Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Well I took my camera with my yesterday and did not even take it out of my purse - OMG - the showroom was fantastic. What I will do though is take pics of what I purchased - yes I broke the bank and bought a few things - a few wee gifts for my nieces and just some things for those OMG I forgot occasions. I was very bad and bought myself a set of candle stick holders - they are so pretty - will look so nice on my dining room table when I entertain or in the buffet or hutch - OK - in my dreams I know they will look wonderful.

Today I have done 4 loads of laundry - stripped my bed and even have it all made up again. Was going to have a baking frenzy - until I realized that the butter I wanted to use for the whipped shortbread was in the freezer - oops - but I did get busy and make springerle - rolled them - cut them and they are 'curing' overnight - so hope to bake them first thing tomorrow morning and then onward and upward. Got all the recipes out - so I am good to go. I also dragged out my Christmas CD's and started grooving - LOL - must admit I find it tough to get into Christmas baking when the temperature is 22 above and there is not a speck of snow anywhere - but I will persevere.

Phoned about the windows - they are to be delivered today after 6 - not sure if they are coming here or where - and then they will be installed tomorrow or Saturday at the latest - I am sooo excited.

My finger is getting much better - not nearly as swollen - I can now get my ring off. I kept it covered all day yesterday - did not even uncover it last night - uncovered it this morning - looks much better - so have it covered again - will uncover it tonight - I think. Bites on my back are coming along - have not had any new ones for a few days - so here is hoping. Must admit that Monday and Tuesday were very painful days - being fully clothed did not do much the bites - they do not like having things rubbing on them - go figure. So today I am wearing just one of my old dresses from Canada - and so far much better.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here is a picture of what my back looks like - what a mess - sure do wish I could find the bug that is enjoying me so much - but I never seem to be able to locate the hungry buggers. The second picture is of a bite on my leg - this is how it starts - and then because my back is covered with clothes the blisters break and weep and scab and are getting quite painful actually - must admit it is not much fun.

Yesterday I did manage to clean up my kitchen - found the top of the table and the counters as well. Did two loads of laundry and cleaned up the bathroom - and by 6:30 p.m. I was absolutely wiped out. Must admit this business of being continually uncomfortable is quite wearing - I will be very glad when I feel much better.

Today I am off to Club - then tomorrow I am heading to Cairo - shhhh Aymn does not know. We are going on a tour of the Asfour Crystal Plant - it is a small group - I think there are only 10 of us - so it should be lots of fun - I am looking forward to it - although I am not keen on dressing and going out - because of course my back makes a real mess of whatever I am wearing - SIGH. But I am going to do the best I can to enjoy myself. Will try to take pics and share them with you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

As promised here are more pics. This is a pic of Mom and Dad on the ferry crossing the Suez Canal.

This is a picture taken at Balbaa on Dad's birthday - all the food - YUMMMM.

Picture of Dad blowing out the candles on his birthday cake. Side note - I was very surprised - Aymn actually liked the cake - whined because I did not make it for him for his birthday - told him if he was with me on his birthday I would make him the cake. I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

And last but not least - a pic of 'the finger' on the mend. Before this it had been a nice purple colour - what a f'n mess. Still is swollen - weeping all over the place - cannot yet straighten or bend it - so pretty much useless.

Friday, November 23, 2007

OK OK - I give. I will endeavour to post. I have been struggling to get through all my email - had over 750 at the top - and of course having my computer not cooperate does not help much - I have internet and then I don't - like yesterday I did not have access to the internet all day. And then my left middle finger is a frickn mess - was quite concerned that I was going to actually have to go see a doctor about it - but today it is looking better. It is such a mess - have to be careful or it oozes all over the keyboard - took a pic so you could see it. It is so swollen there is no way I can take my ring off - that was a bit disturbing. Was really really ugly - all purple and swollen - yuck, yuck.

While Mom and Dad were here we went to Marsa Matrouh for a short visit - drove up one day - spent the night and then headed back the next day - I did all the driving as Aymn was still suffering from his concussion - only negative things was the mosquitoes - OMG - they were atrocious. We rented an apartment and got eaten alive - I had lots and lots of bits - as did my dad - mom got a few but they drew the line at munching on Aymn - go figure.

Sharon, Mom and Dad and I drove to Port Said - did it all in one day - unfortunately my right foot objected mightily - unfortunately Sharon suffered from motion sickness - not sure why - after all the roads here in Egypt are all smooth like glass - NOT. But we managed to find our way to the ferry where we crossed the Suez Canal to Port Faoud - drove around for a bit and then headed back to the ferry - and get this - the ferry was FREE - yes you read it right - FREE. We stopped at Pizza Hut for a meal and then headed back to Alex. Unfortunately we took a bit of a wrong turn - got off the main highway - and ended up taking a scenic tour - unfortunately the driver was not really thrilled - I do not like driving at night in this country - but we made it home safe and sound after a few misses.

Mom and Dad and I went to the Old Christian graveyard - such a shame that vandals have destroyed so much - there were markers there from the 1880's - we did a quick jaunt through the Greek Orthodox cemetery - very different - and then Aymn took us to the 'cemetery' where his dad is buried - again very different.

We did manshea twice - once in the evening - then we went back a week or so later - Mom had seen some fabric - but of course we did not find the shop - did not really have enough time to do much searching.

On November 14 Aymn treated my dad and us to a fish dinner at Balbaa. It was very very good. We had fish, shrimp, calamari and my dad had a crab. After dinner we returned home and had cake and ice cream. I had made the traditional Myers birthday cake. Chocolate cake with cooked frosting. All in all it was a good day.

My computer has been in the shop - had to have a new hard drive installed - and still it does not work - must admit it is very frustrating - but welcome to Egypt.

Monday we headed to Cairo - we had planned on going in on Sunday and spending the day visiting Safa and her family and staying at a hotel - but there was nary a hotel to be found - the only one we found that had space was $250 USD a night - and dad said no way - so we stared out at 1:45 a.m. Monday morning. Aymn's friend Mohammed came along with us - he did the bulk of the driving - Aymn got stuck in the very back seat - and found out that he is too tall - his head kept connecting with the roof when we would hit those wonderful bumps in the road. Got to the airport in good time - glad I was not having to drive it - although it does seem quite straight forward and arriving by 5 a.m. meant very little traffic while driving through Cairo proper. Mom and Dad passed through security at 6:00 a.m. for their 8:40 a.m. departure to London.

Then we were off and running - had been informed by Aymn on Sunday that he had arranged for a business meeting Monday morning - well it was actually for noon - ARGH - not my idea of fun. So we parked the car near Al Ahzar (spelling) University and caught a few z's. Then Mr. Mohammed took us to meet his old boss - I got left in the car - the boss asked me to come out and join them but Aymn assured him I would not want to - so there I sat waiting. Spent most of the day in the car - while he conducted business and visited with Mr. Mohammed. And unfortunately Mr. M. has to drive with the windows open - and driving around Cairo did nothing for my sore throat - except to make it much worse. I do not drive with the windows open - I use the a/c and use the recirculate air feature. Then after driving all over Cairo we ended up driving to Marsa Matrouh for more business. I had suggested that Aymn and I could do this -thought we could get some alone time - spend the day and the night - but .... Then we arrived back home around 10:30 p.m. - and he informed me he was going to have to spend the night with the kids - so needless to say I was pissed off. He said he would be back to spend the day (Tuesday with me) and of course he spent the day running around.

Also while in Cairo - or sometime Monday - I managed to get lots of bites - which of course are a welty weepy mess now. I love living in this part of the world - just wish I could find out what it is that bites me and kill it before it gets me.

I had planned on taking a few days off for R&R - then start working today - Friday - doing laundry - changing the bedding and cleaning - but with my finger .....

am now trying to get ready for Miles and Shani's arrival and Christmas - had hoped to start my baking tomorrow - but will have to wait until my finger is a bit healthier. Chatted with Shani - have to get my shopping list ready - LOL. Had a list started - but cannot find it. While Dad was here he fixed my computer desk so it is altogether - but that meant my papers got strewn all over the place - my piles got moved and I cannot find my piles - SIGH. It was great having my dad around - Mr. Handyman - he put up my clocks - fixed the mirror in the bathroom - put up the holder for the shower head - fixed at the windows.

I have started the process of getting the window in my bedroom and in the living room replaced. Had told Aymn that he had until September 30 to get them fixed so they do not leak - and of course he did not do it - so while we were at Carrefour we saw a display of windows - I took the guys business card - and he took my number - called with 24 hours - made a date to come and measure them - he was late for the appointment - he had gotten lost - then they phoned within 24 hours with the estimate. Needless to say Aymn was not happy. But I am resolute in getting the windows fixed so they do not leak water and the wind does not whistle through them. After waking up Wednesday morning to lakes in my bedroom and the living room I am even more determined. They are supposed to be installed by Dec. 8 at the latest. Will give the company a call on Sunday and see what is going on.

Have included a picture of all the scarves I bought when I was in 10th of Ramadan visiting Safa.

Will work on adding more pics tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Okay, okay - I will update.

Has been a busy couple of weeks. After all my travelling I had to get busy and get my house ready for company. My parents arrived 8 days ago - so had to dung out my house - with all the travelling things were pretty upside down - home just long enough to mess it up but not clean it up - so spent a few days dunging. DH just about bought it - commented that he wished my folks would come more often so I would put stuff away - like he counts - he is so rarely around - PUNT.

Folks arrived a week ago yesterday - and of course one of their suitcases did not make it - trust British Airways. Friday and Saturday were quiet days - just hanging around the house and letting them get over the jet lag. That is not quite accurate - Friday we ended up with no water - DH had gotten bright and burned out 'my' water pump - so he and Dad spent the day getting it repaired - and of course hit me up for the money - I was some chuffed - since it was his fault it was out of commission - I also told him to get lunch since I had no water - no way was I trying to cook a meal - and I ended up paying for that as well. And then he had agreed to drive a friend's niece around to get her hair done - and instead of doing that he let the guy have my car without even consulting me - needless to say I flipped and of course he sulked about it. He finally got the water going and managed to incapacitate the toilet - you could not use the button to flush - he had to go out to something or other and five minutes after he left my dad and I had the thing fixed - danged engineers.

Sunday we headed to the airport to get the lost suitcase. When I had to go it was really easy - but because of all the people returning from Saudi - it was a royal pain in the butt - my dad had to get permission to enter the terminal to get his suitcase. When I went I just went in the departure hall and walked over to the arrival hall and got my luggage - but they took his passport and had to pass it with security - and of course security was on a break when we arrived - no one had the forethought to tell us this when we ordered the limo to take us out to the airport - so we cooled our heels for about an hour while the tried to track someone down who could make sure my dad was not a terrorist- LOL. Needless to say he was less than thrilled - but in good Egyptian time they ushered him to the terminal to get his piece of luggage and they were reunited. That took most of Sunday- had planned on getting a few groceries - but by the time we got home it was too late to go out.

Monday I dragged Mom to Club (AWA) along with Sharon (we regularly go together) and after club was over we came home and picked up Dad and headed to Carrefour - I needed a few things and we had lunch in the food court. Aymn called just before I was leaving for club and wanted to know if I wanted him to come see me before I left - he was in the dog house - up to his usual tricks of shortchanging my time - told him I was on my way out - so there was no time for me to see him - then he asked if Dad was going with us - I told him no - asked me if Dad wanted company - told him that Dad was quite content to be on his own - but he came over anyhow. Just about drove dad bonkers - I had asked dad to hang up a few things for me - and of course Aymn was all for getting in on the action and doing it the Egyptian way - and my dad is a perfectionist and insisted on doing it properly. Aymn sent me a message - telling me that he was missing me - had hoped to spend time with me - that he was sitting by himself - tough on him - he was the one who HAD to go home and spend time with his family - he had spent 6 days with them and only 1.5 with me - so I figured he owed me - but after 3 days he HAD to leave - so piss on him - I will do what I want and he can just punt. Aymn came up with this hare brained idea that he would spend from 9-6 with me every day and from 7 - 11 p.m. with his family and then on alternate nights he would come back and spend the night with me - told him no way - I want two days and two days - makes it easier for me to plan things and also gives him time to do things. He was persistent - finally said - fine but you will see very little of me - because my days are busy and they will stay that way - I need him here in the evenings and at night - I have no problem keeping busy during the day - but the evenings and nights are a different story. So he relented - not very willingly - but we will see. Then he took off at 7 that night to go and spend time with his kids - ARGH - and he wonders why I get pissed off.

Wednesday we headed to Marsa Matrouh - Aymn had business he wanted to deal with - he has had a falling out with his partners - and there has been some violence - Aymn got cracked across the head with a tire iron - got it stitched up and then when he text messaged me that he could not come over because he could not walk - I phoned him and insisted he get to a hospital - so his two boys went with him and he had a CT scan and lo and behold his skull had been fractured and there was a hematoma - I figured he had a severe concussion - he had lost consciousness for about 2 minutes - so I was quite concerned. And I cannot figure out why the boys went with instead of his wife - let me tell you if he were with me I would have gone with and the kids would have been in bed sleeping. I just do not get it. Anyway - since he wanted to go to Marsa Matrouh and did not want to pay - we took Mom and Dad and spent the night - I am now a lumpy itchy mess - the apartment Aymn rented was infested with mosquitoes - ARGH. On the way we stopped at Al Alamein and went through the museum and stopped in at the Commonwealth cemetery - were very surprised when we were informed that there were 36 Canadians buried there - had not realized that the Canadians were involved - they were all RCAF fly boys. The museum is like most museums here - kind of piece meal and the English is a hoot - but the cemetery was very nice. Thursday we made our way to a beach and Mom and I got dunked. Dad got his feet wet - and that was it. The beach was deserted - and the water was beautiful.

Came home last night and then today headed to Mohmodea to visit Suzanne and her family. Took Mom and my niece Yasmeen with us - we had a good time - we were home before dark - I HATE driving in the dark in this country - I cannot understand why people drive in the dark with no headlights - and the number of vehicles that do not have any lights on the rear is unbelievable. And the vehicles that stop on the side of the road with no lights - it is just plain scary driving at night in this part of the world.

So that is what I have been doing to keep myself busy. Sorry I have not posted - will endeavour to do better.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I had an uneventful trip home - tried to get back a different route and did not even manage to do a tiny scenic tour. WHEW. In shaa allah next time I go I will be able to remember the way back - the new route is certainly better - although I think a lot of that is because I was traversing Cairo at noon on a Friday - so 80% of the population were still sleeping or at the mosques - the roads were deserted - making it very easy to find my way around. I was not having to dodge to many 'homars' behind wheels. Or even too many homar powered carts.

I had a wonderful time visiting Safa - we were out of the house by 10 a.m. every day and back around 2 at the latest. Lots of shopping. We went to many factory outlet stores - Cadbury, a candy place, Swifax (another chocolate shop) - stocked up for Christmas and Eid. Then we found a place that sells turkey - Safa bought some drumsticks - and asked if they have frozen turkey and they do. We also went to the plastic shop - bought containers to store cookies in for Christmas. We swung by the corn processing plant and picked up some corn syrup - it is not very thick - they have quite selling the thick stuff to the public - it is only sold to other factories that use it - so will try to boil it to get it to thicken up. The second day saw us shopping at the scarf outlet store - a girl could really go crazy - I now need to get more clothes to go with the scarves - LOL. And we swung by the ice cream factory - only to find out that they no longer sell ice cream to the public. On our way home we stopped of at the 'turkey' factory and picked up a frozen turkey - last one they had - it is a small one - only 14 kg - but at least I have it. It is now stored in Sharon's freezer because I do not have room - thankfully she has nothing in her freezer as it pretty much fills the whole thing up. The third day we went to a couple of freezer factories - they do not sell to the public - but I did find out what is available. I need to get on the phone to Carrefour and see if they will order what I want in and then I can just pay them and they can deliver it for me. Would be great to get it before my folks arrive - in 12 days - time flies.

Shopping aside it was great to spend time with someone who 'gets' my humour first crack. Spending time with Safa and her family was terrific. She took me to her villa that is being renovated - I am so envious - in a good way - have already claimed the guest room as my own - in fact told her that she needs to finish one of the extra apartments for me so that when I go and visit I an have my own space - LOL. Her kids were terrific - and of course the baby is to die for - he is soooo good - such a flirt. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to spend time with this wonderful family.

I now know how to get to Carrefour in Maadi - although I think if I am going to go shopping at Carrefour in Cairo once in awhile I will stick to the one at Dandy Mall which is located on the Alex-Cairo desert road - no need to travel through Cairo at all - but I am slowly learning my way around some parts of the city. Since I survived my first trip - I will certainly continue my adventures.

Wednesday evening we went to visit a friend of Safa's - and we were invited back the following night to view the DVD of her daughter's wedding - and a couple more friends also came over. We had a lot of fun Thursday night - we watched the video - munched on sandwiches and other goodies - then we danced. After that we went to the "Friday" market - after midnight. I bought a few things - some pomegranates, new baby potatoes, dill, and some pears. We did not make it home until after 2:30 a.m. I did not crash until 3:30 and 7:30 came way too early- sure do wish I could sleep later - I dozed a bit - but got up around 9:30 - got dressed, then packed up my treasures. I then packed the car and was on the road by noon. Got home to Alex just about 3:45.

I then relaxed for about an hour then I was off to drop off my turkey to Sharon's and pick her up to take her to iftar that a mutual friend of ours puts on every year. We were a bit late -traffic was really bad - I had figured that by 5 everybody would be home - but no they were driving like maniacs to make it home before iftar and of course this led to accidents which tied up the traffic.

Got home around 8 - and I sat around watching TV until a bit after 11. Should have gone to bed earlier - but I was too tired to get there - LOL.

Got up today around 7 - and had a nice relaxing day. Did up my laundry and cooked my iftar - other than that - not much happened.

Will take pics of some of the purchases and will post them later. TTFN

Monday, October 01, 2007

WOO HOO - let the happy dance begin - with only a couple of false starts I connected with Safa at Carrefour in Maadi - and we made it back to her place - so I am here until Friday - unless I wear out my welcome. Tonight we went shopping - I bought myself a couple of new 'dresses' - will wear them over my work out clothes when I start walking - after Ramadan - also bought a new scarf - need a few more - and a loaf pan.

Of course spent money at Carrefour - always seems to be a lot - but such is life. Anyway just thought I would let you know that I am here at last.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

This week got thoroughly messed up - had planned on heading to Mohmodea to spend time with my family there - but on Monday as I was driving home from getting my g/f from work we were 'sitting' in traffic and the taxi behind me decided to hit me - not once - but three times. Looks as if the rear door will have to be replaced as well as the rear bumper - ARGH. There was a traffic cop nearby - he came over and motioned both of us to pull over - the taxi took off - thankfully I had gotten his licence number first thing. We then sat in the car and waited for my BIL to arrive - he finally showed up and we headed to the police station to file a report. Got to the police station - BIL went in and came out and then I accompanied him - only to find out that because I am a foreigner we had to go to another station. Of course time is marching on and it is now about 20 minutes before iftar. We got to the other station and explained what had happened and then I was asked if I could come back after 9 - after prayers you know - I must have look thunderstruck - because the officer found someone to take my report - during iftar - we did not make it home until around 7:30 - thank goodness I had made up the bulk of the meal the night before - had made beef stroganoff - just had to warm up the meat and cook the pasta and make a salad. Visit did not go off as planned. And because the security police are involved in the investigation I had to go back to the police station on Wednesday - so not much sense in heading out to visit the family. So yesterday saw me at the police station - BIL was to meet me there - by the time he showed up I was already done - had been told to come back in 2-3 days - as they had not yet found the driver. So have to go back on Saturday - called my SIL and said I would come out this morning - only to be informed that she is coming to town today until Saturday - so no visiting.

Not a lot going on around here - dh is still in Libya - no plans to return in the near future. I just sit here and wonder what in sam hill I am doing here. But my folks are coming soon - so need to get geared up for that - would love to get a freezer before they get here so I can have some storage space - but not sure if that will happen - after all it is Ramadan and things move even more slowly during Ramadan than usual and that is slow enough.

Am planning on heading to Cairo again this coming Tuesday - here is hoping I 'find' my friend - LOL.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Guess what - I am bored - so what am I doing - baking. Just made blueberry muffins (from dried blueberries I brought back from Canada) and poppyseed lemon muffins. Have also made up a batch of cream of mushroom soup - I added some left over chicken to it. I am going to make some tea biscuits - my 'famous' cheese, garlic, italian seasoned ones - and I have a bit of the stuffing left for spanakopita - so will use that up as well. Sharon will be joining me for iftar again - it is nice to have company - and at least this time it will be ready on time - I am hoping - will get up from here and get on the rest of the things - so all I have to do is pop the biscuits in the oven to bake them - and warm up the spanakopita. Must admit that I am thirsty more than I am hungry by the time Iftar roles around. I think I would be happy just having gallons of fluid to drink for the evening. Would be so nice if I were losing some weight - but I am sure my metabolism has gone to starvation mode - storing everything I eat - oh well. But there is just no way that I can go out and exercise with no drinking allowed. Have trouble enough not drinking without adding exercise to the equation - I sweat enough without exercise. It is so much fun - I sweep the floors - and sweat into the dust and dirt that I collect and make mudpies - LOL.

Aymn has lost 10 kg already and Ramadan is only a bit over a week old. That is too much too soon - not healthy - says he fills up on water and milk.

Today I got busy and washed up the wind chimes that have a light that is solar powered - I also charged the batteries - it was not staying lit up for very long. I need to do something with a couple of the 'reflecting' lights that I have in the garden - two of them do not light up long - so will have to recharge their batteries as well. I also want to get busy and fix up my clothes cupboard - the piece of wood that holds the clothes bar in place fell down - I have glued it up - now I am going to get out my drill - drill holes and use a few screws - then that sucker will not fall down again - I hope - I will also put a few screws on the other end - before it falls down.

I will be heading back to Mohmodea on Tuesday - and back home on Saturday. Then on the following Tuesday I will again attempt to make it to Cairo. Will make chocolate chip cookies to take along with me as a treat for the kids - and we will make carmel corn - my friend there says she has access to corn syrup - there is a factory in her town where she can get some - so will get a stock of it in - that means one less thing I have to bring back from Canada. It is very noticeable that there are more and more things available that were not available before - of course if I lived in Cairo it would likely be even better - but here in Alex there are not a lot of ex-pats - so not a lot of western goods.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The trip to Cairo was not successful - after meandering around for what seemed like forever and not getting to where I wanted to go - I ended up back at home yesterday afternoon - 8.5 hours after I left I was back home. Very frustrated and feeling very much like I do not really belong here. I will try again - not sure when - but needs to be before Oct. 10 - so will talk with Suzanne and see if I can switch my week to spend with them - go to Cairo again next week - even thought about going back today - but thought better of it. So will see if I can rearrange my travel to Mohmadea - and then head to Cairo again next week - hopefully will find my way to where I am going - maps would be a great idea - had a few suggestions about finding one online - so will see if I can do that - then at least I might have a vague idea of where I am going. Got on the ring road and went just about all the way around - ended up at the exit for the Alexandria Agricultural road and opted to head on back - rather than try to find my way around in rush hour traffic. Actually contemplated making a U-turn - but there was a major accident on the way back onto the ring road - and the traffic was backed up at least 2-3 km. - so just headed home.

The adventures of living in a country where one cannot read the road signs and unfortunately not all the signs are bilingual. I have a tough enough time trying to speak the language - let alone reading it. Big SIGH.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just a short note to let everyone know that I am on the road again.

Had a wonderful two days in Mohmodea - with Suzanne and her family - was so quiet and peaceful. Sitting on their balcony watching the Nile as I read from my scriptures. Yes, I am keeping my goal - so far - have managed to get ahead - plan was to read 10 pages a day from the Doctrine and Covenants - which would mean that I would complete it within Ramada - am on page 100 - any time I have I just sit and read and feel such peace - have missed that. Had planned on being in Mohmodea for only 1 day - but ended up staying for 2 - Sunday was the first day back at school - and it was little Mohammed's (aka Mr. Bounce) first day of school and Mom really wanted to be there for that - so we stayed. Arrived back in Alex Sunday afternoon - back to the noise and mayhem.

Monday was club - was great to be there - lots of women in attendance - everyone is back from their summer away from Alex. After club we went San Stefano - watched people eating lunch - after they finished eating we went to Metro and I picked up a few groceries - decided I wanted to try my hand at spanakopita - so bought some phyllo pastry, feta cheese and frozen spinach.

Yesterday I made up the spanakopita also made some samosas - had not made them in many years - invited Sharon over to share iftar with me - the spanakopitas turned out really well - if I may say so myself. Of course had lots of stuffing left over - such is life. Got iftar on the table a bit late - was delayed by Aymn - he came to life after 4 and wanted to chat - so chatted with him for a bit. Sounds as if he will be there for an indeterminate length of time - border is still closed - he had to pay to get into the country as a 'driver's assistant' - so is not too keen on leaving as he will have problems getting back into Libya.

Today I am off to Cairo - so I am - BIG GULP - going to try to find my way with no map - just some directions - sure wish I could get my hands on a good map of Cairo - but I doubt one exists. So wish me luck - will make sure I have plenty of gas so if I take many 'scenic routes' I will not run out of gas. Not sure how long I will be staying - will depend on how long my friend and her family can put up with me - LOL.

Then when I get back - I am planning on heading back to Mohmodea next Monday for 5 days minimum - a week maximum. Everyone wants me just to stay forever - but I am spoiled I like my own bed. So we shall see how things go.

Anyway - TTFN - let the adventures begin. Will keep you posted as I can.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Today is the first day of Ramadan. During this time I am going to be working on my faith. I need to start saying my prayers regularly - starting with baby steps - my goal is to say one prayer a day, then work my way up. I want to read from my scriptures and study - I receive four lessons every week for the Sunday School lesson. I have been saving all of them for when I have time - well I am going to make time - would be nice if I could print them out - but as of yet my printer is not hooked up and even if it were I am sure there is no ink - so....

Aymn arrived back from Libya early Tuesday morning - I had the honour of getting up at 3 a.m. and driving to pick him up. He came back with one of his truck driver buddies. I was supposed to pick him up not all that far from the house - but the truck was having mechanical problems - gas filter was leaking - so I had to drive 1/2 way to Borg el Arab to find them. Then we had to drive through Agamy looking for a filter and all but one of the gas stores was closed - and it did not have the right one - so we drove back to the truck - unloaded the treasures that Aymn has brought back - he purchased a refrigeration unit and is bringing it back - to be sold - and he also brought a bunch of watermelons from Marsa Metrouh - I asked for 4 or 5 and got 11 - they are small ones - which is good. They are very tasty watermelons - best ones I have had since I left Libya. He spent most of our time together sleeping - said he would be heading back to Libya Wednesday evening - so went to spend time with the family - and surprise, surprise - he is not heading out until tonight sometime - ARGH. I gave him a lift with the watermelons that he was taking for his family - and he wanted me to drop him at the top of the street - not take him to the apartment building and I just disregarded this request and drove up to the building. Dropped him with his 10 watermelons and Sharon and I carried on to Carrefour - I had basically no meat in the house - so went to get some. Bought 2 kg of chicken breasts and 1 kg of 'steak'. Should be set for quite some time. I do not really think Aymn will be spending a lot of time with me during this Ramadan. He is planning on spending a lot of time in Libya - if he can get across the border - he went last week and spend five days trying to get across - they closed the border to Egyptians unless you were a truck driver delivering goods or are married to a Libyan. He figures he will 'pass' as a driver assistant and then he will likely just stay until he gets all of his business complete - so I figure he will just stay for as long as he can.

I cannot understand why he lies to his family. He went to visit Mom and told her he had just arrived in Egypt - LIE. He then went on and on about how upset he is with Suzanne and Gehan because they 'took' me to the engagement party - not true - I did not go with either one of them - met up with Gehan and was with Mom and Suzanne's kids - but not Suzanne. And told Mom that he never said I could go to the party - another lie - I asked him twice and he said fine - then changed his mind because Amel and kids were going - and told me he was not going - so I went - caused major problems for no reason that I can see - but he has lumped me with Amel and does not believe that I can be civil to her and the kids in a social gathering - oh well - their loss. I just do not GET it - why this is such a big deal. Oh well - not my problem - at least I don't think it is. I did nothing wrong and I have just as much right to attend family gatherings as Amel and the kids do, but of course Amel does not see it that way - she is still hoping that I am going to disappear. So sorry to have to disappoint her.

Today I went and paid the telephone bill - the last international bill I will have for a very long time. They cut the service because I missed a payment and to get it reinstated Aymn has to go to the telephone company downtown and get it reinstated and he does not appear to be in any hurry to do this for me so I am unable to make international calls. And the computer program I was using is no longer functioning since I got the computer fixed - ARGH.

Tonight I will be heading to Mom's to break the fast with the family. Then I think tomorrow I am heading out to Mohmodea with Suzanne and family and spending a day or so out there. She
'needs' me to spend some time with her - and since I am going to be on my own - why not.

Then I am planning a trip to Cairo to visit Safa and her girls for a few days next week. Will try to get into the habit of travelling to Cairo and environs at least once a month. There is better shopping - a lot more ex pats so more foreign goodies. And it is only 2.5 hours away - not a really big deal. Because I am a Canadian and have wheels - hence I will travel - LOL.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I AM SO SORRY!!!! I forgot to mention that my friend Safa and I got together last month - not that I forgot - but I did forget to mention it in my blog entry. I had met Safa on line quite awhile ago. We are both transplanted Canadians - she lives in Cairo (well 10th of Ramadan actually) and has 5 wonderful children - 4 beautiful girls and one very adorable little boy - who was born in May while I was in Canada - he is a real Michelin man - so cute. She and her second eldest daughter came over to my place for a visit on the Friday - we had a wonderful chat - albeit much to short. Then on Sunday night she called and told me that they were heading back to Cairo on Monday - so I walked over to the place they were staying at and visited until 2 in the morning - I did not have a hubby phoning to ask where I was and how long I was staying for. I had the honour of meeting the rest of her girls - as well as her sister in law and her five girls - and her brother in law and last but not least Safa's husband. It was a very brief visit with her hubby - came in around midnight with the older girls and promptly went to watch TV - euphemism for falling asleep on the couch. But it was really great to finally meet her in person - we had chatted together online and on the phone - and now I am going to work up my courage and go and visit her at her place - her husband is heading back to Canada - so I will sneak in while he is out of town - I am soooo bad. I have not yet decided when I will go - but I really do want to go spend some time with Safa and her wonderful family. Not sure Ramadan is a great time to travel - but .... since when do I worry about doing things the 'right' way.

Am I forgiven now Safa????????
VOILA!!!! After two days and many rest periods I have managed to get my house cleaned. Spent yesterday working in the kitchen - went through the cupboard - what passes for a cupboard here - only complaint I have is that there are no shelves - so stuff just gets piled up and lost - that I keep my spices in. Took me a good 2.5 hours to work my way through it - find out what I have - pitched a fair bit of stuff - grieves me to have to do that - but the onion salt was a solid block - infested with moths - don't ask me - I do not know how it happened. A couple of my other salt spices were also hard - so I pitched them - have learned a valuable lesson - Tupperware spice containers do not keep out the humidity. So now will have to 'save' any spice jars or little jars I get, they do seem to do the trick. Had two bags of goodies on the countertop - one I had purchased and the other was a donation from Sharon. Finally got it together and went through both of them and put the 'treasures' away. Was able to consolidate some of the things - always a bonus. Also did a load of laundry.

Today I got up and had some watermelon - then got busy and finished clearing off one of the countertops and the table - would be so nice to have book shelves to put things in - but so far I have not been fortunate enough to get Aymn to get them made - I think I am going to have to bit the bullet and find a carpenter on my own - will ask some of the ladies that I know - and get the book cases and a TV stand made - would be nice to have the chest of drawers that the TV resides on back in the spare bedroom. Would also like to get busy and get a chest of drawers for my bedroom - don't know if I can find one to match - may end up getting it made as well. Need to spend some time searching for that money tree as well. After I finished clearing off the table and the counter top I did up the dishes from yesterday then put them all away and proceeded to dirty more - made a salad for breakfast - made enough for lunch as well - and had mushrooms, onions and an egg as well as salad for dessert - I know salad for breakfast sounds weird - but I have gotten used to having it - as Aymn always wants a salad for every meal - and it is even good for me. Then I also got ambitious and made some tuna salad so I can have salad and tuna salad for lunch. Also got busy and washed up some grapes and put them in the fridge - mid afternoon snack. I cut up the last piece of the watermelons that I brought back from Marsa Matrouh - best watermelons I have had since I arrived in Egypt. They do not force them to grow - just plant them and then water them when necessary - they were sooooo sweet - yum. I am hoping I can continue with eating better. Even managed to remember to take my pills - multivitamin, iron and calcium. After doing up the breakfast dishes I washed the kitchen floor and then swept the rest of the floors - okay I admit - I did not sweep the spare bedroom or the computer room - maybe tomorrow.

Talked for a short bit with Suzanne - she is in town for a week - getting uniforms made for her two youngest for school. She will be here for a week or so. Planning on spending iftar on the first day of Ramadan with Mom - I will tag along - sure hope Mom's elevator is working - do not really relish the thought of climbing 10 flights of stairs - but I can do it - have had to do it before - must admit it just enforces the knowledge of how out of shape I am. Asked Suzanne if she could find a plumber for me - the drainage in the bathroom is not draining as it should - when I was clothes I have a flood and also when I shower - so it needs to be worked on - as well the toilet is leaking - have been after Aymn for a couple of months to get it done - but .... so will ask Suzanne for help. Also asked her to find someone to come and cut down the glass for the windows. Needs to be done before winter hits - and I am afraid it is coming - sooner rather than later. Will be nice to get those two jobs out of the job jar - not that I have one - but I should.

This past Thursday I took Mom to see about her pension - Aymn had arranged for me to do it on Wednesday but I already had plans - he did not tell her that the plans had changed. I felt like a real schmuck when he called her and she was sitting waiting for me to come and take her - ARGH. So took her on Thursday - had to wait for an hour - no big deal - sat in the car with the a/c going - dragged Sharon along for company - so we sat and visited. Mom was very grateful - felt bad because she had to take the stairs as her elevator was not working - had suggested to Aymn that we wait until the elevator was working - but if she did not look after it by a certain date the money would have been sent back to Cairo - so off we went. I am hoping that Aymn will arrange to have the pension deposited to Mom's bank account and then she will not have to make any more of these trips - would be so much easier for her.

Wednesday - Sharon, Aymn and I went to Carrefour to buy a freezer. They did not have a big enough one - I want one with at least five drawers. The freezers here are like upright ones in the west - but instead of just having shelves there are drawers - I am hoping I will not 'lose' as many things as I did in the chest freezer I had in Canada. They said they will get a new shipment next Wednesday so I will go then - and they have free delivery - so on Thursday I will have a freezer. Then I am going to get a couple cases of mangoes and freeze it so I can have mango smoothies in the winter. YUM. Only challenge I will have will be to find unsweetened juices - but I think for mango I can just add some water.

Aymn headed to Libya Wednesday night - arrived at the border early Thursday morning to find the border was closed to all Egyptian foot traffic - in other words the only Egyptians allowed into the country are the truck drivers that are delivering goods to Libya for Ramadan - and I guess if an Egyptian is married to a Libyan then they can enter. So he is hanging around the border hoping this will be resolved shortly.

I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening weeding one of the flower beds. It was a real mess - the quack grass was choking out the plants - so I had much fun weeding. I find it frustrating that I had no input into the planning of the garden - if I had I would have insisted that the beds be no deeper than I could easily reach across. I do not have much of a head for heights - and getting up into the bed to weed was not my favourite thing to do - but it is done. Now there are just two more to do - they are not nearly as bad - but will need to get on them or they will end up just as bad. I am very stiff and sore from all the clambering about - bending over, crawling on my hands and knees and pulling the danged weeds out. My muscles are complaining. I either need to do this on a regular basis or never. I am leaning towards never, but ....

And that is how I have spent my last week or so.

Tomorrow (the 8th) Miles will be playing football in the final AFL championship. Wishing I could be there - but I cannot - I think he is just as glad that I am not as I think I still embarrass him - although since they are playing at McMahon Stadium in Calgary I do not think he would be able to hear my yelling and cheering on the field. They are playing against a team from Edmonton. Hope all goes well. He is still working at Green Drop - waiting for his end of season bonus - he is their top producer - not sure what his plans are for after the season. Time will tell.

And on that note I shall say TTFN.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh where to begin. I guess at the beginning would be a good place. Just about two weeks ago I drove to Ain el Sokhna - drove from Alex to Cairo on my own - met with my friend Margaret and her hubby at Carrefour - then we did a bit of shopping - then I followed them through Cairo and onto the Sokhna highway - very nice highway. Had a bit of trouble keeping up with my guide - not really surprising considering the traffic in Cairo - glad I do not live there. But am confident that I will soon be driving to shop and visit. So beware any of you who live in Cairo - here I come.

Had a wonderful five days in Ain el Sokhna - stayed at the Ramada hotel there - 2 bedroom suite, 2 bathrooms, 4 air conditioners and hop skip and a jump from the beach. Spent a lot of time literally hanging around in the water with Margaret. Bonus of being so 'fluffy' - I am buoyant like a cork - just bob around - no effort required. We saw dolphins twice - they were being quite lazy - just swimming by - no jumping and showing off - what beautiful creatures. The water was fantastic - warm - and soooo clean - well until the 2nd last day - one of the ships going by had added some undesirable oil into the water - was very nasty actually. Margaret and Mustafa got the goop on their feet - what a mess - I was wearing my water shoes so they have goop on the soles - but my feet stayed clean. Margaret got adventurous and bought a mask and snorkel - unfortunately she had trouble with the mask - one side kept filling up with water. I tried it and had more success - must admit it was really great being able to see the fish and the coral - talk about a wondrous sight. I went and bought myself a pair - they were not very expensive -good thing - as my set ended up buried at the bottom of the sea - I was swimming back to shore and had tucked the gear under my shirt and they came out and sank like a proverbial stone. But I had enough fun with them that I am seriously going to look for a dive shop and get a good face mask and snorkel - looking forward to having more fun looking beneath the surface and seeing lots more beautiful things. Unfortunately the first day we were out Margaret overdid it and got sunburned - I was very fortunate and did not get a burn - used lots of sun screen - do need to find a dermatologist here though - have a patch on my nose that needs to be looked at again - had had some cancer removed prior to coming here in 2003 - and the patch is back - so do need to get it looked after - since skin cancer runs in my family and I have had that patch removed as well as 2 moles that were diagnosed as pre-cancerous - if I were really good I would no longer go out in the sun - but sorry I like being in the water way to much to give it up completely - but at least I am now using sunscreen and being a bit more careful. So after the first day we opted to go early in the morning and then head back to the room until 2 or 3 in the afternoon and then we stayed out until between 6 and 7 - then back to the room to change and get ready for supper. Must admit it was very nice having someone come in every day and clean up after us - make the beds, etc., and going out for meals was a very nice treat as well - the food was nothing fantastic but it was food and I did not have to cook it or clean up after it.

We left on Thursday at noon - we met Mustafa at the port where he works - and headed to Cairo. I had planned on just going on my own - but I was not 100% sure of my way - so I opted to spend some time with Margaret at Carrefour in Maadi while she waited for Mustafa to sign the paperwork for the new car they were purchasing. Mustafa promised it would be no more than an hour - well unfortunately it was over 3 hours later before we headed out again - right into Cairo rush hour - and of course the road to Alex was extremely busy - but now that I have done it once I can do it on my own - and will do so - as it looks as if Margaret will be moving to Sokhna in the next five or six months.

Arrived home Thursday evening - and then Friday Aymn asked if I would travel to Marsa Matrouh to meet with him for at least four days - so I left Sunday at noon on my way to Marsa Matrouh. I oooohed and aaaaahed over the colour of the sea on my way to Marsa Matrouh - it is beautiful - have not seen those colours in real life ever. It is fantastic. The road was good - not a lot of traffic on it - but I bet on Thursday it is busier. Arrived in Marsa Matrouh - around 3 - Aymn had been calling me all the way - he called me at around 2 - asked me where I was -said I was at the 100 km mark from Marsa Matrouh - he asked me what was taking so long - I figured I was doing quite well - had travelled over 200 km in 2 hours - not bad - but he said he would catch a bus and meet with me half way - he called me about 15 minutes later - asked me where I was - said I was about 50 km from Matrouh - he was shocked - told me to keep my eyes open for a bus that was going the opposite direction - he was sitting beside the driver and would have the driver flash the headlights at me when he saw me - so about 25 km outside of Marsa Matrouh I met up with the bus. Arrived in Marsa Matrouh and Aymn received a phone call from Libya that set him off - he is having trouble with an ex- partner - and of course that meant he needed to head back to Libya sooner than expected - we had not quite two days before he left for Libya and I came back to Alex - he wanted me to hang around Matrouh and wait for him - but I know his schedule is much to elastic for my liking - did not want to be stuck in a rented apartment for God only knows how long - so I came back after leaving him at the bus depot. Of course he had not bothered to get an apartment before I arrived - so we spent time finding a place to stay, we ended up renting a nice apartment - 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, sala for 110 LE a night - wish is about 22 CAN a night - and the place was located in the boonies - so it was very quiet - at least the first night was - 2nd night was noisier - the resort located near had a concert going on - lasted until after 2 a.m. - when Aymn got back in. He had to leave at 11:30 p.m. to meet a truck driver and take delivery of the copper and he did not get back in until after 2 - think it was around 2:30 a.m. I opted to stay in and sleep. We went to a beach for a couple of hours on Monday - and I forgot my camera - figured I would have a couple more days to take pictures - but then he dropped the bomb that he was heading back to Libya. Did manage to get a few photos before we left town on Tuesday.

The car did really well - until the last 150 km into Alex. Not sure what is wrong - but when I turn left it sounds as if something is rubbing on the right hand side by the tire - also the a/c is making a lot of gurgling noises and is depositing water in the car - not a good thing. So will have to take it in and have it looked after before I do any more big trips.

On August 25th I took delivery of my new chairs - now I need to rearrange the furniture and find room for them - sigh - such troubles I have. Today went out and bought some 'covers' for the chairs - bought some towels and face cloths to put on the arms and the headrest and back of the chair to protect the fabric. The fabric is 'faux suede' so I want it protected from sweat and oil from the skin.

While I was out today I picked up my two new dresses - sure do wish Omar the tent maker had an ounce of imagination - the one dress I ordered has dark blue and cream fabric - and the colour of the stitching is lost in the royal blue fabric - the fabric was supposed to be a lighter blue - but they did not have any - so I ordered the royal blue - and did not even think about the thread colour - oh well -live and learn.

Not a lot more to report. Have not really had an opportunity to have a good chat with Aymn - not sure I will live long enough for that to happen - because of course he is always 'busy' with other things, the business, the kids, Amel, but never seems to find time for me - he asked me what his talents were - told him that he has the talent of burying his head in the sand - and after explaining what I meant - I clarified that I did not think this was a positive talent - not sure if he 'got' it - but will persevere - so he might understand that Amel is not the only one that has had to deal with many 'new and different' things. Asked him why he did not come to me when it was my turn - he said he was angry with me - thought I had intentionally hurt him and his kids - obviously he does not know me as well as he thinks he does. But I have decided that I am going to continue going to the family events - if Amel and the kids opt to stay home - that is their loss - I have no problem seeing them in a social setting - and if they cannot deal with me in a social setting - their loss. At least that is how I am feeling right now - time will tell.

Will try to upload a couple of pictures at a later date - do not feel like fighting with this computer right now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It has been an eventful two weeks in my little world.

I have been working at learning Arabic - must admit two hours a day five times a week is a bit much - after an hour my brain turns to mush and is raising the white flag to surrender. But I am slowly, slowly learning a bit. Unfortunately, with Suzanne moving I really do not have anyone to practice on - I do not know enough to be able to visit with Mom - and of course Aymn prefers to speak English - so I am going to have to figure something out. I am heading into the last week of lessons - Wafa - my teacher - heads back to work on Sunday - so I will be having the classes in the evening instead of in the morning - should be interesting. Then I am taking a break - planning on going to Sokhna for five or so days - I SO NEED this break - would love to invite Aymn - but I know he would say yes and then back out at the last minute because of his family. And I am tired of being disappointed - so I do not even bother asking any more.

We went to Damietta - under the guise of looking at furniture - but soon became apparent that the real reason was that Aymn had some business to attend to and he did not want to take a bus or mini van - much more comfortable in the air conditioned vehicle - we did look at two places for furniture - took about 30 minutes of time - the rest of the time was spent on his business. So we are no closer to getting a dining room suite - sigh - now why am I not surprised.

Went shopping twice with Margaret - must quit doing that - the first trip ended up with me succumbing and purchasing two chairs that I had been thinking about buying - told Aymn about them - he hit the roof - too expensive - have not yet told him that I bought them - guess I need to bite the bullet and let him know. They are swivel/rocker/recliners - soooooo comfy. I am so looking forward to enjoying them. They are scheduled to be delivered on August 25 - can hardly wait - will cost 100 LE to get them carried up to my apartment - this will be interesting - if they manage to get them up I will gladly pay 200 LE - I am having doubts that they will be able to carry them up the stairs - the stairs are not very wide - but time will tell. Then the second time we went shopping we stopped in at my favourite dress store and I ended up buying two new dresses- they will be ready in 10 days - they have to be custom made - by Omar the tent maker - have been there so often that they k now me by name - albeit it is Aymn's name - as you never give out your own name - just not done here - just hope they still have the colours I want in stock. One of the dresses is a really nice shade of blue with cream inserts and cream stitching, the other dress is a really bright coral with cream - it has cream chiffon as side inserts at the bottom of the dress - really like the colour - nice and bright - which means Aymn will likely not be too keen on it - he has 'realized' that we have different tastes when it comes to clothes - he came to this realization when I came back from Canada wearing a tunic I had made - bought the fabric in Canada - cotton - white with what looks like paintball splotches in bright colours all over it - he is not into bright colours - unfortunately for him the 'old' Maureen is making herself heard - as you all know I LOVE bright colours.

Last Sunday there was an engagement party for one of Aymn's cousins. I really wanted to go - invited myself - Gehan (SIL) ran it past Aunt Mehasan - who was just fine with it - even asked Aymn last Friday if I could go - he said fine - then on Sunday he requested that I not go because Amel and the kids were going - I was not happy. He said he would take me to the house later to offer my congrats. After he left I phoned him and asked him why he did not take Amel and the kids by the house later to offer congrats at which time he blew a gasket and said he would not go and neither would anyone else - so I figured it was safe for me to go. Well it turned out that he was going to go - found out when he called me at 11:00 p.m. and asked where I was - I told him I was at the party - he blew yet another gasket - how could I do that - how could he bring Amel and the kids if I were there - Amel would be so humiliated and embarrassed with my being there - I offered to leave - got out my keys and he hung up on me - my SIL, MIL and one of my nieces asked what was going on - said I was going home because if I stayed Aymn and family would not come. They refused to let me go - said so what if they do not come. He phoned again and I again said I would leave - he again went off then hung up - again I was told to stay. He phoned a third time - where would he be, he was always going to be in the middle, what would Amel think if I was sitting beside Mom and my SIL - she would think they were being disloyal to her - yada, yada, yada - and he said that he was taking the the family home and were not coming. Got off the phone and the family again said - so what if he chooses not to come. So after feeling down for about 10 minutes - I said screw it and I enjoyed myself. Did not get home until 2:30 a.m. - much to late for this old lady. Especially as I had to get up at 6 and head to class at 8 - ARGH. Had planned on going to club Monday morning - but opted instead to head home and sleep - had a wonderful migraine brewing because of stress - how odd. Spent most of the day fighting the migraine - which meant I spent most of the day sleeping. Did not hear from Aymn - even though technically at 1o:30 Sunday night it was my time.

Tuesday I went to class as usual - feeling pretty good - no headache -manged to feel rested - and at 10:30 himself called - wanted to know where I was - told him I was at my Arabic class - asked when I would be finished - told him by 11 I would be done - said he would call me back then. Called me a couple of minutes after 11 - asked me to meet him at El Baron - a coffee shop - asked him if I was picking him up or what - said to park the car on the street. OK. So I drove there - must admit I was very nervous - even though I KNEW I had done nothing wrong - went and sat beside him - he had opted to sit outside -which mean the seats are situated so that you are sitting beside each other with a table between - after 20 minutes of sitting there - with him asking me how I was, how was class, when was my friend arriving, and how was my Arabic teacher - and of course making calls on his mobile - I prepared to leave - he asked me if I was leaving - said that there did not seem to be much point of being there - as nothing was going on - he then asked if I was going home - to which I said yes - then I got up and went to the car -he stayed and dealt with the waiter - I had no idea if he was coming with me or not - so I got ready to leave and he walked up to the car just before I took off - so I let him in - drove by his home - he did not ask me to let him out - so drove to my place - he came in with me and then he started again with all this crap about Amel being humiliated and embarrassed - what a load - he also asked when I decided to go - told him when he said he and his family were not going I figured it would be safe for me to go - asked me why I did not let him know - told I did not know - then asked him why he did not let me know he had changed his mind - about going and about going to Libya - because the last I knew he was heading to Libya Sunday night after stopping in briefly at the party - he did not answer - asked me if it would have cost much to call him and let him know my change of plans - said no it would not and then asked him the same question. I was very cool, calm and collected and did not apologize once - which I think he was really waiting for - but again I did not do anything wrong. After about 40 minutes - all the while making calls and taking calls on his mobile - he got up to leave - I then asked him if I should be contacting a lawyer while he was in Libya - he looked puzzled - and I continued - to start divorce proceedings - the look on his face was priceless - looked like he had been hit with a 2 x 4 - he went and sat down again. He had his say - I have yet to have mine - as there was not enough time because I had to leave by 3 to meet Margaret for our evening out. But I have been busy 'writing' out my response. Chatted with him briefly that we need to resolve this - he said in shaa allah - and I stated that he cannot bury his head in the sand and hope it will go away - because it will not - only way that is going to happen is if I end the marriage - then Amel and the kids will be happy - but he will not - he does not want me to leave - says he needs me - we will see.

So that has been the excitement in my life over the last few weeks. Aymn is in Libya - where he runs to when things get to be too much for him here. But when he comes back we are GOING to talk and in shaa allah he will GET what I am saying - not holding my breath - but I am hopeful. Keep me in your prayers I am going to need all the help I can garner.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Woo hoo - I finally got a few more pics uploaded. The above picture is of Maurine and Maureen. Gotta love it. She is my favourite cousin - we are very much like sisters. We get along really well - she knows me so well. She knows how I am doing before I have to tell her. She is a wonderful, kind, caring spirit. I am truly blessed to have her in my life. Watch out - double trouble. We have such a blast together - never a dull moment.

Another picture of the wonderful scenery - the Rocky Mountains - love that snow.

This is a picture of the bouquet of flowers that Mawada (my youngest niece) got for me when I returned to Egypt. She is such a sweet young lady. A heart of gold and a spirit from God. She is a very tender and empathetic young lady - she is all of 10 years old.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Well all I managed to get uploaded was this one picture - taken in Banff, AB. Spent the day there with Maurine (my favourite cuzzy) on June 19, 2007. From Calgary you can see the mountains. From my house I could see the mountains from the deck off my bedroom - I do miss them - the mountains that is. Miss the peace of being in such an awesome setting.
Will continue to work on getting more pics uploaded - but am going to go to bed now.
Here is a picture of my son and daughter in law (Miles and Shani) at the temple in Cardston, AB, after their sealing. My heart aches wishing I could have been there for him. I feel very badly that I was unable to be there to support him. I am very grateful to my dear friend Mavis, who went in my stead - so that at least he had someone there.

I think that because I was able to upload this picture I will have to download the pics from my camera to the computer to get them uploaded. Not that I like downloading my pics to the computer - as they are constantly lost. But this time I swear I will copy them onto a CD. Guess I need to get busy.
ARGH - well I tried to upload pics again and met with no success. I HATE computers sometimes. I have no idea what is wrong - but it is driving me crazy - or as my dear sweet father would say - that is but a short putt. So on that note I will give up with pics at the moment and report on the last few days.

Unfortunately the last 3 days have not been good ones. I phoned my son Friday morning - my time - it was Thursday evening for him - wanted to let him know that I wished I was there with them and felt very badly that I was going to miss the sealing at the temple. He asked me if I was angry -told him no - just very disappointed. Did not talk long - ran out of money and composure. Needless to say the rest of Friday was a lost cause - I spent most of the day crying and feeling sorry for myself. Really hit me that because of the choice I made to marry Aymn I am cut out of so much of my son's life. Even if I had been in Canada I would not have been able to go into the temple to witness the sealing - as I was excommunicated from the Church when I married Aymn. It is doubly hard because for 19 years it was Miles and I against the world - he was all I had and I was all he had. Must admit being told that it is no big deal - after all he is 25 and married does not help me at all - just makes me angrier at the lack of comprehension that is there in regards to what this 'marriage' has cost me. Of course Aymn was nowhere to be found - he was safely ensconced in Libya - away from all the upheaval. I am very fortunate that a good friend of mine was able to be there in my place - I got an email from her today - she said that Miles indicated that it was very hard not having me there - he hugged her - she said that for the day she was me - so I got a wonderful hug from him. I so wish I had been there for him - another instance of my having failed him - she took pictures of them outside the temple after the sealing - bittersweet photos - I SHOULD have been in them - but I was not there. I truly wish Miles had told me what was going on when I was in Canada - and/or had let me know sooner that they were going to the temple - because if I had had enough time I would certainly have tried to make it - even though I have not yet fully recovered from the last trip - must admit the more often I make that trip the longer it takes me to really bounce back. I think I am back to normal - but I am really not. Do not think that it is jet lag - I think it is more along the lines of trying to adjust to wanting to be in two places at the same time. Every time I go back it is harder to come back here. Part of that is because - slowly but surely - fences are being mended. Needless to say there were a lot of broken fences when I married Aymn - Miles was furious - and he had every right to be. This last trip was the best so far - even managed to get a few hugs out of him. That is one of the things I miss most about him - prior to leaving on his mission - he served his mission in Texas Houston East area for two years - he was a very huggy young man. When he came back he came back to a mom who was going down a very different path than either of us expected and there were no hugs. It has taken four years to get to the point that when asked he will hug me. I tend to be a very touchy feely type of person - and I miss the physical contact of people on a daily basis. Saturday was a very long day - they (Miles and Shani) were constantly in my thoughts - when it was time for them to go through at 9:30 a.m. I was wishing I was with them - and then at 11:30 a.m. when they were to be sealed I was again wishing I was with them. Those times are all their times. I felt very empty and alone. Sharon came over for a visit - trying to cheer me up and keep me occupied - and I appreciate her effort - but ... And then I get the pics my friend so kindly sent me - and there are a couple of pics of her with Miles and Shani and a wave of regret passes over me - THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME. What in sam hill have I done?????? I think Aymn had best steer clear of me for a bit until I get my bearings again. I do believe Satan is winning the battle right now.

Today we (Sharon and I) had another Arabic lesson - we have them five days a week - two hours a day - it is coming very slowly. I do have a problem getting my mouth wrapped around a few of the the sounds. One of the sounds I really struggle with is the kh combo - sounds like a cat with a fur ball. But I am slowly but surely picking up a few things.

After the lesson we took off - gave our teacher a ride to her home - or pretty close - and then we went back to the Suzanne Mubarak Health Centre to get the results of our blood work. Would appear that my LDL is a little elevated - not sure how accurate the results were - do not have much faith in that place. But at least I have a 'benchmark'. Must work at eating better - needless to say I do not do well when I am stressed and of course the heat just makes things even worse. After getting the results - on the way home - we swung by the post office. Got July's Reader's Digest and Cooking for Two magazine. I need to pay for the rental soon - am hoping that Aymn will be home in time to do that - not sure I am up to trying to do that on my own. It is a real rigamarole - I am so surprised. And my Arabic is not where it needs to be to get that done.

Anyhow that is it for my last few days. Am hoping that things will start going better, soon. I am very weary of this roller coaster.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Well here goes - just read the last entry so I have an idea of what I need to report on. Must admit that not having a computer for two weeks certainly does affect my ability to keep up to date on things. Once I finally got my computer back - all fixed - well still needs a bit of tweeking as they 'forgot' and left the download boxes in Arabic - and for some strange reason I cannot read them. So have to take the computer back so they can download the proper program -but for some reason I am not in a really big rush - it is much to hot to be carting around the computer - so it will wait for a bit - anyway I had 378 emails to wade through.

The biggest news is that my son and his wife are going to the temple on July 21 to be sealed for time and all eternity. I WANT TO GO HOME - but I really cannot afford it and besides he did not give me enough time to get my act together. I would love to be there - even though I am not able to go into the temple to witness the proceeding - I could still be there to help celebrate. But I got busy and asked two friends if they could go in my place - one of my friends is unable to go because it is her daughter's wedding reception on that day - like really - get your priorities straight - just kidding - and my other friend who lives in the town where my parents live emailed me to say that she would be honoured to attend in my place - so at least Miles will not be completely alone - and I will have a mole who will let me know what takes place and what is said - as I know I cannot rely on Miles to tell me anything - although I have threatened Shani that if she does not give me all the 'dirt' I would come back and live with them for an extended period of time - only drawback is that she would have no problem with my presence - it is my son who does not like to have anyone taking up his space - so it would not be much of a punishment for Shani - but I am hopeful that she will send me a nice long email with all the details and some pics would be nice. I have yet to see any pics of their 'first' wedding - so am looking forward to being able to see something.

My parents are coming in October - dad emailed letting me know when he could get dates that were good for them - wish they could stay longer - but will be arriving Oct. 18 and departing Nov. 19 - they do not want to be travelling over the Thanksgiving weekend in the States - such an attitude. But at least they will be here for Dad's b'day - Aymn has promised Dad a fish meal at Ballba - so I think that has a lot to do with the timing - lol.

July 5 saw me on a bus heading to Suez with Margaret. Her husband, Mustafa, is working in Sokhna at the port - and the company has put him up at the Ramada in a two bedroom suite on the Red Sea - so I traveled with Margaret to spend the weekend - what a treat. Man I would love to spend more time there. The suite was nice - nothing really fancy - but has a kitchen in it - as well as a dining area, living room, balcony that looks over the pool, two bedrooms and two bathrooms - only drawback was that the water was pretty much non-existent - got fixed just before we left - they needed to change a filter and then voila there was lots of water - but we were heading back by that time - ah well. The room was about a 3 minute walk from the beach - the water was wonderful - tad warm for my taste - sorry I like to be refreshed when I get in the water and tepid water just does not do the trick - but the water was so clear and calm - it was fantastic. The beach was a bit rocky - I was very glad that I had found my beach shoes - made things much easier on my feet. Saturday afternoon - around 1 - Margaret and I were in the water and we saw three dolphins cavorting around - what a sight - I was thrilled - I have never seen them in the wild. They were not doing a lot - just swimming along - but I was still tickled pink. Friday night there was a show put on for the guests - it was very interesting - it was local dancers and the final act was the 'whirling dervishes' - absolutely amazing. The two male dancers spun around and around for about 30 minutes - doing various 'tricks' - what a sight - wish I had had a good cam corder - but my camera just did not do it - not enough light - and the movement was too fast - but the show was really great to see. Must admit the bus ride was anything but comfortable - but hey the end result was great. Aymn was at the 'bus depot' in Alex to pick me up - he had arrived back from Libya early Friday morning and I arrived back on Saturday night. He was a bit 'chuffed' that I had travelled and was not waiting for him at home - he best get used to it.

I have not yet been back out to Suzanne's - Aymn has requested that I not travel by myself - so of course I will - but can really only do that when he is out of the country. Right now Suzanne and kids are here in Alex - both boys have been quite ill with a gi infection - throwing up and diarrhea - and of course she is going to give them broad spectrum antibiotics - I just do not get this dependence on antibiotics - every sniffle or anything means you take them. God help them if they ever really need antibiotics - they are going to be hooped.

Aymn is in Libya again - such a surprise.

July 11 was our 4 year anniversary - he was with his family - god forbid that he should change their time - so he arrived at 10:30 p.m. or so - and we had 'company'. His friend Ridda was here painting the windows. Yes, I do have windows - but what a lot of angst. Aymn is positive the guy upped the price because I am a foreigner - and after some research it does look as if he got a bit greedy - but suck it up - you agreed to the price so pay it up and have done with it - that is the price you pay for never having time to do these things yourself. Anyway - back to Wednesday - the carpenter came over as well and there was a big fight - I went to bed and dozed off. Around 1:00 a.m. Aymn finally came to bed. Thursday and Friday were to be my days - then Thursday night he just had to leave because he had been informed - by Suzanne - that Ahmed was ready to apologize - Aymn has not spoken to the kid in over two weeks - since the time I went to Mahmoudea with Suzanne - so he had to go running home - needless to say I was not happy - not that it matters he still goes no matter how I feel - makes me very angry - but he does not seem to care. He showed up again Friday afternoon - and found out that Ahmed had not been ready to apologize - and Aymn just managed to get into it with Amel - so what a waste as far as I was concerned. Going to start insisting that when he takes off like that that he cannot come back until it is scheduled to be my day again - as I am tired of not being able to plan anything. And I am the kind of person who needs to have a schedule and stick to it - I do not do well with this changing of plans at the last minute. So need to get him to understand that when he changes his plans then he cannot change mine again - if he takes off to his family - then he can stay with them until it is my scheduled time again. So needless to say things are still rocky. Talked with him on Saturday - and he is still playing the same song and dance - Amel has been hurt so .... After all what would I do if I were in her position - and my response was - I was not really sure - but I am pretty sure I would have decided to either make the best of it and stick it out and be as pleasant and happy as I could be or ask him to divorce me - no way can I see myself being so miserable and making everyone around me miserable - I just do not have that in me. He brought up the fact that I have told him that if he goes for #3 I am outta here - and I said - yes because you do not have the money to support me - let alone another one and there is also the matter of the time - he does not have enough time for his two families let alone a third - but of course he does not 'get' it.

Weather here has been very warm and of course humid. I am having trouble keeping up with the housework - of course having Ridda in to paint does not make me any more eager to clean up - what is with the workers here - they make no effort to work clean and then there is no way they are going to clean up after themselves - so after a year of working at getting the paint off the floor - I know have paint all over the place again - ARGH. And the real piss off was that he brought his two boys and they helped themselves to chocolate bars that I had in the fridge and my candy jar got really hit - just ticked me off something fierce - and they wore the ship ships (sandals) that I had bought for indoors outside on the balcony - so I had to clean them off - and of course there is paint and stuff all over them now.

The garden is looking better with more consistent care - Aymn actually got busy and worked at stopping up the leaks in the walls - but there are a few places that still need work. He even got busy and stopped up the holes that the rats were using to get under the garden. We had an envoy of irate neighbours over - we were eating lunch - and they dragged him out to the roof - and insisted that we get rid of the garden because it is the cause of the rats - so he stopped up the holes and got the bowab to clean up the mess that he had left behind - not sure if there are still rats - as I do not sit around at night outside waiting to see them around - but I refuse to get rid of my garden - although there are days I wonder - but for the most part I do enjoy having it - plus it is my contribution to helping keep the air clean.

I think that is the news for the moment. I will now endeavour to add some pictures. Well after 2 attempts I give up - will work on pictures later today or tomorrow.