Thursday, March 31, 2011


C: Mom, there's a bad voice in my head.

M: Oh, no, what is it saying?

C: It say, "bookie."


Love that boy.

Gooooood Morning Tel Aviv! (March 14)

Jet lag is a hard task master. After traveling all day Saturday, flying all night and through the day Sunday, we crawled off the plane to discover that we wouldn't see the light of Sunday from outside our double decker jet...even though our flight was only 12 hours. 12+7 time zones = all day. But did exhaustion stop us from consuming vast amounts of food? No. Did it stop us from walking to the Mediterranean Sea? No. Do I have photos to prove this? Um, no. But as I said, jet lag. Which in this case is jet accel. Bed by 9, up by 4:30. Brent went for a run, I did a bit of my Daniel study and then we went to the beach for the "sunrise." Which is moot considering sunrise happens over high rises and therefore is invisible. The good news is that we expected this. I know where Orion is, and it is decidedly in the west and I found him the night before sitting over the sea.

Watching Israel wake up is lovely whether or not you get a sunrise. Old men in speedos going for their frigid morning dip in the sea. Sand that has been graded so as to not be hardened sand dunes. Husbands and high hopes for the coming days.

Note puffy faces. Remember it is in the five o'clock hour and we've been traveling for two days.

Freshly tilled sand every morning

Puffy Face

I spared you the old man in a speedo.

Our illustrious hotel, the Metropolitan. With our bus in the foreground.

Typical Tel Aviv. Unfinished buildings, wall art, scary traffic....or what will be in a couple hours.
Next up: Caesarea Maritima, when my four-year-old will allow. And yes, I do intend to document pretty much most of my last two weeks, so if you are bored out of your mind, you might not want to check back in for a while. My humblest apologies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

(Non-Spiritual) Things I Learned in the Holy Lands

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

1. Toilet paper is a I intend to partake of indefinitely. And while we're on the subject, so are toilet seats, toilets, stall doors and free bathrooms.

2. I am singularly amazed at how little Brent and I have to fight about when the biggest responsibility either of us has is to make it onto the bus by 8:30. Would you like Coke or Pepsi? Oh, whatever you want. Would you like the last drink of this latte? No, that's OK, you finish it. Wanna go for a walk on the beach? Sure.

3. I get claustrophobic. I nearly went stark raving mad one morning on the bus.

4. It is possible to be dressed very conservatively and still be "nekked" in Jerusalem. If you are at the Western Wall, you'd better darn well have your shoulders arms covered. If you are at the Dome of the Rock, cover your head. It will just go better for you.Of course, if you are a man, flip what is covered, when.

blue shawl provided by hysterical offended woman (I was mortified that I had offended so greatly)

You can't see his head covering here, but trust me, he's wearing it. And I made the shawl more manageable.

I was invisible until I flipped the scarf over my head and suddenly people are offering to take our picture.
5. Easter is represented by an ostrich. Somewhere. Not in the states? No? Did we make a mistake?

6. Armenians take their birthplace of Jesus VERY seriously.

7. It is possible to submerge yourself in EVERY body of water in Israel. Which tells you how much water is there.

8. Octopi die of boredom.

9. I had no idea that the statement "Shut Up!" Could make me laugh so hard. In close second is "No with the lafink."
I got in quite a bit of trouble for a woman of 35 years.

10. I am quite capable of eating kosher for two weeks.

11. Brie with cucumbers and tomatoes is my new favorite breakfast. Unfortunately cucumbers and tomatoes won't be in season for four more months...and brie is hard to come by around these parts.

12. I do not fancy anchovies with my brie.

13. Carp aren't good kissers.
St. Peter's fish leave something to be desired.
14. Brent and I are.
I kinda like him. Even with the headdress. (Look at those nekked arms!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

the mountains bow down

It's been a while since I've reviewed a book on here. The move. The life. The kids. And it takes me FOREVER to get through a book these days so I've hesitated to agree to review any....until now. I was just intrigued.
Need I say more?

About The Mountains Bow Down: Everything's going to work out. Time away always makes things better . . ..

That's what FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon believes as she boards a cruise to Alaska. A land of mountains and gems and minerals, The Last Frontier is a dream destination for this forensic geologist who's hoping to leave behind a hectic work schedule and an engagement drained of romance.

But when a passenger goes missing and winds up dead, Raleigh's vacation suddenly gets lost at sea. The ship's security chief tries to rule the death a suicide, but Raleigh's forensics background points to a much darker conclusion: Somewhere onboard, a ruthless murderer walks free.

Engulfed by one of her toughest cases yet, Raleigh requests assistance from the FBI and receives her nemesis-perpetual ladies man Special Agent Jack Stephanson. As the cruise ship sails through the Inside Passage, Raleigh has five days to solve a high-profile murder, provide consultation for a movie filming onboard, and figure out her increasingly complicated feelings for Jack-who might not be such a jerk after all.

And that's only her work life. Family offers even more challenges. Joined on the cruise by her mother and aunt, Raleigh watches helplessly as disturbing rifts splinter her family.

Like the scenery that surrounds the cruise ship, Raleigh discovers a situation so steep and so complex that even the mountains might bow down.

Jamie sez: Let me tell you, it was a lot of fun to read a book totally out of my element. It's been a while since I've read a murder mystery (I believe this one might be deemed a "cozy"--oops, no, the cover says suspense, and I would agree with that (but I'm kind of a weenie when it comes to scary so I didn't want to overbill it)). And Raleigh is in to rocks, which I'm not, but might decide to be now.
Anyhoo, my understanding is that this is the third book in the Raleigh Harmon book series, but it was totally readable mid-series. I do, however, now want to read the first two.

(And Psssst! Guess What? You can get The Stones Cry Out  for Kindle for $2.99!)

And you know how I told you it takes me forever to get through a book these days? You guessed it, done in a weekend. It's that good. So buy some frozen pizza for your family to eat and order yourself The Mountains Bow Down.

But be prepared, there is definitely some room for another book. Don't worry, murder solved, but expect to have a few questions when you're through.

And maybe a new passion to see some neon blue stones. ;)

Hey, check this out!
Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Mountains Bow Down by giving away a Cruise prize pack worth over $500.00!

One Grand Prize winner will receive:
  • A $500 gift certificate toward the cruise of their choice from Vacations To Go.
  • The entire set of the Raleigh Harmon series.

Then tell your friends. And enter soon - the giveaway ends on 4/1! The winner will be announced at Sibella’s Raleigh Harmon Book Club Party on FB April 5th, 2011! Don’t miss the fun – prizes, books and gab!

About the Facebook Party: Join Sibella and fans of the Raleigh Harmon series on April 5th at 5:00 pm PST (6 MST, 7 CST & 8 EST) for a Facebook Book Club Party. Sibella will be giving away some fun prizes, testing your trivia skills and hosting a book chat about the Raleigh Harmon books. Please RSVP  and if you have questions you'd like to chat about - leave them on the Event page.

And to see what other bloggers have to say about The Mountains Bow Down, go here 

About Sibella: Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her website.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

So Glad I'm Not In Labor....Selfish, I Know

But Thank You Lord for my Charming who gives every day spice.And by "spice" I mean the good, the bad, and the why-would-anyone-like-this? But that's life. And it's kinda fun to have a kid who can smile for a camera and wants his picture taken every time I grab it. And, yes, he likes to pose with his favorite toys as if what's important in the photo is the props.
Lord, get me through this, the fourth year. I pray that my attitude holds and I remember how very precious this one chance to see Charming at four really is.
Even if it sometimes makes me want to run screaming for the hills.