After spending three years without an oven it is blissful to be baking again. We had grilled chicken Maryland which the young fellow loved and veggies  baked in the oven. First course was pumpkin soup. It is the only way to get veggies into children, really or making kugel.
The wind in the tall trees surrounding the house and sheds makes a sound like a rushing torrent of water. It is eery. The first time there was a strong wind, I heard this gushing rushing sound and thought  'what on earth?' Then going outside I realised it was the trees. There is a huge line of trees beyond the back fence and it is so quiet that all you hear is the noise of the leaves rustling against one another. It is as if they are conversing and I am an eavesdropper on important tree discussions. I wonder what the trees would say about humans. I guess we would be viewed by trees in a similar way to the way we would view toxic nuclear waste. Sadly.
We need to be wiser in the way we preserve our earthly riches. The situation after superstorm Sandy in the USA makes me wonder just what is going to be in store for us in the next few years and how prepared are we for natural disasters. At present Israel is dealing with Iran and a potentially very toxic man made disaster in the form of a threatened nuclear bomb. The El Presidento in Iran is a total nut job that is why he is threatening others in a way that if he carries through it will have world wide repercussions. G-D we do need Moishiach right NOW. Please....


I went to pick up my son from school and another mother said to me 'Gosh, I have nothing to give these kids for trick or treat!' Then she asked me, 'what do you do?'
I smiled blithely and answered 'I am an Aussie. I don't celebrate Halloween. (Pause) And not just because I am a Jewish Aussie, I wouldn't celebrate it unless I was a pagan Yank unaligned with any monotheist religion.' She told she agreed and was concerned because this festival if you can call it that, encouraged kids to talk to strangers and ask them for treats. Now that is a worry.
We spend all this time warning kids not to talk to perfect strangers and then we or the 'media' adopt this stupid 'festival' that involves kids going to the houses of strangers and asking for lollies and treats. I don't care if the houses are Jewish and Glatt Glatt Kosher with twenty hechserim from the most kosher rabbinate in the world. It is NOT kosher to allow your child to knock on the doors of strangers asking for sweets. Yeah, I know I am a wet blanket, a spoil sport and all the rest. But imagine this scenario.
Knock knock.
A creepy adult answers the door.
Hello little boys and girls. What can I do for you?
Trick or treat! They chorus trustingly. The creepy evil adult who does not really like children brings out some sweets that he has secretly wrapped with a bit of nose pickings or worse and puts it in their bag. Even worst, there was a case of needles being inserted into toffees in the USA in Minnasotta somewhere.
Even worst maybe the adult gives out legit sweets and no problems but says to the kids.
Gee you guys are so cute. I am giving you this now but maybe you want to drop by sometime and I can give you something even better. I have some even better surprises but come by without your friends, ok?
So what are we teaching kids from this holiday, apart from how to beg from perfect strangers? Naw, I think personally America can keep this creepy holiday to themselves and not import it to our shores. Thanks BUT no thanks. I'm an Aussie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When being Straight Hetrosexual is NO LONGER THE NORM according to a Program being pushed at NSW Schools


Well I'll be a hetrosexist auntie! Lusting after /liking a man as your spouse/partner/father of your children is OK if you are another man, but HELL NO, NOT if you are a woman. TSK TSK. Positively obscene in the 'normal' course of events today. Lusting after/liking a woman as your spouse/life partner and mother of your children is very 'normal' if you are another woman, but damn it, NOT if you are a man. It will probably be termed rape in the new politically correct gender speak that is being pushed in the following program in several NSW schools. Even the Minister for Education is back pedalling on this program.

Considering the fact that 2% or less of the population is homosexual, they have a very loud and often obscenely obsessive voice in Australian society and politics at the moment. I, for one are fed up to the back teeth of their bullying tactics as they strive to thrust their agenda down our throats and in doing so, wish to create a society where heterosexuality is considered NOT the NORM and homosexuality is considered 'NORMAL'.
Well, I will stand up and say it along with anyone else who is brave enough to voice such sentiments publicly. Homosexuality is NOT normal, the norm and it never will be despite the efforts of some to 'EDUCATE' vulnerable teens and pre teens that it is. I must say, however, it is a very  clever ploy by the gay lobby groups in education to 'normalise' homosexual relations and relationships. It is deviant behaviour and always will be, despite the best efforts by some to pretend and have others educated that it is normal.

NOW, before you scream HOMOPHOBE at me dear readers, as some of you obviously will, I am
discussing certain behaviours that I personally and many others feel is deviant behaviour in that it deviates from the normal majority in society. I DO NOT advocate disrespect for any person, clearly of different nationality, gender persuasion, religion (so long as it is peaceful and tolerant of other religions), disability or anyone who is different. I DO ADVOCATE RESPECT for gay, homosexual, transgender people who are different from the normal. They are deluding themselves and trying to delude the rest of society, if they consider they are the norm of society and want to stamp out all pride in being a straight person.
I am advocating that we start a Straight Pride Movement. I am already envisaging the buttons and banners for a march through the cities of Melbourne and Sydney and we could have a Straight Marti Gras too in Melbourne which would be held at the same time as the Gay Marti Gras in Sydney. I would envisage a theme for the first one and it would be a Noah's Ark theme. Pairs of people that are of two genders and we could have paired goats, sheep, cattle, guinea pigs, horses, alpacas, rabbits, camels and giant wedding cake floats (although that might be a sore point for the gay movement) with a man and a woman perched on top. We could have a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, pagean weddings in the parade and lots of children. No nakedness because it is all about families and normal behaviour. Unless we live in the Congo among the pygmies like the Phantom or in the Amazon or with the South African bushmen, most of us wear clothes when we go out in public these days, or I would hope we would. We could have buttons saying, ' WO love me, cause I am a MAN!' 'MAN, I'll be your WO Half.'  'BOLT needs a NUT!' 'NUT needs a BOLT' underneath it  2 B complete.
I actually have to say, that I find it offensive that I have to apologise for my heterosexuality and I do feel discriminated against because I am a straight woman who would only consider a man as a partner in life. I have nothing what so ever against homosexuals, but I do resent the fact that they are presenting their way as a preferred lifestyle and a 'norm' when it is so obviously not. It is also extremely confusing for vulnerable teens and preteens. Children are very impressionable and often those who make the greatest impression on them, are unfortunately at times and fortunately at other times, their teachers and other adults with knowledge who they respect.
We do need to teach respect for all others and to demand respect for ourselves and our lifestyles, but not at the expense of other people and their lifestyles and we do not need to push social perversions as the norm in the education department. Such exercises in social engineering are dangerously close to brainwashing a generation of kids. If there is such a thing as 'GAY PRIDE' then they have to accept that they are different and embrace it openly, but not try to push it as the 'NORM' when it is so clearly NOT. As a PROUD heterosexual I will not and would not discriminate against a homosexual of what ever gender, but if I were to refuse a sexual advance from a woman and that person then says I am discriminating against her because I prefer to view only men as an appropriate partner in life, then that is the extent of the ridiculousness of this NEWSPEAK in NSW education. It is all rubbish and I am glad that Adrian Piccoli who is the Minister for Education is distancing himself from it. He is also the Member for Riverina if I remember rightly. There are still some normal people around that have not been got at,
thank G-D.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Just two or three days ago a young girl took her life. A child whose heart wrenching message on the Internet should be sending chills up the spine of any thinking, responsible adult who is either a parent or caregiver of a young person or teenager. Amanda Todd was not yet sixteen years old. Her grieving parents will never take her down the aisle of a church to marry her to some lucky young man. They will never hold and play with her babies - their grandchildren. Instead they will hold forever in their memories a frozen image of a young child on the brink of womanhood with doe like eyes brimming with pain. Instead they will escort her to her final resting place and inscribe her headstone.
This child's death drives home again the damage that can be done to sensitive individuals on the Internet with faceless communications. Even those not so sensitive can be wounded and damaged. More and more, I begin to think that the unsupervised use of Face book is dangerous beyond our wildest imaginings. Why?
Well when you read Amanda's story you begin to understand just how easy it is for some creep to have access to the minds of your child, whether a boy or a girl and how they can be damaged beyond repair if nothing is done to combat it.
Amanda had apparently made contact with some creep who asked her to flash her body and then this man stalked her after posting her picture on the Internet and even going so far as to send it to her new school when  she changed schools in order to escape the clutches of this despicable creature.
This is a  good article and I have posted links to some others because these two articles point to the horrifying potential dangers inherent in Face Book and what it entails for our children.

What do incidents like this tell us? They tell us that FACEBOOK can be so DANGEROUS for young teens insecure in who they are, their sexuality and self esteem. Would we let our 12 year old daughter or son wander into a bar in St Kilda on a Saturday night and hob nob with the patrons there? Definitely NOT. But that is what unsupervised Internet access is about. Anyone can contact your child and start up a conversation with them. The child does not see who they are but relies on information provided by the other person. Perverts are very socially adept groomers, even of other adults in order to cover their activities and to make them appear NORMAL. BEWARE.
Check your son or daughter's history. Don't allow them on chat rooms without you close by and the computer needs to be in a public place like the lounge room or a dining room. Go over the history and conversations.
Gee, some must be saying, 'Pity this woman's son. She is no fun.' Well son, I am a Mum and often it is not fun. It is darn hard work to keep track of things and protect your child from the dangers out there. We do not relax for a moment because we cannot. I have a neighbour and she has sheep. Just recently, the fox has taken five lambs that have been born in the past few weeks. One sheep had triplets and not the poor thing has only one. That is what it feels like. You are the mother sheep protecting your lamb from the foxes and wolves lurking out there. It is not easy.

And this is the sort of person you do not want your child in contact with.

Poor little Amanda was so confused by the messages sent to her throughout her short life about what her role in society was. She is so similar to many young women cast adrift on the social oceans of social media on the internet. Amanda is one that drowned in a sea of hatred and bullying.  How many more will succumb before we start taking precautions and thinking, 'Perhaps FaceBook and its like is not such a good idea for the emotionally and psychologically immature to spend too much time on, if at all.
We live in a very immoral society that allows for men to revel in their sexuality and be proud of unbridled lusts in a free for all, yet women are still labelled sluts and there is a stigma attached to be too sexually available and yet, when you do adhere to a higher code of moral conduct, you are a prude or worst, a tease. We need, for the sake of the sanity of our young women, to bring back a purer and more innocent moral code into our lives.
No it is not ok if you are 16 and want to stay overnight at your boyfriend's house. Anyway, isn't sixteen too young to get married? Why do you need a boyfriend at sixteen is what I would ask my daughter, but then I live a very different lifestyle to some, and a very conservative one. What is wrong with treasuring yourself and if you do and that has been instilled in you from day one, there is no way you would even think of exposing your body to a virtual stranger on the net.
I know all about mixed messages, because I grew up in the sixties and seventies. Once when I was fourteen, a taxi picked me up from the bus station to take me to my Aunt's house in Ascot in Brisbane. I hadn't yet changed out of my school uniform. That is a turn on for the perverts somehow. Anyway on the way from Roma Street Bus station to Ascot this taxi driver who must have been a fair bit older than my father, starts to chat to me. He compliments me and tells me how healthy I look. Asks me what sport I play at school because 'You have such nice strong legs.' He reaches behind as I was sitting in the back of the cab and lifts my skirt off my knees and gives my knee a tweak. Me, being a rather intensely shy person goes red and squeaks, 'Please don't touch my leg.' He laughs at me. 'Oh,  come on. You're a big girl. Look what lovely boobs you have.' I sit right back in the seat quivering in both indignation and fear. No one, not even my mother has ever commented on my breasts or what I consider private parts of my body like that. I really wanted to jump out of the taxi and thought 'I have no money. How will I get to my aunt's place?' We were given vouchers from the school to take us to where we had to go from the bus and train stations if relatives did not meet us. I told him in a quavering voice. 'Please do not talk about my body.'The taxi driver realised that he had gone a bit far so he started to talk about sport and was I in any sports team. I had been taught to respect adults and to do as I was told so I told him I was on the school A Hockey team and played both basket ball and tennis as well as softball. He asked me if I had every played squash and said he had a place on the Gold Coast and he could take me for a holiday there if I liked. I really did not want to go, but also knew what he was suggesting was very wrong. 'I will have to ask my aunt?' I said. 'How old are you?' He asked me. 'Fourteen and one month', I replied. 'Bloody Christ!' He blurted, 'I would have thought you were at least seventeen.  He drove me straight out to Ascot without another word. When I related what had happened to my Aunt she called me 'A stupid little slut.' then told me I had obviously led him on because he was around sixty years old and sixty year old men do not make passes at fourteen year old girls and I had obviously lifted my skirt over my knees to tempt him. She was the single mother of two boys. Her husband was a mental case who had tried to shoot her in one of his schizophrenic episodes. She was my father's first cousin and never remarried. She remained a Mrs for the rest of her life while my Uncle by marriage spent his life in and out of mental facilities and some of Brisbane's hotels, paid for by his family. Very sad.

Soft Waters

The short time I have been living here at the farm I have noticed several things. The rainwater we use for drinking, showers and washing up is incredibly soft. I use a quarter or less of a scoop of soap powder for the washing and the clothes come out so clean and fresh.

When you shower, the same thing. Minimum soap and you feel so fresh and clean after your shower.
Today I am at taking the dust and have to line cupboards and shelves to organise clothes and also need to go to the hardware store to buy a dog chain for Dolly the goat. She is a former pet goat and a bit of an old rogue. Like most animals who are raised by humans as I believe she was, she really likes human company. Goats are herd animals after all. Apparently while we were in Melbourne she got off the chain and wire lead and had a lovely time pooping besides the doorways. She left several piles of evidence of her presence near the front and back doors.
I am also getting a hoe, a rake and a shovel to begin the veggie garden. We do have artichokes and some other veggies there, but I want put in some tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin and snow peas. I am also planting garlic and will bring in some worms the week after next for a friend who wants for her garden. We have beautiful big fat ones in the soil every where. Fat wriggley fellows that are causing great excitement for Nir.
I want to do a post on bullying. Spent a rather depressing night thinking over the suicide of young Amanda Todd and wondering how we can prevent such things from occurring. Education against causing hurt or distress to others is the key I believe. So many people are excited by unkindness to others. They actually enjoy it because it gives them a feeling of superiority and self worth. We are may taking away people's creativity and they find other outlets.
I feel a sense of self worth when I write something I consider good and I gain a sense of achievement.  I remember attacked by someone who said my writing is crap and that I am a poor educator. Apart from my feeling of intense pity for this person, I believe she was driven to try and hurt me (and she succeeded) by feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem. She felt she could not succeed as a writer and she was going to make darn sure I would not either.
When ever someone is extremely critical of you and your creative efforts, you MUST examine why. It is usually some sort of jealousy and feelings of inadequacy because you do something that they can not.
Let us make all our intentions pure, kind and encouraging.

Interesting Ads on my blog

I am often highly amused by the inappropriate ads on my blog given its content. The latest one is for "Christian Burials and Cremations". I am sincerely hoping none of the Jewish readers would be even remotely interested in such a service.
Here is a link to an article on the importance of burial especially for a Jewish person.
The idea of being cremated is repugnant. It is particularly important that we are buried, not burnt for many reasons.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

לימודים בבית מול לימוד קונבנציונלי

מה אתה עושה כאשר מערכת החינוך הקונבנציונלית נכשלה הילד שלך? אתה מבין שהפוטנציאל של הילד שלך ללמוד הוא הרבה יותר גדול מהמורים והחברים שלו מאפשרים. אתה מבין כמה מהבעיות שעומדות בפני הילד שלך ואתה מנסה להסביר לצוות בית הספר כמה אסטרטגיות כדי לסייע לילד שלך ואכן כל תלמיד נאבק כיצד להתגבר על הקשיים האלה באזורים מסוימים. מורים בעייתיים היו כל כך הרבה לחץ לשים עליהם בכל קשורים לביצועים ועומסים של משימות ניהול קטנות שצוות התמיכה של בית הספר נהג לעשות למען מורים בימים שבם הורשו ללמד, שהם שכחו איך ללמד היטב.
ילדים לומדים גם אם הם לומדים היטב. כיתות הם מרחבי למידה מלאכותיים שיש תלמידים שלא להתמודד עם היטב וזה יכול להיות עבור כל מספר של סיבות לכך שילד לא מרגיש השראה ללמוד בכיתה שלך. הם אולי לא אוהבים לשבת ליד שולחן. הם אולי לא אוהבים את הנושא. אם זה נושא ליבה כמו מתמטיקה או אנגלית או שפה חיונית להבנתם והכרחית לתקשורת או מדע ראשונה, זה הכרחי עבורך את המורה כדי ללכוד את האינטרס של 20 פלוס אנשים צעירים בדרך שיעורר אותם למצוא יותר ולעבוד על כישוריהם. הם עושים לא אוהבים אותך, המורה, אבל אתה יודע מה, חלק מהמורים הטובים ביותר שהיה לי בתיכון לא היו אישים כריזמטיים במיוחד, אבל הם ידעו בנושא זה והיינו יכול לעסוק התלמידים בclassroom.teaching אינו על היותו אישיות בכיתה. בואו נשמור את זה לסרטים או לטלביזיה. הוראה היא על שיתוף ידע, למידה, השראה, סקרנות בניית כישורים חברתיים טובים ותכונות בעבודה עם אחרים. זה גם מלמד את הילדים איך ללמוד וזה אומר לדעת מי הם. שבאמת, לא מי שאתה המורה רוצה שהם יהיו, אבל מי שהם ושהם יכולים להיות עם קצת עזרה.j

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

To be a כלי for brachot - blessings

The Yom Tovim have ended. We are now in the process of coming back to the normal course of events and everyday life. One of the things that I reflected on these holy days was the need to make ourselves a kayli for Hashem's brachot. We often meet with obstacles in life because Hashem trusts that we can overcome these challenges and refine ourselves. One of the things that I was concerned about was the failure of some people to see the brachot and potential for brachot in their lives. For example, a friend told me about this person she feels so sorry for because this person has been looking for a shidduch (partner/ spouse) for twenty years. Now I am not so sympathetic to the plight of this person because she still needs to do a lot of work on herself and she has been offered several good men who are actually quite lovely people with the potential to be excellent husbands and who would love to have children but she will not consider them. Won't even give them the time of day. It seems senseless to me. Here are some perfectly lovely young men and they are brushed aside as "oh, no how could you suggest him?"
What pray tell gives you the right to say that about another human being? To brush him aside like someone of no account? To do things properly you must respect the other person and give them some  kavod as a human being. Also be sensitive, have a lev or heart in dealing with others and then your yetzer is balanced and with the words kavod, lev and yetzer you have a kayli.
The Rav gave a good drosha at yeshiva today. He talked about labels and labelling people. I understand that because many people always tend to put labels on others for any number of reasons. Mainly it makes them feel comfortable. They also label themselves as we'll as others. I define myself as an observant orthodox Jewess, that is why I feel comfortable in any shule to daven whether it is Yeshivah, Mizrachi, Hamayan, the Sephardi shule, the Kollel Beit Hatalmud or Ohel Devora or Mekas Shelanu to name a few. If you go to a shule to daven (pray) it should not matter so much which shule you go to. I am sure there are good G-D fearing people in all shules.
To open yourself to brachot and to be open to the blessings you deserve in life you have to also put effort into working on yourself as none of us are perfect. Hashem rewards us for hard work. I always feel uncomfortable when people tell me to demand of Hashem things that I feel we may need to do more work for. The Rebbe worked very hard and we need to do the same. We cannot demand like spoilt children, but we can say, 'Hashem please, we have worked hard, so hard, please meet us half way.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bullying someone by telling them they are gay

This morning my son told me something quite shocking. He said that he is being told he is "gay" by some other children. He is nine years old. I find that quite disgusting. He was crying to me when he told me last night and again this morning. He said to me,"I am not gay mommy. I want to get married." So I said to him,"of course you are going to get married one day. You are not gay what ever other people say about you. They are being spiteful. They are probably jealous because you are a very good looking boy and they are envious."
He was quite upset. The more things like this happen, the more I want to home school to protect my son and other kids from the rubbish of our corrupt contemporary society where anything goes and people are too frightened to set boundaries on behaviours that are anti-social or damaging. I taught at a school once where there were three gay teachers. One of them was the principal of the primary school. She had a child by donor sperm obviously because her partner was a woman - her ex high school teacher. Now one has to wonder if that young woman was groomed to be gay in high school by this teacher who was senior in age to her by about twenty years. That is why I am so wary of all this politically correct 'gay' stuff. Who knows how some of the more unscrupulous of the very vocal politically active gays are grooming young adolescents to be "gay" and define themselves as gay because they have become confused.
I can see the confusion and hurt set up in my son as he is rejected by peers and taunted as 'gay' and then he starts to wonder who he really is. Then along comes this 'nice gay man' who says to him 'it is ok son. I am gay you are ok. You are one of us.' And hey presto you have forced a child emotionally on a part to confused gender identity because everyone needs to feel accepted by someone. Only if you are a pig headed heterosexual like myself, no amount of bully behaviour and tactics will make the person gay.
It is the vulnerable ones like my son that I and others have to watch out for. It is hard to be normal in this world as it is today. We are being bullied into accepting the abnormal as the 'norm'. Let's fight back and stand up for our values.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

הבית החדש

היום הסחורות ומנכסיה הארציים שלי עברו לבית החדש שלנו בארץ. 3 חווה חדר שינה עם מחקר. זה לא בית חדש, אבל זה יהיה נוח. חלון חדר העבודה שלי משקיף על אדמות חקלאיות. הבן שלי יהיה מרחב לשחק, לנשום ולגדול. האוויר והאווירה הבריא ימחקו את ההשפלות שספגו לאחרונה. הוא יהיה להחזיר את האמון שלו בעולם והוא ימצא שוב שלום. זה חשוב. תהיה לו ביטחון ונוחות. אני אכתוב מאמר על נישואים. משעשע אולי? אם חד הורי התגרש כתיבה אחת על נישואים. אולי לא, כי אני מאמין בקדושה ובקדושת הנישואין.

For those of you who do not read Hebrew so well, I can let you into a secret. Google translate is wonderful but I am sure it,is not literary. I do believe that my Hebrew will improve once I am again living in Israel after I have written my best selling novella. I am going to ask a friend of mine who is a Hebrew teacher to check the translation. ; -)
Yesterday I went to do the condition report on the farmhouse. It is not such anew house but weighing up all the pros and cons it comes out as wonderful. I still think the only thing I really will miss about living in the city is the wonderful friends who are like my family or who are my family in the Melbourne Jewish community. In fact, they have done more for me than family in many ways. My biological family could not care less since the death of my father and grandmother. I still feel angry that my mother is in a government home stripped of all her possessions because the "nursing staff can't be trusted not to steal". Somehow I doubt that story. Most nursing home staff are not out to strip possessions off their clients and are carefully vetted. Not like some relatives and their spouses. Very true saying That you can choose friends but not your biological relatives.

Howard and Fem Belling a great musical team

I went to the old age home at Gary Smorgon just before Succot. I had taken my friend's husband to see her and there was a concert happening. It was this father and daughter team. The woman was very good. Here is the website if you want to book them.
Her name is Fem Belling. I have posted on Facebook some clips. She has quite a story.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Succot, Zippy's Succa and the concept of an easy life

What is the main message of Succot? Achdus, our dependency on the Abishter's mercy - our need to strive and do our part in this world? To fulfil the mission for which we were sent to this existence, what do we need to do? Should we pray for an easy ride in this life?
Lots of questions with many answers to each question. Apart from the niggunim being so beautifully sung by the two young women who led us in song, these were some of the topics of conversation in a succa whose walls were resplendent with green ivy and jasmine flowers, a table laden with delicious treats that led astray even those avowed food aesthetics bursting from days of Yom Tov feasting and a group of women intoxicated with the kedusha of the days of Awe. Stories were exchanged, even different versions of the same Hasidic tale about a man who saves kopeks over months and months to buy the most beautiful estrog to fulfil the mitzvah of the lulav and the four kinds. I always liked the version where the wife is searching through the cupboards looking for food for their many children over the chaggim when she comes across the estrog her husband had secreted in the bottom corner of the cupboard. She realises where he has spent money on fulfilling a mitzvah (and as one of the more perceptive and practical of women present pointed out) while ignoring a primary mitzvah which is to support one's wife and family and ensure that their basic needs are met in the way of food, shelter and clothing. Overcome with rage, she confronts him with the estrog and in front of him, she bites the pitom of the estrog off making it possul or not kosher and therefore he is unable to fulfil the mitvah. There are many versions, but I like that one the best.
The hubby learns to control his temper and I would imagine, ultimately realise his wife was in the right. Thus so he should control his anger and next year he would either use the communal lulav or buy a cheaper estrog and ensure his wife and kinderlach have food for the chaggim.

A easy life is what some want, but really is it such a good thing to have nothing in our lives to challenge us? Should we not bless our Master for the goodness and mercy we are shown in every way? More on that later. It is a topic worthy of its own post.
Personally I have no envy for those who live a life of relative luxury and supposed ease. My late father once summed up his life just before he died of cancer.
"I am very lucky" he told me."most people have to work for a living. My hobby is my livelihood." He was a grazier and worked seven days a week (that I do not recommend. Anyway I keep Shabbat.) from early morning 5am was a normal breakfast time to finish at sundown. Fixing fences, mustering stock, drenching and shearing them, marking and branding them plus many other things, dependent on the weather and market prices. He worked hard all his life and things were not always easy. Yet he was content. Money does not bring a life of ease in many cases more problems are created. One should daven for elegant sufficiency and the means to be useful and valued in a community and in life.
In the Succa of life all is a fragile shell that is so easy to break if we do not take care of things.
A gut yore.