Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween Egyptian Style!

We celebrated yesterday and our "party of the season" was held last night. A resounding success!

This is what I wore during the day:
 Courtyard decor:

Gina and moi at the party:
The wonderful party food created by our fantastic kitchen crew:
And the jack-o-lanterns carved by our creative professional staff:

Crowd scenes:

I hope you all have as great a Halloween as we did!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Post No. 7 Delayed--Extenuating Circumstances

I will post tomorrow, as we had a nasty event here today--one of our workers cut off a finger while using a table saw! I have been sitting with a staff member who spends a lot of her time supervising these guys, and who found the finger. Needless to say, she is in a bit of shock herself and needed a sounding board. I was happy to help her in this way. And I'm sure you'll give me a pass...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Running Out of Steam

Day 6 of uninterrupted blog posts! I think it's a record for me, but it's wearing me down... So, one last daily post tomorrow, and then a modified schedule, which will be more like once or twice a week, I hope.

Today turned out to be a bit stressful, but ultimately reassuring. I had been having some problems with my right eye--possibly significant new "floaters" and some blurriness on the right edge. So, I've been worried. Today I got in to see "Oculist" Doktora Fadia. She gave me a thorugh exam, then put drops in the eye and examined me again. I breathlessly awaited her verdict, which was "You are fine, Madame Mary!" She went on to say that I have the very tiny, extremely early signs of a cataract, and that it would not give me any problems right now. She prescribed regular use of sunglasses (luckily I have a prescription pair); an antioxidant vitamin supplement called Selenium-ACE, which I will take for one month; and eye drops, which I will use three times a day from now on.

I am absolutely thrilled that she didn't find evidence of any possibilities that would have been infinitely worse. A cataract I can deal with! In fact, my good friend Bette just had cataract surgery in September, and she says it's a snap. And on top of that, I paid out a total of only 225 Egyptian pounds (150 for the doctor and 75 for the prescriptions). That amounts to about $32!

I do have a few photos for you from CH today:
Buttons lying down on the job

Lovely, sweetly scented plumeria are beginning to bloom

More homegrown watermelons, and some blossoms too!

My newly refurbished shisha--notice the USA colors of red, white and blue! Shokran, ya Amer!
Tomorrow, I will share with you some experiences from our season opening in the Library!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whew! Made It...

Ha! Bet I had you fooled! "No blog post from her today," I hear you thinking! Well, that was almost the case. But then I uncovered some real possibilities and... I got to go out into town for some errands:
The impressive line-up of trucks on-loading the supplies for Medinet Hbu, which opened today

My shisha/hookah/water-pipe/nargile/hubble-bubble waiting for repair
Tina has been working so hard to prepare the garden at Healey House for the sod delivery! The plastic is to keep the cats from digging up the newly prepared soil.

Wonderful fresh fruit at lunch--the watermelon is from our own garden.
A stop at the gas station to fill our minivan with benzene

One of the things I love about Egypt--all the bright colors!

Bash mohandissa Buttons waiting for the delivery of sod for the Healey House garden

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No. 4! But Who's Keeping Score?

I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this post-a-day pace up, but I'm doing my best! These first few posts have to deal with within-the-walls matters, as I will not have an opportunity to venture out until the weekend. Today I can show you the view from my office...
...and some of the bikes which our workers use, both to get around the campus quickly and to commute between their homes and CH...
...and a few of the majestic Washington Palms to be found on the grounds...
...and two more of our coterie of cats, Dusty and Beau...
Dusty the Hierakonpolis Cat

Sitting Pretty
Beau the Wonder Cat

So-named because of his resemblance to Buttons
You'll be pleased to learn, I'm sure, that any cat who decides he or she would like to take up residence here is required to be neutered or spayed. We are lucky to have access to the services of Animal Care in Egypt for these operations.

And finally, a beautifully enameled vintage lamp from the courtyard...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stocking Up & A Miscellany...

Sundays are good days for taking care of personal business, as they are the one day each week we have entirely to ourselves. In addition to doing some laundry I didn't want to entrust to the staff, I made my initial raid on the supply magazine, the food magazine, the beverage refrigerator and the cookie store. Here is my booty:
Clockwise from top: Paper towels, dish detergent, juice boxes (mango-peach), club soda, pomegranate with pulp, Adel's famous oatmeal cookies, nut mix (almonds, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts), dust cloth and sponge
Later I made up a new cocktail using gin and the club soda and pomegranate. Very refreshing!

Today's miscellany includes flowers and the library. I'll have more for you about the library and its workings soon. Don't forget to let me know if there's something in particular you would like me to blog about. I'll do my best!
Wonderfully fragrant jasmine from the Library entrance
Marvelous Marvel of Peru from the breezeway
Original East Bank CH Library (houses the card catalog, journals, monograph series, and folios)
Library Extension (houses the Main Collection)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chaos at Healey House

You can see that I still have a long way to go for my room to be "shipshape and Bristol fashion"! But I am making progress...
You can see some of my treasured possessions acquired during the "first" ten years: the Akhmim-woven bedspread; the carpets and kilims (I have too many to put them all down at once, so I rotate them!); and photos and drawings. The lamp on the nightstand is an original University of Chicago one (this belongs to the house, but I lust after it!). And that pile of ironed and folded laundry was just brought back by one of the housemen. Yes, my laundry is done for me!
But I have my priorities! The Autumn door decor had to go up right away! 

I'd like to take this opportunity to do a quick survey. My friend Sonja responded to my first post of the season as follows: "Please post more daily, kind of routine things. I would love to see photos inside your library." So, please let me know in the comments (If you can. If not, drop me an email.) what you would like me to share with you about my life in Luxor. And yes, Sonja, I promise to share photos of the library!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

She's Back...for Her 11th Season!

Just arrived in Luxor at about 6 a.m. yesterday morning--10:45 p.m. flight from Paris to Cairo, 5 a.m. flight to Luxor. Exhausted but happy! It's always good to come back "home".

Slept most of yesterday, but did manage a couple of photos of my first close encounter of the cat kind, with Buttons!

After doing a bit of unpacking yesterday (in between deep sleep sessions!) and this morning, I made my way to my office and started the procedure for preparing the library for opening, probably late next week. After lunch, I took these photos of the flora of CH (since I had taken the fauna shots yesterday!):
Milk and Wine Lilies...
...fill the foyer with the most wonderful fragrance!
The breezeway garden at the beginning of the season
See you soon...