Saturday, July 30, 2011


Insomnia and I have a long history together. She's that unwelcome
bitch who visits me every time my husband travels. She hangs out
for at least the first week he goes, sometimes longer. I hate her. I
think that she hates me, too. Otherwise, why would she stay and
make me so miserable.

On the other hand, I appreciate Insomnia for getting me motivated
to get the "early stuff" done that I ordinarily would blow off and
leave for another day. Like today, I'm supposed to go start the
paperwork for transferring Ismail from the really crappy middle
school in Abu Yusef to Hamo's not as crappy middle school up in
Betash. And since Ramadan is supposed to start tomorrow, God
willing, today would be the best day to get it done. So I suppose I
should be thankful that Insomnia popped in for another unannounced

But I'm not. I hate her. She jacks up my eating schedule, my sleep
schedule and she leaves me so exhausted that I feel like puking. Her
visits almost always have an effect on how I handle my kids. The
usual bickering and arguing and occasional fist-fight seem amplified
by about 60 decibels whenever Insomnia is around. Why is that?
And the kids always seem to feel her tension and then they get
irritated by her effects on me. But seemingly, she's not in the least
swayed to get the hell out of here and leave me alone. Nope. And
the kids' irritation always come out on me. They're far too respect-
ful to mistreat a guest...even an unwelcome one like Insomnia.

Maybe I'll give her the cold shoulder after lunch today and just
ignore her and take a nap. She might get the message and finally
hit the bricks.

But I have my doubts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Love...

I love...
  my husband. He's the tall, dark and handsome guy who would give me the moon
  if I wanted it. I love his dark eyes and hearty laugh and shyness and even his axe-
  murderer deep voice. He is the one who taught me how to love me; that I deserve
  to be loved. He is the salt in my food...that slice of fresh lemon on the side of my
  tea glass. He is my second wind. He isn't a necessity for me to live....but he sure
  does make my life nice. When he reaches for my hand on the couch while we sit
  in the dark watching old movies on t.v., I feel his love just pulsing from my palm
  up to my heart. And I feel it flutter like it did when we first kissed at that souvlaki
  stand back in Athens so many years ago. When he brings me a Diet Pepsi home
  with the bag of sweets for the children, I know that he thought of me while he was
  out and that he knows it's my favorite. When he installs that extra wall socket in
  the kitchen to make my life more convenient even though I never asked him to do
  it, I know that it's because these acts of kindness are his way of showing me how
  much he loves me. And when he is far away from home at work in a foreign land
  and he texts me on my mobile phone just that one word "Habibty" (Arabic for my
  beloved), I know that he misses me and wishes that he were home. I love him.
  And he loves me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Africa Hot

Yeah, well, Africa Hot here in Africa just means the usual kind of hot.
The hot where you have all the ceiling fans and the portable fans run-
ning full blast all day and all night until the electric company shuts off
the power grid for about 2 hours so that the city can handle the sheer
volume of wattage being sucked out of it at once. Or maybe they're
just giving the little gerbils a tea and cigarette break outside of their

And we sweat. We sweat while we sleep, while we eat, while we sit,
while we shower. Yes, we sweat IN the shower. We haven't even
hooked up the water heater since we've moved in. Who needs it?
Africa hot means solar heated water pipes. However, this also means
you don't get to drink cold water unless you've remembered to put
water bottles in the fridge. And with 5 kids, you'd think that would
not be a problem, right? You would be so WRONG. Because with
5 kids, we drink hot water out of the cold tap all the time. Mainly,
because we can't ever find the water bottles.

As a mom, I drink a bottle of water. I then carry it with me on my
next trip to the kitchen and wash it out and refill it and stick it in the
freezer (usually behind a bag of bread to hide it from those cold water
sucking fiends I laughingly call my offspring.) My kids, however, take
a bottle (usually my ice-chippy cold bottle hidden behind the bread
bags) and suck it down and then find a new place to store the empty
bottle. These places change hourly. I have found the empty bottles
under the computer desk, behind my bed, under the couch, on top
of the t.v., in the toy box, and on the top shelf of the closet.

And today, with all the water bottles empty, and the fans going full
blast blowing around hot air, Ismail and Randa decided to teach
themselves how to bake bread 3 o'clock in the afternoon.