Monday, July 31, 2006

In Which I Am Grumpy and Sad and Just Want to Feel Sorry for Myself

I can't find my wedding ring.

I have looked high and low. In every cushion, under every piece of furniture. In all the vents, through all my pants pockets and coat pockets and purses and bags.

I have looked under carpets and on all the shelves and ledges. I have looked in every little dish or bowl or vase.

It's too big to have gone down any drains. It's too heavy to have been swept up and not heard. The cats wouldn't have eaten it. And I've looked anywhere they could have knocked it.

But then where is it? It has been almost five weeks now. I haven't really been despondent until today. I even rented a metal detector. But of course, there is metal in everything. Nails in the floor, springs in the couches, blah, blah, blah. So that didn't work at all.

It's just gone. And I just want to cry. And I just might.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Many Waters

Galilee--you can see so clearly through to the sea floor, you can run forever on the shore, you can dream of ancient days and stormy nights.

The Dead Sea--where you can't not float.

The Mediterranean--where the sand is beautiful and your friends are fabulous.

The Red Sea--for amazing diving, snorkling, exploring, journaling and growing.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Working Weekends

Mowing the lawn, doing the laundry and the dishes. Dusting, polishing. Cleaning out and rearranging the utility room. Putting away tools. Moving furniture. Painting the trim for the shed. Painting the shed. Gardening. Ripping holes in the ceiling, sanding the spackle. Bleaching the mold, painting the kilz. Changing the litter boxes, putting away books. Having a picnic.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


This is the view you see in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They ride their horses through the narrow trail and up to this monolith carved in the rock wall. It is astounding. A marvel of human ability with a chisel.

Then they go inside. There is a huge cavern with tunnels leading off into every direction. Puzzels to solve, riddles to answer, chasms to leap.

The real inside is somewhat less glamorous. Like a lot less glamorous. Like after they finished the exterior, they were just so tired, they didn't bother putting out any more effort. Or it could have been a burial chamber. Or just a place to play shuffleboard. Really.

It's a plain, flat-walled 50 foot square chamber. Huge, yes. Ancient and historical and genius, yes. Adequate for filming the last scenes of Indiana Jones, no. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble. Watch that movie again. There is no panning from the outside in.

But I was there. Really, click on the picture, that's me. I held up the pillar. I walked where Harrison Ford and Sean Connery walked. It's possible I may or may not have walked where Moses walked, but I definitely walked where Sean walked.

The city of Petra was unbelievable. There was only one way in. A narrow, several hundred foot-deep trail. Which they would flood if they didn't want to let you or your army into the city. They built several of these pillared facades for their city. There were hundreds of homes carved into the stone. They even had an amphitheatre and a huge shopping collonade.

You can still see the theatre and all the dug-out homes. You can climb to the top of the mountain and look over all of these monstrosities. (And very tiredly climb back down with aching muscles)
And there is still shopping. Many booths with artifacts which may or may not be authentic. But that's ok. I'll still shop there!

Monday, July 17, 2006


One of the best trips I took while I was going to school in Jerusalem was a weekend jaunt to Egypt. I didn't go see the pyramids or the Nile or other typical Egyptian sites. We went to the Sinai peninsula.

There were 12 of us. Ten guys and myself with my roommate. We took the bus from Jerusalem to Eilat (the southernmost point in Israel, a good 8 hours south) crossed over into Egypt (where you weren't supposed to take pictures) and picked up a taxi down to Dahab (another four or five hour drive in sweltering heat in a taxi with no air conditioning, but plenty of arabian music).

Dahab is an amazing, beautiful town right on the Red Sea. We got in early evening and found huts/rooms/mats to sleep. My roommate and I (plus a boy for security) got the 'best' setup. A room plus a bed plus a bathroom plus a fan. All that luxury for five dollars. The bathroom was so big you could go while washing your hands and taking a shower.

That night we walked down the restaurant road together looking for a place we could all agree upon to eat. Everyone was offering something different. "Please come eat here, we will give you free drinks!" "My friend, my friend, eat here, we will give you free dessert!" We ended up choosing the only place where they cooked the food right in front of you plus had free dessert. It was delicious. I felt so exotic and was had such a great night hanging out, chatting and enjoying the whole atmosphere.

The next day, a bunch of us decided to go scuba diving. In America (and most countries) you have to go through a lengthy and expensive training process to be a certified diver. In Dahab, you watch a fifteen minute video, promise to go slow and they hand you a tank.

We dove at the Blue Hole, so named for it's coral reef and how from above its arial view looks like a hole in the deep blue sea. It was so beautiful. Words cannot describe. I had been snorkling before, but this was unbelievable.

After a long, fun busy day exploring, shopping, swimming and diving, we headed back to the town to pack up and get ready for another long trek. We got a couple taxis and headed for Mount Sinai. We wanted to be there to start climbing the mountain about midnight so we could camp out for the night and then wake up on the top.

It was one of the most terrifying and bizarre experiences of my life. Again, like I said, there were ten guys and two of us girls so we felt safe most of the time. We assumed that once we reached the base of the mountain, we would find 12 camels to ride up. We were told to barter for a good price and we'd do just fine. There was no such thing. Bartering, yes. One guy with twelve camels, no.

We arrive at midnight. We arrive in pitch blackness. There is no electricity in the middle of the Sinai desert. There are no lights at the base of the mountain. There are however, many individual men with many individual camels all wanting you to rent their camel. Pulled and prodded from each side. Flashlights in my face.
"You need camel?"
"I have camel for you!"
"You! You need camel?"
I found the nearest hand of a friend and hung on for dear life.

We made sure we were all together and all ok and got our individual camels and guides to lead them and us up the mountain. It was a long, spectacular ride. We saw nuns on foot who make the tortuous climb every Saturday night to sing a Sunday morning mass at the peak. Pilgrims seeking solitude, tourists looking for adventure.

At one point in the trail, we had to dismount our camels and start climbing the stairs carved into the rocks. We had ridden for a couple hours until we were all sore and now had to climb at least another hour up into the dark sky to reach the summit.

Once we finally made it, we rolled out our sleeping bags, tucked our backpacks under our heads for a pillow and slept. On a cliffside. In the black. The sleep of the dead.

And then all too soon, it was morning. And the morning brought the light. And we all sat in awe of the beauty of the earth. Of the realization of where we were. Perhaps this wasn't exactly where Moses stood when the LORD spoke to him. But the reverency was not lost on us. We listened to the worship of the nuns. We journaled. We talked. We prayed.

And we just sat and watched the sun rise over the horizon.

I and a friend chose to ride camels back down the mountain also. We got down much faster than those who took the stairs down the whole way. And our calves thanked us.

I climbed Mount Sinai. And then I descended back to earth.

Where Have I Been?

I suppose I should begin at the beginning. Or at least at the start of the questions. All of a sudden I feel like there is so much that I want to share, to tell, to put down so that I can see it and know that it all really happened.

I started going through some old pictures today. Pictures I want to scan in and use for my sagas. I can be so very nostalgic sometimes. My belly flutters, my eyes sting a little, my heart is tight and I feel anxious.

Jen asked if I had ever been out of the country and when. Does Canada count? If so, then I have been there many times. I grew up in western New York so when I travel there from here in Michigan, I often drive through Canada.

But I have been further away from America than that. I actually lived in Israel for three and a half months. When I was going to college, I happened to be flipping through the coursebook and noticed that they do a study abroad program in which you can trasfer credits from whatever classes you take. "Wouldn't it be amazing to study in Israel?" I thought to myself.

So I did. I saved up, I got financial aid, I chose my classes, I got a roommate, vaccinations, my passport, and flight tickets and off I went.

I lived in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. It was the most amazing time of my life. The first few weeks I felt as though I was just on this amazing adventure and I loved the city and the culture and everything about being there, but also missed the US and my boyfriend. I thought that it was a great place to be and to visit, but I would never consider living in Israel an option. After about a month of being there, I wondered how I would ever be able to leave.

You can see the school in the bottom left just above the dirt ball field. It wasn't a big campus, but it was beautiful, it was home.

Her Shed...It is Pink

Friday, July 14, 2006

Nothing to Hide

I think I am going to begin a few sagas. Regale you with a few stories from my past. But what order to do everything in? There's the multiple marriages, the Jewish history, the cat that can't come back, the African safari, the Hawaiian adventure, the time I almost went to jail...ahem.

Here's a thought, you ask me a question about myself. I'll answer it. Nothing is taboo. I've got nothing to hide. I don't think...

We'll start there and see how it goes.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Suggest A Song

When you think of Classic American Songs, what do you think of? I am compiling a list of ideas for a trip, and could use some more suggestions. I need a good hour's worth of music.

Songs that the whole world has likely heard. Classic old time rock and roll. Maybe some newer if they are very catchy and extremely popular.

Brought to You by the Color Red

Give me one or two lines of text to describe this photo. Knowing nothing about it, tell me the first thing that pops into your head.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Have No Idea

Cory has asked a question with which I have been stumped. Who knew it was possible. Therefore, I am going to pose my theorizing, but am going to leave it open as it appears he is looking for a specific answer that I have not been able to find.

Why can't I play basketball outside in the rain without getting wet?

(10 bonus points for the original askers of this age-old question)

Now, if you are playing outside in the rain under a roof or a tarp or a tree or if you have a hat on, it is possibly that you could avoid getting wet. If you were as fast as Superman or had some kind of super water-repelling clothing, you could avoid getting wet. Otherwise, the reason you can't avoid getting wet is because it is raining. And rain is wet. And you are under the rain. Therefore
you cannot avoid getting wet.

However, if anyone has a better answer than this, I will award them Cory's promised ten points. And who doesn't want ten points!?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Where Have All the Holes Gone!?

It's a process. And I know it's not all that exciting to most people. It's not really all that big of a deal. But the man is a musician. (no offense, my musician friends) Every project he's ever done is something he's never done. And he always does it so well. Therefore, I am impressed. And I show off his good work.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


It's out of control. Someone please tell me they have had this sickness before. It's wretched. It won't stop and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. At least right now.

I'm talking about an addiction. I'm sure we're not the only ones. There must be others who have had this trouble sleeping, this inability to focus on anything else. For whom there is no cure but more poison.

I'm talking about ALIAS. I'm talking about being so into a show there is nothing else in view. We must figure out what is going on. We must keep watching. We must get another disc in the mail tomorrow.

We've only just finished Season Two. And the season finale was over the top. I was churning it over in my head all night. With the noisy neighbors (see post below) I barely got any sleep at all.

And man Vaughn is Dreamy. That's a two syllable word. Dree-mee.

Five or So

It seems I have been tagged by Krisco, and must reveal information about myself this sunny Sunday.

Five Things In my closet
Which closet? I use THREE! They're all really small closets, I swear. Ok, I know, it's excessive.

Closet 1: Shoes & clothes & gift bags/boxes
Closet 2: Shoes & clothes & purses
Closet 3: Clothes and everything else that I don't know where to put somewhere including, but not limited to picture frames, table, bedspread, clock radio, shelves, sewing drawers & basket, etc.

Five Things In My fridge
Leftover spinach & feta pizza
Vanilla Frappuccino
Fresh asperagus
Sobe Green Tea
Greek salad dressing
Milk, bread, condiments, eggs, yogurt, lettuce, carrots, etc and so forth

Five Things In My car
Cell phone charger
Beach chair
Jumper cables (everyone should)

Five Things In My Purse
Lipstick (four or five tubes)
Contact solution
Etc other women's-type things

Ok, Amy & Nikki & Heather & Jean, it's your turn. This was an easy one...

The Country Sounds Good

I grew up in a smallish town and lived in a house in the middle of nowhere. On 18 acres of land with no view of any of our neighbors but the cows. The loudest it ever got was in the middle of a hot July when the crickets were in full voice.

Since I left home, I've lived in the city. Not downtown city, but very near. With a view of all of our neighbors on several streets, and even a view of the tallest downtown business buildings.

I love living here. I am right near a grocery store, gas station, restaurants, coffee shops and many other interesting small businesses. I don't have to go far for anything I need and can ride my bike to anything I wouldn't walk to.

However, last night we despised our neighborhood. We hated where our house was. We rued the day we ever chose to settle where we did.

Every so often there are loud, noisy, rude, drunk people having parties on our street. Sometimes the wedding receptions held at the church across the street go very late and involve much shouting and excessive partying. Last night it was our next door neighbor.

The house is a rental, so that's a first strike against it. We know they could care less about the yard as they haven't yet once mowed it since they moved in. They collect their trash for weeks and weeks and then put mounds of smelly waste out at once for the whole area to enjoy.

The noise and the yelling and the music was so loud last night that my husband even called the cops to drive by. And I think all that did was make them louder. No regard for anyone else, no respect for curfews or noise pollution or anything. And I'm not talking about just late evening, either. I'm talking about the middle of the morning.

The sad thing is the resident of the home is a single mother. I don't know if the children were home or not, but it seems like she really should have known better, right?

I think I need to find a way to get ahold of the owner of the house and have a chat with him. I understand people who want to have a good time and whatever, but not at three in the morning and especially not when some neighbors have to get up at 6:30 the next day.

And now it's time for my nap.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Action Cats!

Thanks to one of my favorite sites, Stuff On My Cat, I found my new favorite toy. I'll have to get at least six sets. That way everyone can try a few. Maybe next weekend we'll have a Battle Royale.

Friday, July 07, 2006

To Be Read

Last weekend, we drove south to meet my in-laws to pick up my sister-in-law and her husband. We met them in a nice little Michgan town near Indiana. We got to the town first and wandered around to kill some time.

The town had a gorgeous old library. We figured there was no better place to spend time than in a beautiful library. But it gets better.

They were having a library sale. And the best kind too. The kind with the little sign that says, "A buck a bag."

I didn't find many books that I had heard of before. The shelves were full of old volumes from years past. So many intriguing stories, not read anymore. Not perused, not pondered, not loved.
So we adopted a few. A few novels, a few biographies, a few histories. Many good beach books. Several excellent sunny day books. A couple for rain storms.

I just finished another Dean Koontz novel. He always holds my interest and I constantly find myself biting my nails during the endings.

The next on the list is The Western Coast. I really know very little about it, but it looks like a good read. I'm trying to get in at least one or two a week this summer. Amidst the painting and building and gardening.

Any other titles I should add to the list? There are many more pages to be turned.

And Then There Were Ten

Ten holes in my bathroom. Now with electrical wiring!

Plus, I was explicity warned not to touch the sides of the exposed outlet. I apparently have a tendency to do that. Sheesh, it's not like I've been shocked more than three or four times.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

There's a Hole in My Bathroom

Where there used to be solid, painted wall, there is now a gouging hole. I am not able to stick my hand straight outside as there will be twists and turns, but there it is. The hole.

The hole that will bring an end to mildew. The hole that will refresh the misty, steamy air. The hole that will bring clean air where there once was only stale.

Ok, that makes my bathroom sound way worse than it is. It's a nice little bathroom, just no ventilation fan. Yet. But yes, there is mold on the walls. We bleached it off a while ago and painted Kilz over it, (go out and buy Kilz now if you don't already have some...even if you don't need it right now, chances are that someday you will and you will thank me for my foresight) which worked for a time, but soon enough there were new spots of mold where we had not painted.

The annoying thing is how many times this bathroom has already been painted. Assumedly because of the mold. Someone just cleans it and paints it and they think the problem is all taken care of. Until next time.

I really hate the look of overly painted walls. You can just tell. But that's another of the joys of owning a very old home.

There is dust everywhere. Everything is off the walls and all of the doors are shut. I think we may have to shower elsewhere for a while. Fortunately, that just means going upstairs. Though the 'bachelor bathroom' is exactly how you would expect it to be. So I suppose you could say we'll be slumming it for a bit.

I am so anxious to be painting. And cleaning that mess up. Cammie appears to want to help too.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Same Font Different Book

As I'm sure the rest of you are, I've been busy. It's almost silly to say it, because it's expected to be true.

Family has been in town from Florida. Sadly, they've been sick much of the time and haven't been able to do many of the fun things we all wanted to do. But at least they've been able to relax and get refreshed.

I'm getting tan. Which means that you can still see my veins in my legs, but they're getting fainter. I don't mind the paleness. It is part of who I am. But it is nice to have shiny, brownish legs in the summer. I am quite careful of my face, however. Sunhat, glasses, sunscreen. I found an excellent makeup this summer that has spf15 and great light coverage.

There is nothing better than days free to sit and read. Days free from stress or constriction. Days to lie on the roof and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.

I still don't have that magnificent rooftop garden yet. But I will. Even if I don't plant anything in it this year, it will be great to have it built and ready to go for next year. I have let my spinach grow to long and it is past eating now. The roof garden will be perfect for spinach and lettuce and other shorter-rooted items. I also want to have large pots of flowers and even a few trees to make it feel lusher and a bit more exotic. We'll see how all that goes. I don't know how well the trees would last over the winter.

Tomorrow my husband is going to smash a hole in our bathroom wall. He has purchased a much-needed venting fan and has been plotting how best to install it for several days now. We have a lovely mold colony that needs to be destroyed and kept at bay. So, the fan will go in, the walls will be bleached and scrubbed and re-painted.

We bought paint today for the hallway and stairway. I'm also thinking of ripping up the carpet and refinishing the stairs. Anyone good at floor refinishing?

Plus, our new garden shed is in and needs to be picked up from the hardware store. I'll be building that this weekend also.

We never do home improvement half-heartedly.