Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Order of Adjectives. Just what you need to know!

Did you know that adjectives have an order? Check out this website - https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/about-adjectives-and-adverbs/adjectives-order

relating to
unusual, lovely, beautiful
big, small, tall
physical quality
thin, rough, untidy
round, square, rectangular
young, old, youthful
blue, red, pink
Dutch, Japanese, Turkish
metal, wood, plastic
general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped
cleaning, hammering, cooking

So, following this rule, we can see that this sentence sounds right:

I bought a beautiful, tall, green vase.

While this sentence feels awkward:

I bought a green, tall, beautiful vase.

If those rules are too exact for you here, try this website: 


  1. Quantity or number
  2. Quality or opinion
  3. Size
  4. Age
  5. Shape
  6. Color
  7. Proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material)
  8. Purpose or qualifier   
Considering this set, we can try out a sentence:

The three, untidy, country boys roughhoused.

Which sounds better than:

The untidy, country, three boys roughhoused. 

Next time you 'e describing something, consider these rules and see if your natural speech follows the proper order. I'm betting that your large, intelligent brain does it automatically!

Friday, October 12, 2018


It's still not too late! Check this out for great deals, but only until the end of the month. Then, as Lois says, even wonderful things like romances must come to an end. 

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers: ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END...EVEN ROMANCE...: In 2013 author Lois Winston, who began her career as a romance author, was invited to join an incredible group of award-winning and bests...

Friday, March 30, 2018

Our trip is complete

At supper, I spy again the young waiter who looks like my son, but this time, corral him over to our table to show those who know my son. We all agree that he looks like him. My friend takes a photo, but the young waiter doesn't speak English, so who knows what he thinks of me!

This young waiter reminds me of my son. He probably thinks I'm a crazy old lady, though!
Here are a couple of photos of my son. Do you see a resemblance?

After supper, we meet for a debriefing and finally learn the truth about the Israeli flag. It’s as we suspected. In remembrance of the Holocaust.
This is our last full day here in the Holy Land. It's a been an awesome visit and the group really meshed well. I have made some wonderful friends and learned so much. It is hard to say good-bye to them, even Yossi, from whom we learned the most. I have tried hard to state what facts he told us correctly and remind you again that any mistakes are mine, not his.

And I would be remiss if I didn't thank our bus driver. He kept our windows clean so we could take photographs through them, he safely delivered us to some tight spaces and was always there for us.

I must reiterate again that I never once felt unsafe, despite the skirmishes Israel participated in. Israel is safe for tourists, and for the most part, its citizens just want peace. I've visited many countries, thirty-one if my count is correct, lived in five, and can say with certainty that some of those places are far less safe than Israel. Our tour companies, Christian Journeys and Ariel Tours took good care of us. 

We have a few bumps in the road returning home, just like coming here. They are all weather related. We finally arrive in New Brunswick around 3 am, and head off to our homes and our beds. 

Some of us got an early start on their sleeping.

I hope you've enjoyed traveling with me, and I hope you enjoy your Easter.

Inside the tomb.

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Even before the Garden Tomb, It Is Well With My Soul

Later, we go to The Jerusalem Prayer Center, which is now housed in Horatio Spafford’s daughter’s house. There we spend some time singing and visiting the prayer room before going to the Garden Tomb.

This is just a statue we passed. I like it. Can you guess what it represents?

Before we headed out, I was reluctant to head up to my room. The smell of burning incense is strong on that floor, overpowering even. I return to the lobby to find it’s packed with Orthodox Jews, and many of the women are pregnant. Years ago, I was told many regular Jews who work often believe that the government shouldn’t support those who choose not to work but rather study the Talmud and Scriptures. They often spend the Sabbath in fancy hotels like this one, most likely at the taxpayers' expense. 
Oftentimes, these men don’t serve in the armed forces, either. I notice the woman beside me toying with a regular key, not a key card. To use a manual key isn’t considered work. Earlier, we watched a family struggle to carry a huge stroller down the stairs, instead of taking the elevator. I’m not sure if this was related to avoiding work or not.

A young woman, a soldier, strides past us, a duffle bag slung over one shoulder, a rifle over the other. Her duty shift is over. The Sabbath almost over. Can we blame Trump for this? Since he announced that the US embassy will be moving to Jerusalem, the Muslims have called for a Day of Rage each Sabbath, so therefore, soldiers on duty at major hotels.

At the Jerusalem Prayer Center, a Baptist Center and a mere five-minute walk from our hotel, we sing ‘It Is Well With My Soul.’ After, we head upstairs to the Interactive Prayer Room, where I watch my sins dissolve in water, where I draw and colour a sketch and read special Scriptures that speak to me so much I have to write them down. I was so enthralled, I neglected to take any photos.

At the Jerusalem Prayer Center

Yossi playing It Is Well With My Soul.

Shortly after, we head over to the Garden Tomb. While we are waiting for our guide here, Yossi begins to explain about the flag, but our Garden Tomb guide arrives and we all groan. We have to wait to hear the answer.  

Waiting for our guide, before Yossi started to tell us about the flag

Here, we learn, is a place that would show a person what Golgotha might have looked like in Jesus’ time. There is only circumstantial evidence for this place being the real Garden Tomb, as the church we visited yesterday is the favourite. But it’s interesting. In Lev 1, it says a lamb must be slaughtered to the north of the altar. This Garden Tomb is to the north of the altar. Right at the Road to Damascus where the Romans could warn people not to disobey them. The signs above each cross had to be close enough to read, so the cross would have been closer to the road. But is this the real tomb of Jesus?
Does it really matter in the long term?

Golgotha, decades ago. The Place Of The Skull. Can you see the skull?

That same place today

Another view beyond the Garden Tomb. It's a bus station now, right below a Muslim graveyard.
This garden had a wine press.

One of the small plates
Inside the tomb.

Today, it’s noisy and busy and we feel rushed so it’s hard to imagine this place 2,000 years ago. Our tour is quick but we get to share in Communion and visit the tomb. 
We return to our hotel at sundown, in time to see an Orthodox rabbi in a large fur hat and gold coat stride by. I had noticed another man at the Wailing Wall, days ago, his jacket slung over his shoulders and his stance tall and confident. He’d had many people milling around him, and he was obviously important to them. This rabbi was the same. I think of God’s words to Samuel, “You look upon the outward appearance but I look upon the heart.” 
Today is our last full day here, and finally, tonight, we learn the truth about the Israeli flag.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A bagel, a nose and a disturbing thought for Christians

On our way to the Upper Room which is in a large, unassuming building for Jerusalem, we pass a statue of King David and notice its broken nose. Some Orthodox Jews took offense to someone making an image that could be worshiped. The men responsible are satisfied with the damage, for until it is complete again, it’s no longer a graven image. 

Can you see David's broken nose?

Jews consider David, whose name means The Lover or Beloved, to be perfect, but even he admitted he was a sinner. Yet, he knew how to ask for forgiveness when he sinned.

We learn that there are three levels to this building, the lowest one being the Tomb of David, although our guide says David is buried with his father in the Kidron Valley. Nonetheless, it’s sacred to the Jews and when we walk in, we’re segregated according to our sex and because it's the Sabbath, the electrically lit menorah is covered in black fabric. A young Jewish woman at our side tells us no photographs, for it’s forbidden to work on the Sabbath. She is here praying, as I look around. Above me is a plastered ceiling and in front of me was a small Wailing Wall set behind a menorah, separated from the men by a wooden panel. I apologize to the woman for disturbing her prayers. She smiles warmly and touches my arm, saying it’s all right.

The second floor is the Upper Room, repaired during the crusades. It has a medieval flavour, but only one column remaining from Jesus’ time. 

The only column from Jesus' time.

Our guide read from the Bible on Holy Communion, and then tells us that first Communion happened 6th April 30 AD. So exact. 

We leave, but don’t go up to the third floor. It’s a minaret as the Muslims once held this building. Instead, we walk to the Church of the Domition, where Mary is said to be buried. Of course, Ephesus makes that claim as well. This church says ‘where Mary fell asleep’. Being a bit slow, I had to ask what that meant. 

A view from behind the Upper Room

It’s interesting to note she was supposed to have been 127 years old, and those numbers signify 1- age, 2- beauty 7- purity. It was also Sarah’s age when she died. Numbers apparently have significance in the Bible.

Inside, someone is playing Bach’s Trio Sonata allegro on the organ and it sounds to me like the Christmas music played at the Mount Allison Chapel in Sackville, New Brunswick. 

This is the building that has both David Tomb and the Upper Room

After we leave, our guide leads us to a shady spot. Some of group have found the walking hard as it’s up and down on irregular steps and it was warm in the Upper Room. I notice our guide has applied sunscreen, but the sun feels nice to me and I don’t burn. There in the shade, Yossi tells us that some people are deeply concerned that the Trinity will become the Holy Quartet. That is, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will soon include the Virgin Mary because so many worship Mary some calling her a goddess, some going so far as to say she rose from the dead like Jesus. It's a disturbing thought.

We pass the bagel stands we'd seen earlier, and I buy a Jerusalem bagel, asking for the za’atar, the small pouch of herbs that goes with it. The cost – 10 NIS. 

Long bagels with herb pouches are Jerusalem Bagels
This stand also sold sweet treats and dried fruit.

We head back to the Grand Hotel, where in the courtyard, my husband and I  share the bagel with our friends. It’s big enough and the courtyard pleasant enough until we head to a distinctly American establishment. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From the peace of a garden to Iranian Drones

Our next stop is the upper Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus went only that far that night he was betrayed, as the Sabbath law required him to go no further. I wonder why he chose to break the law about working (healing) on the Sabbath, but not the one about walking on the Sabbath. Was it because the garden was simply closer and more private? Or work (healing) too important?

At this high spot, it’s more rocky, with the occasional piece of garbage. The trek up here is a single lane, either direction and very busy, not to mention a considerable hike for some in our group. We pass a single, small piece of graffiti, a short prayer for peace.

Jerusalem wants peace

You can see the Old City in the background

The upper part of the Garden of Gethsamene

We can see much of the eastern wall, the Golden Gate and the Dome of the Rock. Rhonda recalls a song about the Eastern Gate being closed up, but it’s not until later that someone else recalls it and says it's the Golden Gate. I don’t remember learning it. 

A panoramic view of the Old City

Our team leader talks about churches that have been built on important Biblical sites and how it’s both a blessing and a curse. But here in the garden, we can almost understand how exhausted the disciples were to have fallen asleep on the rocky ground so easily.

We climb down the hill, passing the cute sign that offers “In and out Coffee”, so similar to what a guide says as a delicate term for using the restrooms. 

copyright S.Soper

At another part of the garden, we visit the Church of All Nations, and discover that the olive tree there is not 2,000 years old as some claim, but only 1,200 years, as carbon dating has been done on it. This part of the garden is packed with people, and one can only walk the way the herd is going. So many people, with guides that are plying their trades, some yelling over the noise, some talking into the transmitters. 

The Jerusalem cross on the gate into the garden.

Inside the Church of All Nations

One very old olive tree.

Inside the garden.

View from the front of The Church of All Nations

We soon escape down to the main road, where buses line up. We’re off to the panoramic view, and on the way, our guide warns us that the best pickpockets in the world are there. 

Panoramic of the Old City

Up close.

The City of David
Our group, sans those enjoying a coffee out moment. Copyright Y. Paz.

There, the requisite photo is taken, but our tour is abruptly interrupted by our guide telling us that an Iranian drone was shot down after it entered Israeli airspace through Jordan. Also, 40 Syrian batteries were destroyed last night and one Israeli fighter jet shot down close to the Syrian border. 
The pilots ejected to safety, and our guide reiterates how volatile the situation is here. Some of the plane’s debris fell near where we’d spent our lunch after visiting the Fortress Nimrod.
But I must reiterate: we never feel unsafe. Our guide and our driver take good care of us and to me, Israel is a safer country than parts of the US or Canada. 

We climb aboard our bus and learn we're off to David's City.
The Upper Room is next!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Deep Underground

Our first stop is Solomon’s Quarries, inside the belly of Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount and site of the Old City) and used from the 10th century BC to the 4th century AD. We’re told it’s the largest man made cave, discovered again when a man followed his dog’s barking. Cats are abundant here, like on the Temple Mount, (dogs are not allowed) in order to keep the place rat free. Freemasons hold ceremonies here occasionally, and the most notable was Charles Warren, before he was recalled to London to investigate Jack the Ripper.
Some of us take a golf cart down but the rest follow Yossi deep down to Zedekiah’s Spring, a myth that claims this last king before the exile cried and his tears created the spring. In reality, it’s seepage from a leak in the sewer lines.
Going down!
Amid the ruddy stones and the trickle of water, Yossi plays for us, and the light music is in sharp contrast to the idea of slaves, with sweat and blood and oxen, brought the large stones from the temple. With the exception of a middle-aged Muslim woman, we are alone down here. 

deep in the cave

Our guide plays for us

The spring

We leave and head for the Herodian Gate and end up at Saint Anne’s Church, the most perfectly preserved Medieval church in Israel, most likely because it was taken over by the Muslims until it was purchased back by the Christians. Yossi asks us who Saint Anne is. I take a stab at it and say “someone’s mother”. A fairly safe bet. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary. Mary was most likely born in Jerusalem.  

Our son-in-law's initials. I snap this photo for him.

Herodian Gate

Very organized graffiti!

Okay, which way do we go?

The city is nearly always busy!

One friend keeps up despite an ailment

A shopping mecca!

Beautiful grounds of a beautiful church
Looking up above the entrance

One of Saint Anne's furry friends

These ruins go way down!

Imagine having this view from your home?

I peek over the railing to the ruins 50 feet below, the early part of the city and see the remains the Pool of Bethesda (which means House of Grace) and its colonnades. Our guide reads from John 5: 1-15, the story of the man who was an invalid for 38 years and tried to get into the water each time an angel stirred the water, but wasn’t fast enough. 
Yossi tells us that in winter, the rain would slip into the water from a spring and stir it. Some scholars believe that it was a pagan pool and the story has been invented, yet, time and again, we see Jesus seeking out pagans and sinners and using places of pagan worship to preach. I think again of the brutality of the temple of Pan, mentioned in an earlier post.

It's hard to believe the ancient city was so far down.

one of the colonnades

There are many layers to the invalid story. Jesus had asked the man if he wanted to be healed, as some didn’t because they earned a living as beggars. Also, Jesus healed him on the Sabbath, something the religious leaders of the day didn’t like.
In the church, the apse is acoustically lovely, and we sing Amazing Grace and Hallelujah, and after, listen to another woman sing another beautiful song and a priest adds his voice to the chorus. I visit the grotto downstairs to see the traditional site of Mary’s birth. 

A friend with one of the priests

Inside Saint Anne's Church

One of the ways down to the grotto

We exit through Stephen’s Gate where Saint Stephen was stoned or martyred. We pass a legless beggar, so appropriately placed there, no doubt, by family or friends. 

Saint Stephen's Gate

Our next stop is more exciting. The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus was betrayed!

I shouldn't have left her alone!

That crazy Georgina has done it again!  I left her alone for a few minutes, and now another one of her books is free ! Get it here! ...