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Archive for December 20, 2012

Feeding the soul

I’ve spent nearly four days in Tel Aviv and I feel as if I am finally starting to truly relax. This is a wonderful city — at once relaxed and beachy, and yet there are cappucino stands among the fruit smoothie stands. There is ancient history and layers of culture brought here by successive waves of immigrants. The food, the music and the people are a fascinating blend.

Most days have begun with an hour’s walk along the boardwalk after a substantial breakfast of fresh squeezed orange juice, eggs, blintzes with sour cream, pitta with hummus and labne (a lovely strained yogurt/cheese), slices of goat cheese rolled in red pepper flakes and a chocolate croissant to round things out. And of course, the coffee…caffe latte…strong and hot. The breakfast is a microcosm of the city, and also of Israel as a whole. Traditional and modern, Middle Eastern and European and Russian.



I’ve been able to just wander up and down the coast by myself, and spend hours walking and watching and enjoying the sights, and sounds, and tastes. There are no deadlines, no places I need to be, nothing on the agenda. I think I need to leave home and be among strangers in order to fully relax. Family are nice, but I find time with family is not restful; there are always things to do and obligations to be met and expectations. In a strange place among strangers there are no expectations and I can just do and be nothing for awhile… at least until the hubby’s conference is over.

Tomorrow we start the excitement of being tourists and head off to Jerusalem, and a week-end packed with adventure. The go-go-go part of the vacation to feed the mind. Most of our vacations feed the mind, but this portion has also fed my soul.





Hello from Tel Aviv

Here I am in beautiful Tel Aviv! It’s such a lovely port city on the Mediterranean — with great cafes, a lovely boardwalk just minutes from our hotel and lots of places to just sit and enjoy life. Oh, and cats, too. Lots of stray (but not scaggly) cats who add a special charm to the place.













Hello from Nashville, Tenessee!

Howdee! I’m here in the heart of Nashville this week.  Haven’t seen any country stars or been to Opryland (is that still here?) I’m here to give help and support to my mother who just had a knee replaced yesterday and will be transferring from the hospital to a rehab facility tomorrow.  They get you in and out quick these days.  They even had her up and walking within 4 hours of her surgery!  But she’s doing quite well and I think she’ll be ready to move to a more independent setting tomorrow afternoon — even if she won’t be ready to return to her job as full-time cat caregiver for another couple weeks. (Yes, I’m here to take care of the cat, too.)

In the meantime, it’s FREEZING here in Nashville.  Literally.  It got down to 26F last night and any lingering moisture in the air has been sucked right out! Even out in the coastal desert of San Diego, there’s more humidity.  My skin is flaking and my hair has lost its curl. Fortunately, I brought some Bhaviphat sleeping pack and after the first flaky day, I started using it all day as well as at night and what a difference!  It’s non-greasy, but packed with the powerhouse, glycerin, along with vitamins and other humectants, which has made today a softer, happier day.

And speaking of beautiful days, my article was published on 15 Minute Beauty today!! Woo hoo!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday Pictures: A day at Seaport Village and farewell for a few weeks

Today was a splendid day to work at Seaport Village.  My “office” was all decorated for the holidays and the pace was fairly mellow.

hanging basket in tree

As I look up from my desk, I see festive baskets of flowers.

San Diego Harbor from Seaport Village

If I turn my head I can see the harbor

Dave the Balloon Guy

The guy in the next cubicle is hard at work.

poinsettia X-mas tree

The tree was all trimmed with a star on top.


And the hummer is happy with its lot.


I had hoped to get a lot more posts done.  I have so many ideas, yet have been so busy that I haven’t even made it to the computer to answer email since last Wednesday!

And tomorrow I start on the first of several adventures which will take me away from home, and away from regular posting.  I shall return in the New Year with new ideas and lots of pictures to post.

With any luck, I’ll have access to internet cafes now and then and will be able to post updates, but there is the real possibility that I’ll be too busy and too far away from wifi for that to happen.

So, in case I don’t get the chance to say this again:

Happy Holidays! Stay safe. Eat lots.  And I’ll see you in 2013!

Reality check with celebrities

I got an email from Prevention Magazine today… not surprising; I get one every day, usually exhorting me to do the Flat Belly Diet or buy the latest Dr. Oz book, but this one featured an article entitled “Your Secret Weapon against Cravings”, which turned out to be a 30 minute yoga routine that is supposed to relax and rejuvenate so you have fewer anxiety-based cravings.   (If I were able to get into those poses, perhaps they would de-stress me, but trying to do the Warrior 3 would not be a pretty sight and would definitely cause more agita than relief.)

But there was  a little sidebar in the email proclaiming: 10 women you won’t believe are over 40.

Well, if they’re over 40, I saw them when they were younger, so I’d probably believe they’re the age they are. So I clicked on the link and checked out the page. I fully expected to find airbrushed celebrities who are botoxed and eyelifted and peeled into perfection.

Ellen Degeneres

photo from Prevention Magazine

The first person on the list is Ellen DeGeneres. Hooray for Ellen! At 53, she’s just a few years older than myself. Not only is she gorgeous, she has wrinkles!  Around her eyes! How fab is that!

Diane Lane

photo from Prevention Magazine

Diane Lane, at 46, is radiant AND has crows feet AND the mature eye hood.

Laura Linney

photo from Prevention Magazine

Laura Linney at age 47 has the most amazing smile.  What vitality and joy radiates from her face.  And she has eye bags, wrinkles and the eye hood.

Those are only 3 of the 10 celebrities featured in the online slideshow.  Of the 10, only Gwen Stefani seems to defy nature.  The rest are glorious, beautiful and real.  Glowing skin AND wrinkles. Bright eyes AND bags. What an inspiration!

Kudos to Prevention for celebrating beauty of all ages and stages.



Mirror, mirror…

I got a new mirror yesterday.


Sometimes a little extra zoom makes a huge difference!

I wasn’t really looking for one, but I saw this little cutie hanging up next to the lotions at Wal-Mart and realized that it might be perfect for my upcoming trip.

Once home, I put it on my existing mirror.  Within seconds, it fell off…so much for the super suction cups… but the mirror itself (unscathed from its tumble to the bathroom floor) is just what I needed.  Only I didn’t realize I needed it until I used it…

If that makes sense.  Just like photos of me with higher quality lens revealed unknown wrinkles… this super-magnifying mirror revealed just how many dark hairs had sprouted on my chin (thanks, hormonal shifts), exactly where I had missed last time I tweezed my brows and just how much eyeliner had flaked off under my eyes… not pretty.  But useful information.

The little mirror that I had originally planned to relegate to my travel gear is now going to be a permanent addition to my bathroom gadgets.  I may not like what it reveals, but if I see it first, then I can take care of it… only, it’s a hand-held mirror.  The suction cups are useless and going to be removed…

Monday Blog Love: CCC, not it’s not the Civilian Conservation Corps

Crowsfeet, Cupcakes and Cellulite is a cheeky and fun blog written by Sasha, a  30-something in the Dallas area who enjoys life, lipstick and confections. There is the weekly Big Spender|Penny Pincher Report which looks at both drugstore and department store brands. This Week’s Gotta Have (found on the left side bar) highlights the lastest obsessions…and each week the Make Me, Bake Me section features something new and delicious and cellulite-worthy.

It may be one girl’s guide to an unblemished life, but this girl has girlfriends — and they tirelessly test, compare, analyze, examine and dish the dirt on all things beauty, body and yummy. Their manifesto:

We believe our product reviews and topics should be uber honest and authentic — with a big dose of wit for good measure. Bottom line: if the product (or subject matter) doesn’t knock our beauty-loving socks off, we simply don’t write about it.

Sounds like a plan to me!  I plan to keep reading this fun review and hopefully learn a new trick or two.

Sunday Pictures: Poinsettias

One of the things that still amazes me — even after 12 years out here — is that poinsettias grow like weeds. I suppose at some level I realized that poinsettias are native to Mexico and San Diego is just a border away, but when I see the large weed next to our house burst into crimson each December, I gasp in awe.


The poinsettia by the side of our house.