From Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale
People disappear when they die. Their voices, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living mempry of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continut to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humour, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I got a whole loot.
Mom got me a griddle and Scott got me some running pants and I got me some art supplies and tights* and socks and um... I thought there was more. There was certainly more shopping involved. Oh, I got a teacup from Goodwill with birthday money and various Christmas gifts for people at the stores while I was shopping for myself on Black Friday. So there was more purchasing than presents.
Then today I got a present in the mail from my brother**! He got me a beautiful watch, which I needed.
Um, I really, really NEVER thought I'd go out and purposefully buy tights of my own volition that were not related to dancing. But I have short-ish skirts and boots and when I don't shave.. well I'd rather buy tights than have to maintain you know, hygiene. Sheese. So I totally bought some cute, textured white tights.
** Who is awesome!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Jaedyn is getting into my purse. She is fascinated with my clear lip gloss, the cheap kind with a wand to spread the sticky goop onto your mouth. She was playing with it today, opening it and closing it. Then she came over to where I was computer-ing and offered to put some on me. She did up my lips purdy and when I told her I was all done, she gooped up her own lips. Then she closed the container and gave it back to me and hauled off to get some gum (her other new favorite thing).
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
dedicatory prayerr Essenes***Palace of Caiaphas****cell dungeon (this is an excellent link!)Peter denying ChristYad Vashem Holocaust MuseumHall of RemembranceGarden TombJoseph of Arimathea where many people have felt impressions that Christ was buried. We went inside and saw where Christ's body would have laid and the other compartment that was not finished. The garden had a wine press and huge cistern that is still used to water the plants in the garden. We went to one of the groups of benches provided and had a devotional and sang songs until just about closing time. We took more pictures and were kicked out, in a very polite, British way, from the Garden. We went back to the hotel and enjoyed dinner. The Hotel we stayed in is the Olive Tree Hotel. It was so nice! My favorite part was the huge olive tree that was in the center of the main dining room. They had very tasty food and delicious chocolate croissants for breakfast. I had one each day we were there.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I'm evidently not over my jet lag... I woke up this morning at 2:30 singing a song I learned yesterday for Stake Choir*.
Back to the blog post.
This will go over much better when I have pictures**. Until then you just get words. Black and white across a screen. Boring... and my imagery sometimes leaves a little to be desired. Are you excited yet?
The second day we went to Hezekiah's Tunnel and walked through. It was amazing***. When we got to the end**** we stopped by our Israeli Tour Guide's ***** brothers shop and bought Widow's Mites and Herodian lamps and stuff.
Then we drove out to Jericho, stopped at the****** Sycamore tree mentioned in Luke 19. Went to the Hebron Glass store. We didn't go to Hebron b/c it was not safe.
Then we went to Lazarus' Tomb. A traditional site that has some evidence that it is also the correct site. !!!
We ate lunch at the Traditional Site of the Mount of Temptation. and then went to a Tel++ and looked over the countryside. The City of Jericho is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world and a few days after we visited they had a 11,000 year birthday party there. Then we drove back to Jerusalem and went to the West Wall of the Temple and ushered in the Sabbath with the Jews. !!!
The next day was Saturday and we observed the Sabbath. First we went to the Church of All Nations. We saw the traditional rock that Jesus prayed at. We touched a tree that is old enough to have been there to witness his agony. Then we crossed the street+++ and went into the Garden of Gethsemane. Evidently there are known pick pickets loitering in the street there, so we were told not to purchase anything from the vendors. In the Garden it was beautiful and peaceful... and there was a gospel choir recording a music video. It kinda spoiled the atmosphere for me. Luckily there was enough room that we could go off and have a quiet contemplation without the choir or the traffic from the roads across the Kidron Valley being too distracting.
Then we went to Sacrament Meeting at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. This is where Tarah is doing her study abroad and we surprised her. We thought she'd be at choir practice so we went in but she was not there. So we had her paged and we waited and waited while she woke up(!) and got dressed and come to see who was wanting to see her. We had another scream and cry fest. It was very fun. She was totally, completely surprised. We sat with her for the meeting and enjoyed the testimonies of the students and a few members of our trip. Then we rounded up professors and a faculty for introductions and permission slips. We were going to take Tarah with us to visit Bethany and drop her off later that night. It almost worked out. Almost. When the guy in charge found out that we were going to Bethany++++, he said no way. 'Student's are not allowed in Bethany, blah blah blah'. So we left her. We drove to Bethany and stopped for lunch at a tent restaurant^^^. We visited the caves where shepherds kept their flocks by night and learned about mangers of the time (they were hewn out of boulders). Then we looked out over the fields were shepherds kept their flocks. Aladdin showed us Jewish Settlements in the Palestinian Territory and gave us a brief overview of that confrontation. As we drove back we stopped at Aladdin's winter house which was beautiful and completed^^^^. We drove through a checkpoint and saw the huge (25' tall) wall separating the Jews from the Palestinians. There was graffiti all over. Some of the pictures were poignant. We stopped at our Tour Guide's friend's shop to purchase hand carved olive wood. I really like the $400 carving of Joseph, Mary and Jesus on a donkey. But I got some tiny carving that were in my budget.
* It's exciting to sing this song, because we are doing the fill score arrangement. Snare Drum, organ and two painos, triangles, pretty much everything; it will be so fun.
** I left my camera at home^ so I would have to opportunity of losing it^^.
^ I was in a lot of my Mom's pictures and no one noticed I didn't have a camera of my own. Dave` was surprised to learn I didn't have one on the last day of the trip. That's how I know.
`Whom you will probably be hearing a lot about b/c he is awesome and he joined my mom and I in Egypt.
^^ I only brought along one 'pricey' item, my new set of scriptures. Which I promptly lost at JFK Airport. So it's probably good that I didn't bring the camera.
*** "It was amazing!" I run the risk of saying this so many times it'll take up the whole post. From now on I'll just give you a little visual "!!!".
**** The tunnel comes 'out' from under the ground once it's inside the city and continues to become the Pool of Shalom+. A building was constructed between where the tunnel ends and the Pool of Shalom so you can't see it, we went up a flight of stairs and down the other side of the building to see the pool.
+ many of the historic sites that contained water are no longer wet. The country diverts pools and streams, and the River Jordan, to irrigate crops and water the population.
***** Did I mention that our guide was Aladdin Saim? He was great.
******So many, many of the sites we went to are "traditional". Only a few have archeological evidence that it was indeed the exact place mentioned in the Bible.
++ A tel is a man made mountain. This one was made by at least 20 civilizations building upon the ruins of previous civilizations. The archeologists cut away a pie slice shape of the Tel and excavated the slice to determine this. !!!
+++ At Christ's time the garden would have encompassed the whole of the Church of All Nations and the street and the walled garden we went into as well as more land.
++++ To get to Bethany you have to pass outside of Israeli occupied territory into the West Bank... the disputed territory that can be dangerous.
^^^ I think the tent was based on a traditional Bedouin Tent. !!!
^^^^ In Israel you have to pay taxes on completed buildings so many buildings are left 'uncompleted' with re-bar coming out the tops etc. so the owners don't have to pay taxes.
Friday, November 12, 2010
So here's the full story part one (including bits I didn't know until much much later). There are no paragraph breaks currently... maybe later. Sorry fellow Lynne Truss fans, this is kinda like stream of consciousness.
Tarah is doing a study abroad in Jerusalem this semester. My Mom's dad, Grandpa*, has had a desire to go visit the Holy Land before he dies**. When he heard that Tarah was going to Jerusalem he decided to make his trip there as well and surprise her. He looked up a Church sponsored tour group, Discovery XA, and made arrangements to join their tours of Petra, the Holy Land and Egypt. He called my mom and told her about it, swearing her to secrecy. Months later she asked to tell her husband, Eldon. Grandpa said it was okay to tell Eldon. Eldon said to Mom, 'You should go with him!' Mom didn't think it was in the budget, even though it would be fun. When my brother was in town visiting they called Grandpa to say hi. Eldon mentioned the trip and asked if Grandpa was excited. Grandpa said he was but he'd like it more if Eldon and Mom were coming with. 'Ah hah!', says Eldon. He had work obligations and couldn't go, but Mom was free. Grandpa had open heart surgery a few months ago. Mom agrees to go with Grandpa as a caretaker. She still can't tell anyone else though. So she arranges to go to Florida*** for a horse training thing****. She e-mails everyone telling us about her upcoming trip and mentions that she might be away from a computer for a while. Then she leaves the horse thing early and goes to Grandpa's. They pack everything and head to the airport. When they are unloading the luggage from the car, Grandpa decided he's not going to go. His chest is hurting and he does not want to take chances overseas. It's a little last minute and Grandma and Mom try to persuade him to go and check in and if he still does not feel good to let them know. When he tell s them h already has his patch (medicine) on and he's still feeling off, Grandma agrees that he should put his health first. Off they drive. Mom is left by herself at the airport. She calls Eldon and explains the situation then decides to go by herself. Eldon then calls me and asks if I'd like to go and take my Grandpa's place in the tour group. I do and four days later I'm in a plane to Israel. I missed the Petra portion of the trip. Eldon did an amazing job of contacting Grandpa, Discovery XA (Jim and Carol) and the airlines while I got a passport, packed and found babysitters for Jaedyn. Jim and Carol, the group leaders, knew I was coming and had told everyone else while Mom was asleep on the bus. Mom had no idea I was coming! She thought she would just go and have a great time, pick up some fun Christmas gifts, take lots of pictures for Grandpa... and surprise Tarah for Grandpa. I was in JFK Airport looking for Mormon type people who were flying to Tel Avive on my flight. The problem was that when yo are flying to Tel Avive, most of the passengers are Jewish... and they looked conservatively dressed and religious. Every time I found someone from the group, the lady would be wearing a low cut top or the guy was wearing a yarmulke. It was distressing. There was air sickness involved. When I landed I was supposed to look for a guy holding a sign for Jim Gee - Mormon Group. There were no Mormon's on my flight and no guy holding a sign. I looked and looked. Then I asked about it at the Information desk. The gals there had no idea. The other people were leaving in their tour groups or with family. Finally I was directed to look outside customs and check with another information desk if I still could not find anyone. I walked out of customs and they sigh holder was right there. With a group of conservatively dressed people who were not wearing yarmulkes. I cried a little bit, I was so relieved. We waited around for more people and headed out to our Hotel. I left my bag in Mom's room and went to gift shop to hide until dinner when I would surprise her. Then when Mom's group got back from a day of wandering the Old City, Jerusalem, she found someone's bags had been delivered to her room. She went to the front desk to get the problem 'fixed'. They told her that she was booked in a shared room. She explained that was because her dad was planning on coming but had backed out at the last moment. There shouldn't be someone there. A porter had obviously put some other traveler's belongings into her room and they would be worried when they found their stuff missing. Carol saw what was happening and came to the gift shop where I was hiding out and said, ' you might not want to wait until dinner to surprise your mom.' That's when I came up behind her and touched her shoulder. She turned around and, it took her a few minutes, screamed when she recognized me. She was SO surprised. We hugged and cried for a few minutes. Too bad no one else in the group was around. It would have made for some priceless pictures! We met with the group, and did introductions over dinner. After dinner was a group meeting, we got name tags and after that we went to bed. Mom and I stayed up late talking. She was so happy I was there and told me all about her time in Petra.
* Original name, huh? I like it better than pet names for grandparents.
** Like a bucket list, but he's been around since before bucket lists.
*** Where Grandpa lives.
**** She and Emma do Parelli.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I was going to hop on and write up a fantastic review of my whirl wind adventure in the Middle East. Then I got distracted reading everyone else's blogs. This is why I never blog anymore. I run out of time.
I got a call about 2 weeks ago* from my new Step-dad**. He asked if would be interested in going to Israel and Egypt for a little over a week~. Um, Yeah! He called back a little later and we worked things out. This is what happened:
Saturday - got a call from Eldon.
Sunday - tell gals at church that I might not be there for the Primary Presentation*** practices b/c of possibility of a trip overseas.
Monday - go to Passport Offices in Seattle^
Tuesday - pick up passport, dinner with friends who babysit Jaedyn, stay up all night watching NCIS
Wednesday - leave for the airport at 3 AM, fly to NYC^^, Fly to Tel Avive^^^, surprise my mom who had NO idea I was coming.
Other days - we were going and going and going, our trip was run on Energizer, I swear.
Other other day - flew to Jordan, stayed the night
Day after that - flew to Cairo
Two days later - flew back to the USA
Okay, I'll post more and better descriptions in subsequent posts.
So don't read the footnotes if you are squeamish or just ate...
*On Saturday the 23 of October
**Ugh, it's weird to call him that, but he IS my new Step-Dad... I just wish there was a less offensive term. Mom's new husband is better but it takes like a second longer to type.
~ Tarah is doing a study abroad in Jerusalem and Miles is in Afghanistan, Emma is going to school full time and I... recently quit my nanny job. I'm like the only one who could go.
*** SO. In church I was given a calling (volunteer opportunity) to be the music leader for the kids ages 3-12. Great. I like it, now that I have seen a REAL chorister in action. I have all sorts of ideas up my sleeves. BUT. Every year the Primary does a Sacrament Meeting Program / main congregation meeting. This year I had 4 weeks between the first week that I started leading the music to the Program. The kids didn't know the songs as well as I would have liked. I didn't know the who's and what's of the program.~~
^I couldn't find my actual birth certificate... or Jaedyn's but that's another story. So I took in early elementary school records, a baptismal certificate and my 'certificate of birth' from the hospital (not official, it had my footprints on it though)
^^I got sick and threw up. Had a little coming out the other end too.
^^^Threw up more. Multiple times. Poor sweet Jewish couple sitting next to me. I've NEVER been airsick before. I could taste everything I ate for the last three meals in my burps. Never a good sign. The last time I threw up I was pregnant and stressed. I was thinking,' oh, crap, what if I'm pregnant again?!?'
~~ But that's okay because on Wednesday evening there was a meeting to introduce new people, like me, to the leaders of the Primary and go over the presentation and stuff. I missed the meeting and still have no idea what's going on.