Taboon Clay Oven

Built many generations ago, this is pretty much the last taboon clay oven (arabic: طابون) in Bethlehem. Its fuel source – dried livestock dung! Almost too-hot-to-handle bread right out of the oven, dabbed with a bit of homemade goat milk butter, is heavenly!

Baby Sparrow

A baby sparrow dropped down right in front of me, probably trying out its wings for the first time, but not successfully.
It will fly soon enough, because it has perfect faith; faith with developing wings.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

First June Solstice Full Moon in Decades

First June Solstice Full Moon in Decades, rising over Bethlehem, viewed from our rooftop.
A full Moon, coinciding with the June Solstice, is also known as Strawberry Moon. These two events haven’t occurred on the same day since 1967 and will not happen again until 2062. I was in Korea in 1967; here, now.  Where would I be in 2062?  Wherever the wind blows I guess.

Third time’s a charm

Sonnie and I walked at the outer edge of Bethlehem.  A carful as a Muslim family passed us, waiving.  We greeted back, saying “Asala Marlikoom,” a common way to greet Arabic.  We then crossed them again when they stopped at a store.  We chatted for a minute before moving on.  About 1/4 mile down the road, they passed us again, just before turning into their driveway.  We all laughed at how we kept running into each other.  They invited us in for tea which we gladly accepted.  They boys of the large family like to play soccer and participate in games Thursday nights.  We made arrangements to see the game the week after.

Too many males

The unfortunate side of raising chickens is that you usually end up with more roosters than desired. This one, named Chocolate, along with a few others, needs to go. Lesson learned: Never name chicks unless you know for sure that they are going to be hens.  We don’t have the heart to butcher him, but at the same time, I am very curious about what he tastes like, being fully organically grown.

Never Thirst

We have too many tomato plants in a small container. They are always thirsty, shriveling up in the middle of the day when hot. They spring back up, however, within 45 minutes, when watered. The cycle, then, repeats itself on another sizzling day.

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-15)


Aida Refugee Camp

We visited a family at the Aida Refugee Camp today.  It was nice, which is expected when entering homes of Arabs.  They keep a flock of pigeons on the rooftop, which is not uncommon in Palestine villages.  They are consumed like chickens.  I just wonder if they taste like them as well.  Perhaps we’ll be invited to one of those dinners one day.


Joseph, getting a good start on the summer vacation, doing what he loves – music composition, video games and the internet.


Light Source

As I listened to the speakers at the High School graduation ceremony last night, I could not help but notice he colorful stage lights above.  We are only as beautiful as the light source, yet we only reflect a small part of it.