Archive for February, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

John and I celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary on the 24th! It really doesn’t seem like we have been married that long. Hopefully we will be in the same country on our seventeenth!

Last Monday was a holiday, and I enjoyed not working. I ran up to the vet’s office to pick up some hypoallergenic food for Flavia, just to see if it might improve her skin condition.

Monday night, I went to the Thai restaurant with Howie, Petit and Mike – Howie and Petit just got back from a three-week trip to South Africa that sounded amazing.

Last night I went to a fun going-away party for co-worker Jason, who is heading back to DC.

A bright sunny morning here in Tel Aviv has grown cloudy and rainy over the last hour – luckily I don’t have anything that I just have to do today!

Blustery Tel Aviv

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Kitties being entertained


Luckily there are several folks with cats in our building, so we help each other out with catsitting. This week was my turn to check in on Rob’s cats. I took a DVD that was made to entertain cats – it’s just birds jumping around and chirping. His two cats went nuts watching it! So funny.

This was a pretty quiet week. I went to happy hour with some folks Friday night, which was a lot of fun. Saturday I stayed in all day, watching movies and working on taxes.

I’m envious of John, who flew to Mountain Home for the long holiday weekend! Wish I could be there, too.

This week at work, I renewed a passport for a teenager who was born in Hot Springs, not something I see every day! Then later in the week, a gentleman from outside Little Rock passed away while on a tour here in Israel. I’ve been working with his widow on the phone and helping to sort things out to get him back home for burial – I think it’s some degree of comfort to her that I’m from her neck of the woods.

The weather here has been chilly and rainy for much of the week, and windy! You about get blown over from the wind coming off the ocean. I ventured out for Thai food at lunch today, then a quick stop at the grocery store – luckily I got home before it started raining too hard. This has definitely been more of a winter here than last year.




Happy birthday, LJ!

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Mom and Tiger


So Mom’s birthday isn’t until tomorrow, but better early than late! Happy birthday!

The week was a busy one. Last Sunday I went to brunch with neighbors Bill and Diane, Stacy, King and Michael. We walked down to Neve Tzedek and had a nice brunch at Dalal. It was a beautiful sunny day. We came home through the Carmel Market (where I bought some delicious hard goat cheese), then I peeled off from the group to go get a manicure/pedicure. After that, I went for a hair cut.

Tuesday night, the ELOs headed up to Hertzliya after work to the DCM’s residence to hear an interesting speaker. He’s blind and Arab – not a good combination in Israel. He’s an exceptional young man who has started a non-profit organization to help the blind, particularly the Arab community. He’s lobbying for handicap access to public buildings, etc. I wish him luck.

I worried a lot this week about Flavia, for a variety of reasons. Number one, I have been very worried about getting her to Pakistan this summer. I finally found a good flight that will let me take her in the cabin with me!

We went back to the vet today for her rabies shot, in preparation for leaving Tel Aviv. She is still losing hair and we still don’t know why. Her blood work is good and she seems perfectly normal in her behavior. The vet suspects she is stressed and is grooming excessively (we looked at her hair under the microscope and it’s broken off, not falling out). What do you do with a stressed cat?


Hanging out

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Neve Tzedek Neighborhood


The week began with my last photography class Monday after work. I really have enjoyed it! It’s nice to finally understand at least some of the settings on my camera.


Tuesday night I had my weekly Urdu lesson. It’s always so humbling to begin a new language. My main goal with Urdu is just to learn some basic phrases, so there’s not a lot of pressure, thank goodness!

Wednesday our sweet neighbors Katie and Charlie invited me, Diane and Bill down for dinner – Charlie made a yummy roast and Katie made a homemade apple tart. It was a really nice evening.

Thursday night was book club – the first one since John left. It was up the street at another couple’s apartment. We had some new folks, and had a good time.

Friday, a new officer arrived at Post – he’ll be working with us in ACS. Juan and I took him to Whitehall for lunch. He seems really nice; he’s also second tour, so he’s comfortable with the work already. We also have an ELO rotating through ACS this month, so I’ve been training him this week.

I took this photo of the building across the street from us. Tel Aviv was probably a beautiful city in its hey-day, but many of the buildings – like this one – have fallen into disrepair.

Across the street










In 2004, Tel Aviv was named a World Heritage Site, and I’ve read that the city is subsidizing renovations of many of its beautiful Bauhaus buildings. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have modern new high-rise buildings, like this round hotel we see from our apartment in the other direction.

Skyline view, stormy day










I watched a couple of movies this week, “Happy Tears” and “Bobby” (as in Kennedy). Both movies had some great actresses. “Happy Tears” had Parker Posey (one of my favorites), Demi Moore and Ellen Barkin (love her, too). “Bobby” had (again) Demi Moore, Helen Hunt and Sharon Stone. Except for Parker Posey’s role, none of the roles were typical for these actresses, and it was great to see them do such good work.