Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 24 - WOW - where has the time gone. This has been a busy week. Tuesday I took the bull by the horns and I went and visited the friend that I had met up with at Church on Sunday - we had a really good visit. Was so great to be with positive people - who share the same belief system that I do - something that I really do miss when I am at home in Egypt. She was so happy for me - thrilled that I had finally found someone to love me and happy that I was no longer suffering as I had been - she commented that I 'looked' much happier - that she knew that I had really struggled in Canada prior to my marriage. And it gave me a lot of food for thought. You know - despite all the b'in I do - I do love my husband and I am very fortunate that I live in Egypt and that his family is so wonderful to me. I read about and know women who have left everything to come to Egypt to raise their families and their Egyptian family is not supportive - and for this blessing I thank God every day. My family in Egypt treats me as their own - they are always glad to see me - they cry when I head back to Canada - and I miss them tremendously. I have included a picture of Michele, moi, Peter and Hannah (their youngest granddaughter).

I have been busy sewing - have finished a skirt - and have cut out a tunic - with my mom's help - unfortunately I have packed on the pounds again - and I get so discouraged when I want to sew something and it requires major alterations - but we managed to alter the pattern and today I am planning on getting it sewn up - it is quite simple - two seams, sleeves and the neckline and voila I will be done - lol - if it were only that easy - but I will work at getting it done today. I also need to get out today and purchase a graduation card for my niece. Looks as if I will be heading to Saskatchewan with my folks tomorrow for the graduation ceremony on Saturday - as you can tell I am tickled pink to be going. I do not really know this young lady all that well - and the prospect of travelling for 8-10 hours does not appeal much - not sure why - couldn't be because less than 2 weeks ago I flew half way around the world - hmmm - oh well - family is family and the obligations are there - must admit the prospect of spending 3 days here by myself is quite appealing - but I will do what is expected and I will go - but I do need to get a card - not going to get a gift as I have no idea what to get and besides she is basically a stranger to me.

Yesterday I went to the fitness centre with my parents - what a mistake that was - not really - but my body is letting me know it did not appreciate it - I spent 22 minutes on the tread mill and then did some weights and then did some work on the exercise ball - my arms and thighs are really complaining. Hmmmm - I should either do this all the time or never - I think I will go for all the time. Once I get back to Egypt - and my money is sorted out - I am planning on joining Gold's Gym - it is not really conveniently located - but I have a car - and at least they have top notch equipment - so I will be working at going early in the morning - need to find out when they are open - they were to open 24 hours a day - but you can bet that they are not - they just would not have the volume for that - a) because they are relatively expensive (by Egyptian standards) and b) because they are not at all centrally located - but I will check into it and see.

That is the news around here - last night I barbecued up the last of the meat I brought with me to Creston. I bought a big slab of beef - made wonderful steaks - and a bunch of Italian sausages and then last but not least a loin of pork that I cut into chops - they were very good.
Will keep you posted about my trip to Saskatchewan - will post pictures when I get back - if I can - if Blogger cooperates - LOL.
And, Safa, you are right it is too late now to worry about Aymn's reaction to my hair - but I would LOVE to have a camera at the ready to take a picture when I take my scarf off. As you can tell by the pictures I am being rebellious and not covering right now - will likely don the scarf while I am in Saskatchewan - and must figure out how I am going to keep it under control under the scarf - I am sure I will figure something out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Well I will once again endeavour to upload some pics of the flowers at my parent's place. They live on 1/2 an acre in British Columbia, in a valley surrounded by three mountain ranges, it is beautiful, peaceful and I really do miss it when I am in Egypt surrounded by the noises, pollution and whatnot. It is so pleasant to wake up to the sound of bird song being the only noise - when I come back to Canada the quiet is the one thing I notice the most - no honking horns, no call to prayer (sorry I live in an area with at least four mosques within a block - so call to prayer is a real cacophony - I do eventually tune it out but.....), no one selling their wares, no people yelling, no construction noises, no wedding/funeral parties, and the list goes on.

I do have a 'garden' at my place in Egypt - but I miss the variety of the flowers here - I liberated an old seed catalogue from my dad and I sit there and drool over all the flowers - think I will head to a garden centre when I get back to Calgary - and see about getting some more seeds - then in shaa allah I will be able to plant some for next year - as it is too late for this year - although I may try to plant a few things and see how it goes - since the growing season is so much longer in Alex than it is here.

And I will be heading back to Egypt on June 20 - arriving on June 21 - will be taking British Airways - and only have a one hour lay over in Heathrow - here is hoping I make the flight - whereas when I took Lufthansa I ended up with a 10 hour layover and the trip took 1.5 days instead of just one. So - despite the high price of flying British Airways - it is worth it in the time I save.

Ta da - today it worked - the first picture to the right is a picture of the 'dwarf' lilac flower at my parent's home - dwarf is in italics as it was only supposed to reach 6 feet in height and it is now approaching 13 feet - so my dad is not too impressed - but the flowers are beautiful - purple outlined in white - and of course the scent is to die for - I do love the smell of lilacs.

The second picture - maybe to the right - one can never tell where the pictures and text are really going to end up until you preview - and then it is not always accurate - anyway - this is a picture of a star magnolia - there are two of them on the lot - they are beautiful flowers.

Now this is a tree peony - it is enormous - that is my dad's hand beside it and my dad's claim to fame is not dainty hands - they do not smell very nice - but what a sight to see a bush covered in these ginormous blooms.

This is an iris - my parents have many different kinds of them - and they multiply like crazy - when I lived in Calgary - I had a bed of transplanted irises from my folks - and I do miss them - I miss all the spring flowering plants - the daffodils, tulips, crocus, paperwhites, etc. - they just make spring for me - when all the snow goes and they are there - already green and ready to show off their pretty flowers.

Now this last picture is not of a flower - it is a picture of my husband, Aymn - I took it at the airport as we were waiting for me to go through security - I think it is a good photo of him - would love to be able to take a picture of him when he sees my hair - I have not yet told him - it is going to be a 'surprise' - like the surprise when he got his new cell phone. And guess what - his new cell phone is hors d combat - I received an email from my friend who is staying at my place - the day I left he was walking along the street - with cell phone in hand - so other's could see what a fancy cell phone he has - and he fell - and landed on his fancy dancy cell phone - and it no longer works - 5,000 LE - up in smoke - he wants me to get it fixed here - I phoned Nokia here in Canada and they said it has to be fixed in the region it was purchased as the components vary from region to region - and besides it is not like the repair depot is next door - it is located in Ontario - which is a four hour flight from where I live - so I told him that he needs to get it repaired in Dubai - which is where the phone originates from - it is not legal to sell in Egypt - as it has GPS in it. I am so mean - bawahahahaha. Meanwhile my cheap little cell phone has been dropped all over the place and it keeps on going - but it has not a bell or a whistle on it - it answers and it sends and I can send text messages - that is it - no pictures, no ability to download, upload or anything. SIGH. Sorry Lord - but I am mean.

And thanks for the positive comments about my hair - much appreciated - needless to say I am a bit nervous about my dh's reaction - but I like it - I am so glad to have all the 'colour' out of it. And at least by getting it cut as soon as I got here I have a chance to get used to it - and I must admit - I still do a double take when I pass by a mirror - and of course I will be covering it when I head back to Egypt - but for the moment I am 'enjoying' going about 'uncovered'. And Safa - thank you for the comment regarding my son - I agree - but then I think I may be a tad bit biased - LOL.
Just a quick entry to let all my 'fans' know that I am alive and well. Last Sunday saw me boarding a plane in Alexandria, on my way to Canada. The trip was uneventful. My son, Miles, met me at the airport - and took me out for supper as it was Mother's Day. I made the trip to Calgary to celebrate my son's 25th birthday - it was to be a surprise - but my DIL let the cat poke its nose out of the bag and then decided to let it all the way out of the bag as my son does not do well with surprises when his space is going to be invaded. He is a very typical only child and does not really like to share his space - wonder how he will cope when they have children. So Shani (DIL) told him that I was arriving - and I agreed with her decision as I was quite concerned about his reaction - because he has made it clear that he does not like it when I come - as he does not like me invading his privacy - but I must admit the more I see him the better our relationship becomes. He had major issues with the deicision I made to marry and move to Egypt - after all it had been him and I against the world for all of his life - and the concept of me sharing my life with someone else was not really appreciated - and then to move to Egypt and of course the icing on the cake was the fact that I was going to be a co-wife - needless to say he went ballistic and I have been working hard at improving the relationship. His wife is a treasure and I do believe she has helped to pave the way for our improving relationship. Thank you God for blessing my son with such a wonderful partner.

I took Miles and Shani out for a very nice steak dinner on Monday - we had a great time - you can see us in the photo. I spent the day with my friend Deb - and after much hemming and hawing I decided to get my hair all cut off - my hair had been halfway down my back - and as you can see from the pic it is nowhere near that long now - but at least 99% of the colour has been cut off so I can be a natural white haired old lady - LOL.

I was a very busy bee shopping on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - I have actually purchased 80% of what I wanted to buy - but of course I keep remembering things - and I have only one suitcase filled. I phoned British Airways to find out the price of taking an extra piece of luggage - it is $220 - but if I do it online I save 30% - so I will be doing that - and now I have an extra piece to fill. Thursday evening saw Maurine (my favouritest cousin), Maurghan (her daughter) and me driving to Creston, BC to visit my folks. Maurine took off today to visit another friend and I will be here until June 1. Then will be heading back to Calgary to spend the remainder of my holiday with my son and daughter in law.
Yesterday we went to see the Blossom Festival Parade - it was a cool and overcast day - great day for the parade participants - and it did not rain - so not a bad day for the parade watchers as well. When we got home I took a bunch of pictures of flowers at my folks place. Lilacs, irises, magnolias, and I can't remember what all. So have included a few pics of these as well - must admit I do miss the spring flowers here - the smell of lilacs is awesome. Wish I could bottle it and bring it home with me. Well tried twice to add the pics and got a message saying it could not do something - so will try another time.

Today I went to church - and got a very pleasant surprise. 15 years ago when I joined the LDS church I was fellowshipped by Michele Geurts - we got to be very good friends (or so I thought) - and then she moved to another part of Calgary and we lost touch - and she and some of her family were at church today - I was very surprised. They have purchased property for summer vacations not far from my folks place - it was great getting caught up with her life. WOW.

Anyway - that is it for now - will endeavour to keep you posted on my vacation. Not really up to a lot - mostly visiting - although I am hoping to get some sewing done while I am visiting my parents.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The results of your analysis say:
You tend to pursue many different activities simultaneously. When misfortune does happen, it doesn't actually dishearten you all that much.You are a thoughtful and cautious person. You like to think about your method, seeking to pursue your goal in the most effective way.You like following the rules and being objective. You are precise and meticulous, and like to evaluate decisions before making them.You have a sunny, cheerful disposition.
This was a fun exercise - as you can tell - a great artiste I am NOT.
Last night was a great night - had a houseful of company and had a lot of fun - it was girls' night - Sharon, Anne, Margaret and I had a great gabfest. Sharon left around midnight to head home - she just made it home in time - the heavens opened and it really came down - had been putting on quite a light show - lots of lightning and thunder - Aymn called around12:30 - asked if I was awake and then asked if it was raining - like duh - if it is raining at your place - chances are really good that it is also raining where I am - since his home is but a 7 minute walk away - he then requested that I go out and unplug the drains so the water would not accumulate on the deck but run off onto people's cars or people themselves - so I did - thankfully it was not really very cold - as the water was already about 1.5 inches deep near where the drains are and I got a bit damp around the edges - but alas and alack I did not shrink. We talked and munched our way to 2:30 a.m. - has been a long time since I have done that. Unfortunately Margaret did not get much sleep as her asthma opted to kick in and she had not brought her puffer with her - I got up around 7 and made her some tea and gave her some Buckley's - she had taken an allergy pill - so in combination the wheezing abated. I made breakfast and then we were off and running - I took Anne to visit her ex-husband's family and then Margaret and I went to visit Sharon so Margaret could meet the infamous Popeye. Margaret's hubby showed up around 2:30 and then I was on my own again. Aymn spent the day with his family - as per usual I do not get to see much of him - I guess the fact that I am travelling does not factor into any consideration about his sharing of the time.
I got busy - after vegging in front of the TV for a bit - and got all the dishes done up - lots and lots of glasses and mugs - during the evening we had had lots of company - all of Suzanne's kids came up as well as Gehan's two daughters - and Suzanne also came for a visit. I also managed to start gathering things in one place to pack for the trip - all those things you buy and put away to take with you - really hoping I do not forget anything.
After the dishes were done and there was nothing on TV I crashed - got about 15 minutes of sleep and Aymn showed up - needless to say I am not all that swift at the moment.
Need to get some sleep - should make a list of things I need to do before I leave - like charge up my Ipod and make sure my camera batteries are all charged - that sort of fun thing.
Anyhoo - TTFN.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wow - my get up and go certainly has deserted me this last bit. I have been really struggling to get anything done around the house - even not really enjoying going out and about - but have been going out. Last Saturday we, Sharon and I, went to St. Mark's School - to take in the pottery display by artisans from a town called Garagos - it is located outside of Luxor - sure do wish I had lots of money and space. If I were much younger and starting out I would have gone crazy buying all kinds of things - but I restrained myself - got a few things - consoling myself with the thought that I can go next year and see what treasures are available. It was so great that we headed back that way on Monday after club - and got a few more things - Sharon is as bad as I am. I took a video - and a few pics - wish I had the wherewithal to upload the video - but I am not quite that talented. Will endeavour to upload the pictures I took - there were quite a few Nativity sets - took a pic of the largest one - also took pics of the stained glass windows that adorn the chapel of the school - it was quite breathtaking.

Aymn has been spending most of his time with his family - as his eldest son is writing his final exams and of course the kid is studying and learning all that he should have learned over the last year. I feel like the donkey with the carrot being dangled in front of my nose - the carrot is the 'promise' that things will get better and his family is truly accepting of me. I asked Aymn how his family was when I left the country and he admitted that they are usually a lot better - so much for their acceptance of me as his wife - I am really beginning to feel that things will never change - and I am going to have to work on just letting it go and not let it get to me - or ..... He has promised that things will be better when I get back - hmmm - have heard this one a few times and still no change - in fact things are getting worse. As soon as Mom and Dad have a disagreement - and Mom makes sure the kids know about it - I am the one in the dog house. Aw well - such is life in the fast lane.

I am trying to get ready to fly back to Canada - but I have a ton of baking to do first - the British Bazaar is being held on May 18 and I have volunteered myself to do some baking - since I am not going to be here - you know - I really do have to quit travelling - every time I leave I miss something.

Today saw me driving Suzanne, Sharon and moi to Carrefour. Suzanne had hinted that the next time I went she would like to come along - of course I had no real intention of going - but went - she had purchased a tv from Carrefour 8 months ago or so and it is giving her trouble - so she wanted to take it back. She was informed that they would sent it out to be fixed and she would have to come back in two weeks to get it - now Carrefour is quite a ways away from where we live - and the shop that they would be sending it out to is a short 3 minute drive from our place - so we loaded it back up - after shopping - I had to get a few things for Thursday night - and headed to the repair shop - to find it closed for two days as the owner is in Cairo - so we will see if we have time to head back again before I leave - but at least the taxi fare would be a lot less than heading all the way out to Carrefour.

Thursday I am hostessing a Girls Night - Anne (my friend from Oregon is back in the country), Margaret and Sharon are gathering at my place for a get together. Margaret planned it - she had hoped we could have a sleep over but Anne will be unable to spend the night has her new hubby has other ideas - lol - I am going to make a pizza, some popcorn, and of course I am really hoping to have a few things baked so we can snack on them as well, chips, and dip and some pop - and I do need to clean up the spare bedroom - need to sweep the floor and do some dusting - nothing major - sure is amazing how quickly the dust - read sand - finds its way in through all the 'airtight' (in my dreams) windows and doors.

So today I am trying to light a fire to get at least some of the baking done so there is less to do tomorrow. Wish me luck.

My congrats go out to my fellow Canuck, Safa, who had her baby on May 1 - a wonderful baby boy - she already has 4 beautiful daughters - she lives in Cairo - I have yet to meet her in person - but we keep in touch via our blogs, chatting and every once in awhile I call her on the phone.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This last week has been a fairly quiet week. Not up to much. Aymn returned from Libya early Friday morning - I had to go and let him in as the front door was locked and he does not have a key - there are times I think about reconsidering my decision to take back the keys - but it does not really last for long. He spent two days with me - during which time he spent 75% of his time sleeping - must admit it does frustrate me a bit - okay read a lot - but what can I do. He did not tell his 'family' that he was back in town - and on Sunday we were out and about in the car with my sil Suzanne - unbeknownst to me and Aymn we were spotted by his daughter - so when he went home he was in much doo doo - did not know what the problem was until he spent some time with Suzanne on Monday and she enlightened him that she had seen Asmaa and obviously Asmaa had spotted us. Must admit it does irritate me that when he comes back and comes to me he has to keep it from his family. The deal is if he leaves from Amal's home then he comes back to me and vice versa. Was taking with Suzanne yesterday evening and her son Mahmood wanted to speak with me - he was whispering to me - asked him why he was whispering and he informed me that Islam (Aymn's youngest) was over and he did not want Islam to know that he was speaking to me - ARGH. I am getting really tired of being something that has to be hidden and whispered about.

Spent time out and about - did not really get anything noteworthy - just the usual.

Today was a beautiful day - Sharon came over and we sat out on the balcony enjoying the sun - unfortunately we both overdid it - when will I ever learn - alas and alack I fear it will be never - we had lunch together - real gourmet feast - bologna sandwiches, salad and chips and dip - gotta love being able to prepare meals like that.

Aymn came over for a bit in the morning - then went back to his family - after informing me that he would not be coming over as per the schedule - but would be over later - told him I did not really care when he came - I am just very tired of this game. Last night he and Suzanne and Mom went to visit Mom's brother - Samir - who is terminal with cancer - I am not known to Mom's side of the family - for fear that they might slip and let the cat out of the bag to Amal's family - who is not yet aware of my existence - but Aymn kindly took a video and showed it to me - wish he had not bothered - I mean if I am not 'good' enough to be out of the closet for this family then I have no real wish to be 'involved' in their family - but of course Aymn does not see the problem with his logic.

After Sharon left I was a 'good' girl and watered the garden - must get busy and do some weeding - or I will end up having to do some mowing - lol - not really but.... I am planning an early night tonight - as I have to be up and out to have the car to Toyota for it's complimentary 1,000 km check up - have to be there at 8:30 - am planning on taking a few books because I will have quite a wait - after all - appointments mean nothing - if someone comes in and is louder then they will be looked after first - gotta love this aspect of Egyptian culture - actually it is likely more an Arabic thing as it is not just here in Egypt - the same thing applied in Libya. So, if Aymn is not here before I hit the hay he is out of luck - I will just turn off the phones and go to bed. Thank goodness I do not have a doorbell.

Today is Labour Day here in Egypt - so yet another holiday - there certainly are a lot of holidays in this part of the world.

Anyway that is it for today.