Category Archives: Life

Advice for those new to living gluten free

The Savvy Celiac asked her facebook followers what their one tip for a newly diagnosed Celiac would be.

This is mine:
Don’t run right out and try to replace all the things you can’t eat anymore with a gluten free substitute; you will probably be even more overwhelmed/discouraged/frustrated if you do, because most of the subs don’t taste that great, or like the real thing.

Instead, eat foods that are naturally gluten free, like more fruits, nuts, veggies, rice, quinoa, tofu, meat if you’re a meat-eater, etc. Slowly try substitutes (or learn make your own!) for things you can’t live without (bread, for instance).

It’s not so bad, and you’ll feel loads better. Your whole life will be different after this, but mostly in positive ways. :


We’re back-pictures from Petra and Jerusalem

These Petra photos are way out of order because I wanted to save the best for last.  :)

You can hire a horse carriage to take you the two or so km from near the entrance to the Treasury.  The Treasury is the main attraction of Petra, I suppose, and is the first building you see after you wind your way through the giant, smooth, sublime canyon.  I felt so bad for those horses though.  There is a hill at the end and I saw many of them struggling really hard to get up it with so much weight from the passengers and the carriage.  The driver would whip them and yell at them and the horses would neigh like crazy and try to back down the hill.  It wasn’t a large hill, but it was still difficult.  There were signs that directed visitors to pay attention to the health and happiness of the horses before they agreed to ride them or ride in the carriages, to consider if the weight of the passengers would be too much for the horse to bear, and that they should not have more than two people to a carriage-though I don’t know if that included the driver or not.  Poor things.

Climbing the many, many steps to the High Place of Sacrifice

One of the many views from the ascent to the High Place.

Just past the High Place.  I think I’m getting better at this whole photography thing.  I’m very thankful for the wonderful camera my parents so graciously gifted me with for graduation.  I’m a lucky daughter.  :)

I find cats wherever I go.  Or, they find me, rather.  It’s a genetic curse.  (My mother has 13 of them right now-about half of them need homes…any takers???) I swear.  These kittens were SO SOFT and so friendly.  They must eat well from all the tourists.  I think their mom was the cat who smelled the peanut butter I was eating and came to find me (so I fed it some, of course) when I was taking a break a little bit before we arrived here…wherever that was.  Petra is enormous and vast, so I couldn’t keep track of everywhere we went.

Even Dan can’t resist their cuteness.

Here we are riding camels in Petra.  Riding camels in the Middle East! My dream come true.  It wasn’t in Egypt, in front of the pyramids, but I think Petra might actually be better than those silly pyramids…or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better about not being able to go to Egypt.

THE picture that everyone takes and is on thousands of postcards.

Dan in front of the Treasury.

I took more pictures, of course, but these were the best, thus the ones I bothered to edit.

Here I am, back in Elat, waiting for the bus to Jerusalem, at a POTATO BAR!  Why don’t we have those all over the place in the States?  NOM!  Delicious and naturally GF (providing they don’t put some weird gluten filled topping on your potato). Look at the size of that thing!
Potato Bar!

This is where we slept the first night in Jerusalem.  Both of us, in that tiny bed, in that tiny room.  Hostel life is not glamorous.

Dormition Abbey
Dormition Abbey.

Dormition Abbey
Inside Dormition abbey. I loved this large, colorfully lit mobile. It was very modern and surprised me when we came around the corner and saw it.

Dormition Abbey
One more of the Abbey.  I love all the mosaics everywhere in this part of the world.  I love, love, love mosaics.  I think I’ll start making some when I get back to the States.  I’ve always wanted to and never have.  They sound like a soothing activity-tedious but satisfying.  That’s how I meditate.  :)

A random alley in Jerusalem.  They’re everywhere.  Jerusalem alley
That place is a labyrinth of streets and alleyways.

Saint Mary Magdalene Church
The church of St Mary Magdalene at the Russian Ecclesiastic Mission on the Mt. of Olives.  It was a VERY long hike, and that was not even very far up.

Church of Saint Mary Magdalene
Inside the church. Who’s that down in the corner? Nunya business. That’s who. Har, har, har.

The view from the top of the Mt. of Olives, obscured by our beautiful faces. =p

And here it is without us. Jerusalem doesn’t have a nice skyline for the most part.  This is one of the few nice views.

Stone of Anointing
This photo is from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is owned by three different religious sects, and is heavily fought over by them. This is the supposed Stone of Anointing, though only added in 1810, so who knows.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
I was snapping photos of the candles, and a man walked up to light one. I hope he doesn’t mind being in my picture. I think it turned out nicely

Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount, where many temples have been built and destroyed.  Now it belongs to the muslims, and though Jews and Christians are allowed to visit, they are not allowed to pray here.  Many Jews don’t visit this site because it is where the site of the holy of holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was contained in the third temple. Only the high priest was allowed to walk there, and only once a year, on Yom Kippur, the day of repentance, where he asked for forgiveness for the sins of all the Jewish people. You’d never know it from the picture, but it was extremely windy and rainy just before I shot this.

Western Wall
And here is the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall (well, part of it-the men’s side)
We toured the tunnels running underneath the Western Wall, which is the second coolest thing I’ve seen here so far, the first being Petra.  The current street level of the Muslim quarter in the Old City (there are four quarters-Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) is raised by two levels of arches, creating the tunnels underneath.  So those tunnels are where the old Muslim quarter originally was.  So crazy.

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoy this mini photographic tour of our trip. :)

Trapeze pictures

I’ve been taking Einav’s aerials class on Fridays, as well as working on my own time, with help from her and/or Dan.  I’m now able to get up onto the trapeze on my own!  I know a few tricks.  I’m working on my strength-pull ups, chest lifts, shoulder lifts-to develop my “trapeze wings.”  I feel good about it so far.  Every single thing you do on the trapeze hurts.  A lot.  Even just holding onto the bar.  I’m developing calluses on the palm side of my first knuckles.  Holding onto the bar stopped being so painful in my joints after the first couple of weeks, which is a huge breakthrough.  I wasn’t sure I could keep doing it if it were so painful consistently.  It’s causing little to no wrist pain as well, which is a huge deal considering the major issues I was having before I left the States.  I’m having some difficulties with elbow pain in the medial side, but it comes and goes.  I think with arnica, ice, proper warm-ups and stretching of my arms, and resting when I need to will keep it under control.  Even with all the pain and difficulty, I’m loving trapeze.  I never even considered it as something I would be interested in, but I’m so in love.   So here are a few photos from the beginning.  I’ll try to get Dan to snap some more.  I’m applying for the “intensive” circus program at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) in Vermont for the fall.  Dan is applying there as well, but for the professional program.  We have to make videos for our applications, so I’m sure I’ll have that up soon, as well as some more pictures.

We’re taking a week long vacation, starting on Sunday, where we’ll be spending a night in Elat-the southermost point in Israel-then heading over to Jordan and spending two nights in Petra.  After that we’re going back to Israel and spending a few nights in Jerusalem.  Expect an update about that in the next couple of weeks.


Clean clothes are a luxury here

We finally gave in and took our massive amount of laundry to the place by the grocery store and had the lovely lady there do it for us.  She always remembers Dan and is so forgiving when we never know his phone number (we forget to write it down beforehand every single time).  It cost just under $50.  That is why we do our laundry in a bucket, as you saw in the pictures.  But it won’t stop raining for very long, and when it does, it’s still too humid so nothing dries.  It takes days for a shirt to dry.  I’m not exaggerating.  It’s nuts.  This rain is great for Israel, but not for my clothes.

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