Sunday, June 29, 2008

Touring Israel

So we arrived in Tel Aviv just as the sun was setting, having seen sunrise over the Atlantic just a few hours before, which was pretty strange. It was a couple hours by bus to the kibbutz where we're staying, and even though it was morning at home, I was exhausted and went to bed as quickly as possible.

The next morning we set out on a tour of the Galilee. I was amused by the title on the side of our bus - "Nazarene Express". It made me think of the Pony Express, and I had a bizarre mental picture of Jesus zipping by on a galloping donkey...

Anyway, it's about 20 minutes from the kibbutz, by bus, up the side of the mountain, and then it's a 15 minute hike up to the top from there. We saw lots of interesting things - mine field warning signs, tomb-caves, a sarcophagus, and the remains of a Roman road, which took us into the "downtown" part of the city.

Anyway, this is one of the ruined churches on Hippos, and behind it is the hall where we eat breakfast - it's a more modern structure that was built by the Israelis sometime in the last century.

Tomorrow I'll post photos of the section of Hippos I'm digging in - I'm too tired to even dig out my camera at the moment!

After our tour of Hippos, we went to Kursi, which is a site that commemorates the casting of the demons into the swine. Said event may or may not have happened there, but a monastery was built there, and is now an interesting set of ruins. Kursi is also home to the largest aloe vera plant I've ever seen...

Then we went on to Capernaum, which is mentioned in the Bible quite often. There is a church there built over ruins of a church built over ruins of what is supposedly St. Peter's house. Again, that may or may not be the case, but it's a beautiful site right on the lake. We ran into a few hundred Anglican tourists there - part of a conference that was happening in Jerusalem. It was crowded, but pretty cool to see so many Bishops in one place!

After that we went to Tabgha, which is the site that commemorates the feeding of the five thousand. There's a church built around the rock that Jesus laid the loaves and fishes on... I don't know about that, but the church has beautiful mosaics and was really interesting to see

For our last stop we went to a more modern church which is built on a hill overlooking the lake, and it commemorates the sermon on the mount. It was pretty windy up there - my hat took off and I had to go chasing after it. That was pretty exciting... Then we went back to the kibbutz, and was starving, so I ended up going off and finding dinner on my own. I've never been overseas before, never mind navigating a foreign restaurant all by myself, so that was an adventure. You know how when you go to a lot of places they give you bread or something to tide you over till the food comes? I was served bite-sized peices of deep fried pita, and wasn't even sure was it was at first...thanfully the waitress' English wasn't too bad!

Today we got up at 4 am and heading up for our first day of digging. I did kill a scorpion - without any screaming, I might add... I also found some pottery shards, bruised my hands using a big hoe, got to know some pretty cool people, and went for a swim in the Sea of Galilee with said cool people. It's been a good day, but I am all done in...time to read and possibly nap before an evening church service by the lake...awesome!

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Friday, June 27, 2008


Yay! We made it to Tel Aviv - it's just after 7:30 pm here, but according to my internal clock it's not even lunch time yet. We're heading out to take a bus for 2-3 hours to the kibbutz, and then hopefully to bed ASAP. We're touring the Galilee region tomorrow - looking forward to that! I don't know when I'll have internet again - hopefully Sunday or Monday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow already...ahhhhhhhh! I've got a ton of stuff I need to do, and quite a few things I just want to do as well - hopefully I can fit it all in. I just need to get through a few more hours of work, and then I can focus on all the other stuff I need to do. When I blog again, I'll be in Israel! Yay!

Monday, June 16, 2008 you like bathing suit shopping??!!

I absolutly loathe it - my goal in life is to find a comfortable, modest, yet nice-looking, bathing suit that will actually stay where it's supposed to when you jump into a pool. So far that holy grail of bathing suits has eluded me, but I found this news article that gives me hope...this might just be the solution!

Sink or swim

Calgary custom swimwear maker lessens the horror of bathing suit shopping

Shopping for a bathing suit has always been a special kind of hell, real or imagined, for most women.
Every woman -- unless you're a supermodel and, let's face it, even they have issues with their thighs, tummies and butts too -- hates shoehorning herself into an itsy, bitsy and then checking herself out in a teeny, weeny dressing room lit with hideously unflattering fluorescent lights.
Worse than the realization you will have to actually wear the offending item in public, finding a great swimsuit that fits well all over and is flattering seems like mission impossible. And with many of us fleeing the frozen north for sunny destinations such as Mexico and Hawaii in the next few months, the pressure is on.
That's where Calgarian Chelsea LaBossiere can help.
Inside her basement suite in northeast Calgary, the seamstress lessens the loathing of Lycra. While she can't do anything about stretch marks or cellulite, LaBossiere, who makes custom-made swimsuits, eases the pain of buying a bathing suit. "That's a big thing for me -- making people comfortable," says the 32-year-old small business owner.
LaBossiere's company, Caba Fashions, has been in Calgary since 2003, when she bought it from her former employer in Grand Forks, B.C.
With LaBossiere's help, customers first pick out a bunch of bathing suits to try on from her sample rack that contains more than 60 suits. Mixing and matching is strongly encouraged. She can whip up every kind of swimwear, from tankinis, triangle suits, halter tops and bandeaus, to boy shorts, string bikinis, sports suits or lounging-by-the-pool confections.
Customers can also bring in magazine pictures of their favourite suit for LaBossiere to work from.
Need more coverage on the bottom, but like a higher cut at the thigh to lengthen the legs? LaBossiere can do it. She has about 100 different patterns and stitches together the suits on her four commercial sewing machines inside her sewing room.
Once a style has been chosen, LaBossiere pulls out her swatch binder and customers flip through dozens of different fabrics, all of which she has on hand.
She has seen every kind of suit on every kind of body and that experience helps her counsel customers on the best style and fit for their bodies.
"I am honest with people," she says.
She's honest, but gentle in her appraisal of what looks good. (To be honest, it felt a little like therapy, a bathing suit breakthrough, of sorts for this reporter who sampled LaBossiere's wares. And the resulting swimsuit turned out great.)
LaBossiere's mantra: Make her customers feel a little more confident and happy in their suits, as best she can.
"It's the smallest piece of clothing you will wear in public. It's important to feel comfortable in it. . . . It's like going outside in your underwear," she says.
The average custom-made suit costs $60, but prices range from $42 to $80. Don't, however, expect instant gratification.
Sewing is LaBossiere's passion, but it's also her night job. She works full time as an advertising assistant Monday to Friday and fits sewing in on evenings and weekends.
Depending on how busy she is, LaBossiere takes two to three weeks to make suits. (She also sews gymnastics and skating wear.) It only takes her an hour to actually make a swimsuit, but she often has a backlog of orders.
For more information, e-mail or call 244-8255.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dig Info

Here's a link to the official site for our excavation...

It has links to the blogs of other people on the team, bios of everyone going, information on Hippos, Israel, archaeology, past seasons of digging - there's lots of interesting stuff there - check it out!

15 days to go - I can't believe how fast it's coming! I still have a ton of stuff to do...I had my tetanus shot on Monday, and my arm is killing me. It was at it's worst yesterday - I couldn't even carry my medium steeped tea triple triple back from Timmy's without it hurting. I bet they don't have triple triple anything in Israel...eeeek...

Friday, June 06, 2008


I was just in the photocopy room, looking for a binder to put this client's financial disclosure into, my mind totally on tax returns and credit card statements and such, and I had the strangest conversation...

Co-worker: "Do you mind if I ask you a question? Don't be offended, but you're so quiet. Are you LDS?"
Me: (mishearing and thinking LSD...) Pardon?
Co-worker: LDS. It's a church I belong to - I have it on my resume. You're so quiet and I heard you mention your church once, so I wondered if you belonged to the same one.
Me: (realizing she mean Mormon) Ummm, no, I'm Lutheran.
Co-worker: Oh, yah, that's a good church too.
Me: (smiling politely as I back slowly out of the room)

How weird is that? Not only is she so NOT a quiet person, I never associated being quiet with any particular religion. And why on earth would you put your religious affiliation on your resume? That's just opening the door for all kinds of trouble! It was so strange...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Calgary Philharmonic LIVE

I'm a big fan of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (the CPO). If you've never been, you're missing out! They're good - billed as one of the best in North America, and they don't just do classical stuff. This upcoming season has such a good line up - I'm SOOOO excited. If you order your tickets in bulk before the season starts, you get a discount. I'm going to place my order before I leave for Israel (24 days!!) - do you want to come with me to any of the shows? I'm going to:

  • Swing, Swing, Swing on Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 8 pm
  • Christmas with Natalie McMaster on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 8 pm
  • Stairway to Heaven - the music of Led Zeppelin on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 8 pm
  • Vivaldi's Gloria on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:30 pm
  • The Andrew Lloyd Webber Experience on Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 8 pm
  • Vivaldi's Four Seasons on Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8 pm
  • Three Worms and an Orchestra - the Arrogant Worms in concert on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 8 pm
  • We Will Rock You - the music of Queen on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 8 pm
Let me know by June 17 if you want to come! Depending on which show it is, ticket prices range from $25 for the Arrogant Worms to $35 for the others listed here. If I order enough, we'll get a 15% discount. Those are the cheap, cheap seats without the best view, but it still sounds good from there. Hope you can make it!