Monday, October 31, 2011


I used to think that this was a pretty good picture of me. Apparently, this is not how most people see me.

tool Pictures, Images and Photos
Yeah, THIS is what they actually see when they look at me. Just another TOOL to be used. I know that a lot of the time I come off as a kind of crusty, hardshell exterior to a hard ass interior wrapped around the semblance of a Liberal heart. I guess that is sometimes true.  But I try really hard to live my life as a constant example to the young minds God blessed me with to mold and shape into true, good and productive humans; humans who have empathy for others and will, without a second thought, offer help to those in need, provided it does not leave their own family destitute. After all, charity DOES begin at home.

We do what we can to help families in need. And this is not a "please pat me on the back for being so generous" request. I don't think that this is anything to brag about. In fact, I don't really want to put that on here because I feel it now has taken away from any blessings that we may later be entitled to from God in the Hereafter. But without that statement, I can't explain why I feel like such a tool. When I help someone with either food, handed-down clothes that my kids can no longer fit, or money, etc, it is because I see that there is a need and we have the means to fill that need. It makes us more grateful to God for the things that He has blessed us with. I know that I'm more grateful every day that my husband is the one that God chose for me because he works hard and makes sacrifices for me and our kids; because he is grateful to God for all that we've earned and have been given.

But when one of the recipients of your generosity sends his/her kids over to your house to ask for a "spare curtain rod" that they noticed in your bedroom on one of their visits to your house where they wandered around nosing through stuff.............I'm left with the thought:  Really?! A spare curtain rod? I pay for those things by the meter and you want I should send one over to you? What's next? My curtains? My t.v.? Get the hell out of here!

I told her kids that I don't have a spare curtain rod and sent them home. But you know, after a day of the usual "usage" by my own kids with their constant barrage of "get me" and "I need" and "I want" and a huge dose of "he said" followed by "she hit," THIS was not a needed request at all. Ungrateful and greedy people make it difficult to be generous. This is probably going to be viewed by a lot of my readers as snarky on my part...and maybe they're right. But feelings are not right or wrong. They just ARE. And I'm feeling a little on the stabby side now so I'm hoping that this  person doesn't send her kids back over here. They don't know what Halloween is here, so I can't explain away the butcher knife. Can I?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Last night I was in a really shitty mood. I know. Language, language. But I don't know that there is a better adjective to use than 'shitty.' So I'm not editing.

So you know how when everything in your life as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) becomes rote and goes on in a sort of "autopilot" mode and you wake up the same everyday and brush your teeth the same everyday and buy bread the same everyday and take the kids to school the same everyday and yell about watching cartoons before homework the same everyday and you're late with dinner the same everyday and you consider jumping from the balcony the same everyday only to argue yourself out of it the same everyday because let's face it a dive off the first floor balcony is only gonna get you into a cast and not into a dirt nap and then life would be the same everyday only in a friggin' cast which would just complicate shit and not really solve anything or give the same selfish result that ultimately you want anyway and that would be that the people in your life THINK ABOUT YOU more than just to locate some lost random item like a backpack, cigarette lighter, or adapter to charge a mobile phone. And it would be really itchy and hard to walk.

So you just suck it up day after day thinking "it's going to get has to....I chose the SAHM life and I love my kids and my family and I wouldn't trade it for the world." And you know that deep down you never would trade your husband or children for one of those hot firemen calendar poster guys on a big red fire engine with his ropes and hoses....oh my! Although there would probably be a big long 'pros' and 'cons' list, if only mentally. But in the end, the SAHM-gig would still win out. Because after all, you ARE making a difference in the world by repopulating the planet with intelligent, kind and productive people. And you love them and they love you. And that husband, even after all these years, is still really hot. And he's seen you in the throws of childbirth and helped you during a really messy miscarriage and helped change the poopy diapers and made you dark-chocolate covered baklava for your birthday and he's seen you in bad flourescent lighting with all your stretchmarks and 'still planning on losing this' pregnancy fat and hasn't run screaming down the street in search of a younger, hotter version of you....AND STILL WANTS YOU.

But from time to time that overwhelming, 'oh dear God help me not to puke from boredom' feeling  hits you. And this is how I felt last night. And I told my husband that I was bored. And his answer was, "Go to bed."
NOT what I was hoping for. But men aren't intuitive like women. We have to lay it on the line with them. No hints-dropping because they're not designed to pick up on that sort of stuff. If we want flowers, then we have to say: "Hey, Honey. My birthday is Saturday and I want red roses with daisies mixed in and I want a gold bracelet and if you get me another kitchen gadget that plugs in, you can also hire me a divorce lawyer."
That's how you get what you want from men. Telling them stuff like, "I am bored with my life and I need a change," is NOT going to get you a hired babysitter and a night out on the town. I know this. But I hoped for a fleeting moment. And instead of living up to my weird female expectations, he lived up to the reality that is male. So I went to bed.
Roses and Daisies Pictures, Images and Photos

This morning I decided to wash the curtains in the foyer for a change of pace. So, I climbed up on the four foot wooden painter's ladder and took the curtains down. Randa was complaining because her brother farted next to her and it stunk. (The computer is in the foyer and she was playing on the computer.) So I told her to turn on the ceiling fan judging that I was at least a foot or more out of reach of the blades. She told me, "Be careful, Mommy." I thought, "How sweet. My little girl has overcome the autism speech issues enough to worry about my concern." And then I noticed that the curtain was stuck to the wooden splinters on the ladder so I lifted my arm out to pull the fabric away and stuck my damn hand right in the path of the metal ceiling fan that was on high.

I don't know about you, but five stitches in my index finger before noon definitely counts as a change in my regular routine. Think I'll keep my mouth shut from now on and just count my blessings.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chest Pains, Homeschool and Housework, OhMy!

Saturday I posted on Facebook that I was again experiencing serious chest pains and that my husband took me to the emergency room and of course, no cardiologist was on duty. That was on Friday night. We paid for an appointment for Sunday night. And I went Sunday night with his cousin (because he had an appointment with the dentist to complete some dental work already started.) And the stupid cardiologist called in sick and we proceeded to walk about 8 miles in circles through about 4 hospitals in the area looking for one with a cardiologist. And of course, NO JOY.

I got home sweaty and hot and really pissed off, wondering if I were to drop dead of a heart attack would anyone in the Egyptian medical community give a crap. Probably not. I decided to contact my best friend, Sara, who I had neglected to bother with all of this because she just had her third baby and has enough crap on her plate with getting used to having 3 kids, going back to work as a surgical nurse after maternity leave, school for her oldest son just starting within the last few weeks and her mother-in-law living upstairs from her. But the whole "surgical nurse" thing and a plethora of knowledge as to where to find specialists in this city trumped all of her problems. So she told me to call the "heart center" downtown Alexandria. I did. And I have an appointment tomorrow at 5:30pm YAY. But what to do with the rest of my day?

So, while I was trying to track down the "heart center" phone numbers online today, Aiman started yelping and howling about ants "eating" his legs. Apparently one ant climbed on his foot and he freaked out. He IS my bug-fearing germophobe. I sent him to shower and then found out what the problem was. Aiman was charged with sweeping the living room last night after dinner and Mohamed was charged with wiping down the coffee table. (Our place is too small to have a dining room unless we want to lose a we opted to just eat in the living room at the coffee table.) Mohamed got his usual case of TWC's (Table-washing cramps) and had to go poop for about an hour or so. Of course, by the time he got out of the john, he'd lost 2 pounds, was light-headed and completely forgot about the task he'd been assigned. Aiman just said, "I don't want to" and went to bed. I was pretty much in pain and had already gone to sleep so it didn't get done. At any rate, I pushed furniture around, swept the house and mopped the house with kerosene water (kills bugs and as long as I don't smoke while I'm doing it, it's not dangerous provided the house is well-ventilated.) I swept off all the area rugs and put them back, returned the furniture and then made my phone calls to the hospital while sucking down the coffee I hadn't had due to Mop-mania Ant-Killing Mission.

I did three loads of laundry, "homeschooled" for math because no one went to school today because my husband was afraid that the ongoing in-fighting had reached our outskirt area of town. WHAT DID I EVER DO TO HIM TO DESERVE THAT??? Truth be told he thought he had it on good authority that it was unsafe to send the kids to school today. When I found out that his source was one of his cousins who barely understands the evening news, I reminded him that she was the same one who dragged his nieces down to my apartment when she was babysitting them and had all of them terrified that Israel had attacked Alexandria and were currently bombing our neighborhood. Why? Because the people on the block behind ours were having a wedding and shot off about 30 bottle rockets all at once. They'd never seen this type of fireworks before (they're illegal here) and freaked out and ran downstairs terrified and crying while my kids were staring out the bedroom window going, "Ooooh!....Aaaaaah!" So, while I shifted gears between 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th grade levels of geometry and algebra, I managed to fold and put away another 2 loads of laundry, solve a Rubik's cube (by popping all of the pieces out and putting it back together so that the kids all think I'm a genius), pick all the pubic hair off of the bar of soap in the shower (far too many males in this household) and get the dishes washed up. I sent the boys out to pick up the stuff I needed for dinner and got the kids fed and MOST of the homework done before my husband got out of bed at 2.

I try to keep busy because activity actually makes my chest hurt less. So, it's not exercise-induced. I'm thinking it's stress. But with the high-cholesterol levels and this houseful of teenagers, I really need to have it checked. Here's to my health.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm Going to be Bald by 2012

I woke up feeling like someone had pounded the snot out of me with a Louisville Slugger this morning. I guess it's time to pull the blankets out of the closet. Or maybe just turn the ceiling fan off at night. But that hyperactive ovary has me doing the pre-menopausal night sweat dance. You know the one. Where you are hot as hell and feeling like your clothes are choking all the oxygen out of you even though you're only wearing a thin cotton nightshirt and going commando in case your husband decides to wake you up for a zesty session once the kids finally fall asleep. And then after about 10 minutes of comfortable sleep once you've kicked the covers off your sweaty body, the ceiling fan cools you off from comfortable to "damn, I feel like someone jammed an icicle through my spine" and then of course, you can't find the bedspread that you kicked across the room only moments earlier. And the mad vicious circle continues all night.

So after little to no real sleep, I awoke to a vicious headache and pretzel-like muscles. Then my kids started the  "he was supposed to be third today on the computer and I was supposed to be first"--"No, you're a butthole liar" routine not only before coffee...but before I'd had my morning pee. This was my first clue to Suckfest 2011. I asked the kids to please be merciful and quiet since I had all the signs of an oncoming migraine and they promised they would just before the youngest two decided to host an indoor soccer match in the boys' room. The two older boys engaged in mortal combat for the remainder of the day and well into the evening. (As a matter of fact, they only called a truce about 20  minutes ago when "Hancock" came on tv and sat down on opposite ends of the couch to watch it together.)

I was supposed to take Randa back to the dentist tonight. He tried like hell to get her broken molar out yesterday but he made a mistake and let her see the needle before I got her sunglasses with the electrical tape on the outside lenses on her. And she said, "Dentist is jackass! No way, Jose! Wanna go home!" and  proceeded to argue with him for the next half hour as he tried to coax her into opening her mouth. He started to come at her with the needle and she actually yelled, "No. No. I love you." at him. At which point all he could do was crack up laughing and ask me to try and bring her back tonight. I tried to prepare her all day for it. I poked her in the gums with my fingernail several times and said, "See? 2 small needles here and here and then the dentist will pull out your tooth." And she answered each time differently. "No way," turned into "Uhm, no thanks," and then "Maybe later, Dear," and then finally, "Okay." Then she went to sleep about 7:30pm. I went in to wake her at 8:15 so we could be at the dentists by 8:30. I asked her one more time, "Are you going to let the dentist give you a needle here and here and then pull out your broke tooth so it won't hurt anymore?" And she said, "No way, Jose! It's sleepy time."

Screw it. If she finally gets sick of it hurting, she'll let him do it. Or we'll wait until it comes loose and falls out on its own. Either way, I'm tired of pulling my hair out over it...and everything else.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coffee Poser

Coffee Cup Pictures, Images and Photos

For lack of youth and natural energy, there is caffeine. This is a well known fact for mothers. (And I mean  'mothers,' not 'Muthas.') I started drinking coffee long before I became a mother. I started drinking coffee regularly and in huge quantities while working the night shifts when I was 18. Quality was not even an optional vocabulary word at that job. Coffee was not something that we had an actual taste for. It was merely another tool for the job. We used pens to log information in a log book. We used computers to store pertinent information. We used air conditioners to keep the computers cold. We used coffee to stay awake all night.

If a more accurate word to describe the shit we drank was to be chosen, I'd probably use something like
"swill," or "jet fuel," or "motor oil," or perhaps "mud." But we called it coffee simply because it was easily understood that we meant that really thick, hot, black liquid that tasted like cigarette smoke smells. It did the job. I stayed awake. Even.when.I.didn' Honestly, I am quite certain that I still have trace amounts of that stuff in my body now....twenty-five years later. It may be the secret to my insomnia.

Since then I've developed a taste for GOOD coffee...the kind that doesn't make you close your eyes and think happy thoughts in order to choke it down. I mean, that's not the only criteria for my definition of "good coffee" but it is the first. So I tried a variety of the canned brands and decided that I preferred Folgers over Maxwell House, Dunkin' Donuts over Starbucks, store brands over all because they were good and cheaper (at least in the world of choose the beans, grind them yourself and you can even choose flavors.) Personally, I think that Starbucks tastes like cat pee smells. I guess it's personal preference. I have one sister who agrees and shares Dunkin' Donuts coffee with me. My other sister is a total Starbucks fan. Who knew?
I hear Tim Hortons is good but I think travelling to Canada is a bit extreme for a good cup of coffee. I know that they have American franchises now but not in Texas. Really, what difference does it make? I live in Egypt now.

I started drinking German coffee in Georgia because I worked with a Coffee-nazi . It was fantastic. I re-entered the world of cappuccino and espresso and frappe slowly, as I could afford. Then when we moved to Greece, we bought an automatic drip coffee maker and German coffee. I loved it. Then we moved to Egypt. And it became increasingly difficult to find good coffee. Arabs seemingly prefer not just dark roasted coffee beans but burned coffee beans. So I packed away my coffee pot and went with the only available option that was not Turkish: instant. I know. I know. GROSS! EWWW! What a sacrilege to the coffee world. Well, here's the thing: It.ain't. tea.

So Nescafe has been my main means of caffeine intake over the last 10 years. Except when my sweet and wonderful husband brings me a kilo of German coffee back from Greece or a couple of pounds of Dunkin' Donuts coffee beans from the US. I am a miserly sort. I store the bags in the freezer and only make drip coffee on special occasions so as not to suck it all down and be forced to go back to the instant with no other options. Recently, I discovered a store that sells instant Maxwell House. YES! Score. It's soooo much better than Nescafe rock gut that brings all those midnight watch coffee horror memories flooding back with the overly acidic aftertaste. Is it still instant? Yes. Is it still not up to par with the stuff I've got stashed in the freezer? You betcha. BUT it's NOT Nescafe and it's not making me shut my eyes and think happy thoughts in order to choke it down.

p.s. This is not a whine page in an effort to "beat-around-the-bush" begging for sympathy coffee mailed to me. It is what it is. My thoughts on caffeine and my means to getting it short of a melt-proof plastic bag and IV drip. Thank you for your well-intended thoughts about mailing me some. God willing we'll get back to the US in the next couple of years and then you can meet me and buy me a cup at the local coffee house!