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Nahal Tse'Elim, Negev, Israel 20

Hiking Nahal Tse’Elim in the Negev

Keeping with 2017’s theme of doing shit that brings me joy, I went on a group hike again, this time to Nahal Tse’Elim, in the Negev.  I love the outdoors.  I love hiking.  And I love the sense of self-sufficiency that I’m gaining the more I explore the world around me. This hike was short (7km out and back) and non-technical. No pressure to go faster or get back by...

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2017’s Gotta Be Better Than 2016

I can’t live through another year like 2016. I don’t subscribe to a type of thinking where if you will good luck into existence, it will come. Positives attitudes don’t stop war or famine or poverty or injustice. But, not recognizing how good I’ve really got it is foolish, and my own negative attitude has made it difficult to appreciate everything that actually went well in 2016. 2017 may not...

HaMakhtesh HaKatan in the Negev, Israel 20

Five Things I Learned Hiking HaMakhtesh HaKatan in the Negev

Hiking in the Negev in Israel is as beautiful as it sounds, and something I’ve wanted to do since we arrived a few years ago.  As our time in Jerusalem is growing short, I ditched my spouse and kids, and signed up for a group hike in the HaMakhtesth HaKaton, a small crater in the Nagev.  The Makhtesh Katan is one of five craters in Israel, and seven in the...

Free things to do in Jerusalem with kids 22

Free Things to do in Jerusalem with Kids

It’s easy to bleed money when we’re traveling. It’s also easy to bleed money living in a city like Jerusalem. Lucky us, there are lots of free things to do in Jerusalem with kids. Explore the Old City The Old City in Jerusalem is beautiful and full of history. Whether you’re exploring the Church of the Holy Supulcre, walking the Via Delorosa, or visiting the Western Wall (aka the Kotel),...

Easy Desserts - Chocolate Covered Dates 12

Palestinian Desserts – Chocolate Covered Dates Stuffed with Pecans

Chocolate covered dates are an easy beginning to my foray into Palestinian desserts.  They’re a special occasion treat, something that I’ve seen mostly in small quantities at iftars or to be sold to tourists at artisan markets.  The dates are delicious and rich, a perfect accompaniment for coffee, but not something to be consumed in large quantities. I’ve had chocolate covered dates several times now, and each time I tell myself...

Celebrating Holidays Abroad 34

Celebrating Holidays Abroad – Reasons to Love It

Holidays are tough.  For everyone.  All over the world.  I’ve been celebrating the winter holidays abroad for a long time (in 10+ years abroad, I’ve spent three Christmases in the States).  Despite that, I’m finding that as this holiday season begins, I’m more homesick than usual.  I’m missing friends and family and pumpkin spice lattes.  Which is not to say that the life of an expat is not pretty damn...

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Making baby food in two hours per week (or less, even as an expat)

I made all of both my daughters’ baby food for stretches of about six months per child.  It sucked at first, but I slowly got into a rhythm that allowed me to make it in large batches.  Look, being a working mother is hard (being a mother is hard, period).  And I can see why folks don’t make their own baby food if they think it’s going to take six to eight...

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America is still great, or, thoughts on elections

I don’t write about politics on here because I can’t.  I work for the American government, and  I serve at the pleasure of the president no matter who he or she might be and no matter what his or her politics might be. I have spent my adult life learning from those who have less than I do.  From teaching basic computer skills as a Peace Corps Volunteer, fighting to get...

Equatorial Guinea 4

Next stop, Equatorial Guinea!

I am damn pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a handshake to be the Management Officer at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. We’ll leave Jerusalem next April, spend several months in DC, then arrive in Malabo in January 2018. This is a bit insider baseball to those not familiar with the Foreign Service, but very briefly, just because we get jobs as diplomats doesn’t guarantee awesome postings for the rest of our...

Happy Halloween 0

How this Working Mom got Suckered Again, or, Happy Halloween

I swore last year that I wasn’t going to make the kids’ costumes again, and yet somehow, I ended up doing it again this year. At least I had the sense to buy basic items and make only the logos and accessories. The problem is that I find homemade costumes utterly charming, and also, that I am cheap.  I am unwilling to purchase a $50 costume when I can make it for...