Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Red Sea

Used with permission from Windgirls. com

I live on the Red Sea, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The water is a gorgeous turquoise and stays warm almost year-round. Unfortunately, I'm not a sun worshiper, and as far as water goes, I'm kind of a cat -- splashing around just isn't my thing. 

However, I have friends who go out on boats, swim, snorkel, scuba dive and even take trips in glass-walled submarines. They tell me tales of swimming with dolphins, seeing schools of clown fish, and seeing brilliant coral reefs.        

I may not be scuba diving anytime soon, but I sure like to look at pictures!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Salt Hog

"Lower Your Salt Intake" the health reports scream. It's bad for you. You'll retain water. You'll expand to Goodyear-blimp proportions! You'll die!

So over the years, I weaned myself off salt. Whew! Close one. 

Then I moved to Egypt. The first summer I sweat so much I got dizzy and fainted (like a lot of other tourists every year). People told me to take vitamins. I did, but soon passed out again. Doctors gave me potassium pills. As indescribable things were shooting out of both ends, I found out I was allergic to potassium. Then I got anemia. Finally doctors gave me little packets that they give to millions of nursing mothers here. You mix it with water and drink it. All that's in it is: glucose, tri-sodium citrate, and sodium chloride -- basically sugar and salt. In two days, I was fine.Yay salt!
Since then, I've become a total salt hog. I'd forgotten what I was missing until I could rain the little white crystals over everything. But I haven't fainted again or gotten anemia. Still, I'm ashamed to tell you how often my husband and I buy cartons of salt ... a lot ... I think I should get one of these big machines and just pour it into a spare bedroom.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Unwelcome Houseguest

A few days ago, I spotted a gecko (called a bors by Egyptians) in my apartment. This isn't an unusual occurrence, but the ones who normally slip through cracks under doors or loose screens are teeny-tiny. They're cute little guys who run up the walls, perch on the tops of my drapery rods and survey their new home. 

The lizards eat bugs and insects, like mosquitoes, so I've adopted a live-and-let-live policy -- or rather a If-you-kill-mosquitoes-you're-welcome-to-stay attitude.

But the new gecko is much bigger than the ones before. He's about eight inches long as opposed to the normal four-inch ones. To be honest, he's kinda creeping me out. 
It makes me wonder if those little tiny geckos can go from this:

To this:

Say it ain't so!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The Insecure Writer's Support Group exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other. I love the encouragement the members give, and I especially enjoy blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate.

To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group

My secret to beating insecurity-- 
Love what you do. Love who you are. The rest will fall into place.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Montazah Palace, Alexandria Egypt

Much of my newest novel takes place in an abandoned Egyptian palace I've named High Lake Palace. The inspiration for the setting comes from a beautiful palace I saw when I lived in Alexandria, called Montazah Palace. It sits on the coast, surrounded by acres of gardens and with a view of the sea.

Alexandria is a place where Egyptians go to get away from the heat of Cairo in the summer. In my book, King Farouk (1920-1965) built High Lake Palace to have a more private vacation home in the desert with a lake filled by spring water. (There are lots of natural springs in Egypt.) Above is King Farouk having dinner at Montazah Palace.

If you ever visit Alexandria, go to the Montazah Gardens, which are open to the public, and enjoy the lovely view and scenery.

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