Tuesday, May 28, 2013

T Minus 2 Days and Counting...

So, it's 8:30 in the morning here in Alexandria, Egypt (we're at my brother-in-law's house) and I'm up alone drinking coffee since 7 and wondering "What in the hell is it with getting older that you start waking up earlier and earlier and going to sleep earlier and earlier?" And all of a sudden it hit me:  Preparation for early-bird dinner specials for seniors in Boca Raton when we are in our 60's and 70's.

Who knew?

Okay, I'm out of my apartment in the beach community of Hanovil, El-Agamy, Egypt. The kids, 10 suitcases, 5 carry on bags and 2 loads of dirty laundry arrived at my in-law's house yesterday around noon. Good thing we're only staying for 3 days, huh? (What's that expression?  House guests and fish...? Yeah, that.)

I am realizing daily how extremely blessed I have been. I have made so many wonderful friends over the years here. Experiences, knowledge, friendships, love and laughter that I never would have encountered had it not been for that decision 12 years ago to just quit my job and move to Egypt and be a SAHM. I guess, if I look back further, it was 18 years and 7 months ago...when I married the love of my life:  Mohamed. I became part of his family here (and of course, he mine in the U.S.) and the laughter and love and  tears and joy and pain and fun that we have experienced together, on both sides of the globe, are things that neither of us would trade for the world.

One of my friends commented on Facebook how leaving Egypt would be so bittersweet for me.  She was right. I've become "bint al-balad" ("daughter of the country" = an Egyptian woman) and now I have two homes. I am going to miss this place and it's sights and sounds (really, LOUD sounds....this is by far the LOUDEST country in the entire Middle East) and well, SOME of the smells. hahahhahahah.

Sights:  Buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, tuk-tuks, donkey-driven carts and Vespa's carrying families of 5, date-palm trees, the colorful fruit and vegetable markets, people praying together in the streets, the generosity and hospitality of people helping others, no matter what.

Sounds:  The azan (call to prayer), the street vendors yelling out what they're selling from their rolling push carts in the street, bird-chirping doorbells, bus drivers yelling out the name of their destination while trying to collect enough passengers to fill the vehicle before departure "Mahata, Mahata, Mahata!" (station, station, station!,) and the cow bell ringing that announces the foul mudammas (fava beans) vendor at  night during Ramadan (and I mistook him for the ice cream man my first year here.)

Smells:  Mangoes, tomatoes, felafel cooking, string pastry made in front of your eyes, the cotton candy vendor who made his cotton candy in a rented store under our apartment, and the sea breeze coming in off of the Mediterranean, the bread from the bread factory next door to our house and the pastry shop we used to walk past on our way home from the bus stop (mostly because it reminds me of my days in Greece with Mohamed when we we were first engaged - he's a pastry chef.)

All these things I'll miss. But I'm ready. I'm ready to move forward and experience all the wonderful things that Texas will have to offer us. And maybe it doesn't sound as exciting as "Egypt," but you know what? It will be. Because I will be with my entire family and that will make it HOME.

Now I'm off to finish my last few errands in Egypt. We leave the day after tomorrow, insha Allah (God willing.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

6 Days and a Wake Up

Things are rolling along. Managed to sell off the last of the big ticket items and people are coming by and picking up their purchases....at the oddest of hours. BUT....who cares? As long as I have money in hand and they take the stuff with them when they go.

My glasses broke in half (at the bridge of the nose) yesterday and it's hard to deal with life peering through Scotch tape and bent frames. I got an exam last night and ordered my new glasses. Only 24 hours more of headaches and then I'll be fashionably...dorky...again. Okay, so they're not the awesome frames I wanted but I had an 12 yr old and 13 yr old with me who were more interested in trying glasses on themselves than to help me find a pair that doesn't make me look like I'm a new recruit on her first day at boot camp when issued a set of BCG's. (That's Birth Control Goggles, for you civilian folk.)

I've got most of my to-do list, to-done. Just a few more items to tick off before we leave this apartment and spend our last 3 days in Egypt with my husband's brother and family. I'm so excited. A friend mentioned that this would be a bittersweet move, and truthfully it is. On the other hand, I'm READY for a new chapter and this is the right move for us. If it weren't, then things wouldn't be just falling into place the way they are. (Thanks, God.)

Our internet service should be disconnected any second now so I will have to post once we arrive in the US and I come out of the jet-lag coma. Thanks for following our story. I should have mega-stories about the travels. ;)

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I was having coffee this morning and checking the notifications on my Facebook, when I noticed a status update from a girlfriend who is also moving to Texas soon. She posted that she has only 11 days and a wake-up before she hits the road.  At first I thought, "How exciting for them! They're about to start the next chapter of their lives in a week and a half and we're not too far behind."

Then all of a sudden, about the time that first caffeine boost kicks in, I realized that her timetable is only 4 days ahead of mine.  HOLY ANXIETY ATTACKS, BATMAN! I couldn't think. I got that "someone-just-hit-me-in-the-stomach-with-a-metropolitan-yellow-pages" feeling and my breathing got quick and shallow and my palms got clammy. My chest tightened and I ran to the bathroom.

I have so much to do. My two youngest start final exams this Saturday and Sunday and won't complete them until next Thursday.  I have 2 suitcases and a ton of shopping to do. I still have paintings on the wall and books on the shelves to go through. I have a master bedroom set, a queen-sized mattress, a set of bunk beds, and a wardrobe to sell and 15 days ain't a lot of time to get rid of big-ticket items. I have to meet the landlord next Friday to get back my deposit and I have to have the gas and light bills paid up before then. Still need to cancel the phone and internet service and arrange for the people who bought all of the furniture and appliances to pick up their crap before the 28th of the month. THEN I get to move all these (still not packed up) suitcases and kids over to my brother-in-law's house where we can get on their nerves for a final 3 days before riding down to the airport in Cairo to start our trip home.

Crap. I need to confirm the ride to the airport one final time, too.  I'll get right on that after I dig out my English to Arabic dictionary and find out how to say Xanax in Arabic.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Regarding the Whole Cleveland/Castro Tragedy

Is it just me or should this not be looked at as more than just kidnapping and rape?

This dude kept these women tied up and chained in his house against their will and raped them repeatedly over the course of 10 years.  That sounds like sex-slavery to me.

And regardless of what TYPE of slaver it is....Slavery, in the United States, is against the 13th Amendment and has been since 1865. Oh, yeah. True story.

Sooooooooooo, how does one go about  prosecuting for the practice of slavery?  Or is it because it's violating the 13th Amendment, does it have to be handled in civil courts?  I'm no lawyer, obviously. But it
does make me wonder if there will be federal charges brought against this guy or will they only leave it up
to the state of Ohio to prosecute him on kidnapping, rape, and possibly murder charges?  (It was pointed
out to me by a friend in Ohio that one of the young women was pregnant and due to the rape, the fetus
died. According to Ohio state laws, this is considered murder.)

Thoughts anyone?  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Guess What I Got For Mother's Day

razor photo: Razor razor.jpg

NO! I didn't get a razor as a Mother's Day gift.

I did, however, manage to get a shower in semi-hot water with enough time to actually mow BOTH of my legs. HOW did I do this, you may inquire?  It was simple.

I showered before all four of the kids got up. I made sure that the 2 younger ones, who were up before I was had used the toilet before I went in. THEN I made a mad dash for the bathroom and locked the door.

I also made it perfectly clear that I would NOT answer questions through the door about why so-and-so got to play outside before studying yesterday or about where such-and-such is located.

It was pure tepid heaven.

Of course, I had to retire this razor since it had been about 8 or 9 months since I'd shaved.  Oh, well. Also, I no longer have flies trailing me because I washed my hair AND conditioned it. It's going to be a good day.

Happy (U.S. and Australia) Mother's Day to all the Moms, Stepmoms, Grandmoms, Aunts, others who provide for kids.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Parental Win #987

*All names of the innocent ridiculed in this blog post have been left up to your imagination so as not to humiliate anyone by my exploiting their situations for my comedic pleasure.*

Child walks up next to me about an hour ago and grabs his t-shirt and pulls away from his belly and let's go and then all of a sudden begins to cry.

I look over and find he's lifted his t-shirt up exposing a skinny red welt on his belly. I ask, "What happened?"
And he points down to a skinny piece of elastic hanging out of the waistband of his training pants. He had apparently inadvertently grabbed the elastic while pulling his shirt and it snapped back into his skin when he let it go.


"You always laugh when I get hurt!"

"That's not true! I only laugh when you get hurt doing something very weird."

MOTY 2013.....not a snowball's chance in Hell.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

28 Days and a Wake Up!


Most of you who didn't grow up in a military background probably don't understand that. So, I'll explain.
We are 29 days away from leaving Egypt. I've got all our appliances and furniture sold and I'm in the middle of packing up the stuff we're taking with us and getting rid of the stuff we're not. Plus screaming "QUIT FIGHTING!" and "GO STUDY YOUR HISTORY!" and "DON'T FART ON YOUR BROTHER'S HEAD!" or whatever usual shout-out I have to yell regularly to keep this house a home.

So this is why I've been so lax in my writing lately. I've just been too busy. (Between all of that stuff and keeping up with my Criminal Case game on Facebook, you understand.) But really mostly the busy stuff.

I'm hoping to make the time to do a brief photo-mentary and upload that before we leave, so that I can share the beauty of Egypt as we know it.  Not the touristy crap that everyone sees...but the day to day people stuff and how we live. It's a lot earthier and real.

Anyway, I guess this isn't really as much a post as it is an apology for not being more prolific in my writing. But I will post a few more times before we leave here and hopefully once I get into my rhythm after we get back to the People's Republic of Texas, I'll get all regular on here again.

In the mean time, thanks for reading my stuff.