Last Friday Sharon and I headed to Manshaya - was to pick up my February's 'allowance' in manshaya - I do not like driving to manshaya or trying to find parking. But we left early - tried to miss most of the traffic by heading out before Friday prayers. Drive along the corniche and men abandon their cars on the corniche - which has a usually very strict no parking rule - to head to the mosque for prayers - like it is a surprise that the prayers happen at that moment. My mother in law had said she wanted to go to manshaya to look for a wall clock - figured we would do it on Friday - but she and Suzanne and Gehan bowed out because the shops in manshaya would not be open on a Friday - HUH. Left at 12:30 - was to pick up the money by 1:00 - got to the place where I was supposed to get the money and got a message from Aymn - could I go shopping until after 2 when the guy would be back from prayers. So we found a parking spot and spent a couple of hours drooling over gold at the gold shops - have included a few pics. Sharon sold a couple of her gold bangles and bought a couple of rings - a puzzle ring - would love to get one for myself - and a couple of pendants - plus she got over 1000 LE in change. Wish I had been smarter and spent my money on gold - then I would have some easily liquidated assets. At 3:00 I sent Aymn a missed call - he finally called back - he could not make contact with his contact - so I should just go home - I was fit to be tied - 2nd time this month I have ended up in tears because of no money - at the end of my rope - skin of my teeth is starting to complain loudly.
Weather has been ugly over the last bit. Last Friday was not bad, then it got quite ugly - rain, wind and cold - well for here it was cold - okay?? Wind was so bad that I closed the shutters on the windows and doors before I headed to bed to stop the banging that occurs when it gets windy. Must admit that snuggling under the covers for the duration sure held a lot of appeal. But I did not - got up and did not much.
Saturday I got busy and baked some boiled raisin cookies - Sharon's favourite - and she came over to relieve me of all the burned or broken cookies - she is such a food friend. I made up some potato things - no idea what to call them - they look like pasta - but you deep fry them and they puff up a lot - then you put seasoning on them or not - they are quite tasty - my thanks to Suzanne for telling me what they were when I was at Fathalla with her - I always thought it was just pasta. Then I made popcorn - really wonderful diet for the day. But hey every once in awhile one needs some 'comfort' food. Sunday finally got my money for February - not quite all of it - but most of it. Took most of the day and a lot of phone calls from Aymn. But Mahmood went and got it - had been sent with a van driver who lives not far from us. Aymn did not send it this way- he had given the money to someone with the understanding that it would be transferred to the 'travel agency' in Manshaya. But someone decided to do it this way - so of course nothing truly added up - and many phone calls were made to ensure that the money was given to the right person - like how many people would know to call and ask for a specific amount from Libya. But anyway - Mahmood went and got the money for me - and phoned the other family to tell them to come and get their money.
Monday evening I spent some time with Suzanne and her family. Tuesday was Mawada's birthday and I had planned to have everyone over for supper - but the two younger kids go to school from 12:30 to 7 and then Mawada had tutoring after so she would not be home until after 8. Suzanne was saying she would make a cake for Mawada to take to school to share with her friends - asked if I could make cupcakes or something - she said anything - told her that as it was Mawada's birthday - it was up to Mawada - she asked for rice krispie squares.
So Tuesday morning saw me making rice krispie squares with marshmallows that have not fared well here. Storing marshmallows in this place is impossible. They are terrible - they do not melt at all well - making it difficult to do something that is usually so easy. I have learned my lesson though - will not do it again. Although it is frustrating as I do like to keep a package of marshmallows on hand just in case I need to make rice krispie squares - and there is no way that there is room in either my fridge or my freezer. Oh well - I did manage to get them made and Mawada came and got them just before heading to school - along with a bottle of water - she just wanted the bottle - but it was full of store bought water - gather the water at school is not very good.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day - spent a couple of hours basking in the sun - working on my tan - best time of the year - do not bask much in the summer because it is too hot and humid - and I leave a puddle wherever I sit - unless of course I am at the beach - but then I am under an umbrella in the shade hiding from the sun because it is too hot. Never thought I would be tanning in February. Also got brave and fired up the barbecue. My friend Margaret barbecues and has a technique that is quite clever. Her brother in law purchased a charcoal holder that they use at coffee shops to light the charcoal for the water pipes - I do not have one of those - but I do have a rack that we put the meat in when we barbecue - so I put the charcoal in that and then put it on the stove top with the burner going - worked like a charm - 5 minutes and I had the coal going - put it outside in the barbecue and did not even have to tend to it - when Aymn barbecues he spends all his time fanning the fire - and he uses gasoline to start it - and I do not like doing that - a) because of the danger and b) because I do not like gasoline flavoured food. I had taken some steaks out of the freezer the day before and marinaded them - so I barbecued all of them - now I do not have to cook for a few more days. Although I must admit it was hard to stop myself at one steak - it was soooo good. But I did manage to stop myself from eating all of them. Now I have steak for supper tonight and tomorrow night - without having to cook it - yummy.
A picture of my volunteer sweet pea - going great guns - amongst the roses.
And here we have the final product - yummy steak.
Today I have so far managed to clean the bathroom and strip the bed and it is in the washer now being washed. YAY. Being a good little hausfrau.