Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Has been a quiet few days. Watered the garden - will try to upload a couple of pictures of the first sweet peas of the season - just could not resist. Spent a few hours sitting outside enjoying the sun - sure does feel good - especially considering that it is only January - again could not resist. Mish mish is turning into quite the little hunter - not that he has caught anything - but he does the skulking quite well - the first few times he went out he did not venture far from the door - but he is now quite content to wander all over the balcony. Poor thing is going to get used to having all this space and then he will be living in a smallish apartment with no balcony to speak of - poor thing. Must admit on one hand I will miss him and on the other not so much. Still cannot sleep very well with him on me - and he does like to sleep on me. He is also getting quite vocal - as only a siamese can - chills up my spine - I think he is missing his sister - but he certainly is affectionate - loves to sit on you when you are sitting down - and do not dare to read - he will wind his way to sitting in front of the book. I also do not like the fact that he follows me around - I invariably end up stepping on him or kicking him.

This is a picture of one of the 'cactus' blooms - quite spectacular.

Mish mish enjoying the sun

Today I went and got my hair cut - not nearly as good a job as when Virginia did it in Creston - but for 20 LE ($4) what the heck - and it grows - and I am fortunate that my hair has enough curl that it hides a multitude of sins.

Tomorrow I am going to have company over for supper - so made a carrot cake tonight - will make spanakopita and bruschetta as hors'doerves (or however you spell it) and 'shake'n'bake' chicken, fettucine alfredo and salad or maybe beans - and then the carrot cake for dessert.

Kitchen looks like another cyclone hit it - why is cooking so messy. Not a lot more to report - weather has been nice - although it was sounding really bad out there about 30 minutes ago - really windy. Do not like the wind - glad that I have the fancy new window in my bedroom - at least it is sealed well and there is no whistling noises.

Tomorrow I will make the spanakopita and the bruschetta as well as the shake'n'bake mix. Sigh - I can just see the mess - oh well - gives me something to do - LOL.
The following is a picture that I promised awhile ago - the cauliflower at the market.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yesterday was another 'quiet' day. Suzanne phoned to let me know that she would not be able to come to the souk with me as her uncle had passed away - this is her Uncle Samir on her mom's side - the one I have not met as I am not allowed to meet Mom's side of the family. I phoned Aymn to let him know - because I figured no one else would - I should have not bothered - after all - if I am not 'allowed' to be part of that family what business is it of mine. Anyhow - I did - and Amel and Ahmed went to pay their respects (this I found out from big Mohammed) . Aymn phoned me and told me that he had gotten in touch with Suzanne and everyone was at Suzanne's - so I should go visit - not sure why he felt I needed to go - but I did - wanted to at least pass along my condolences to mom and Suzanne and Gehan. Mom was actually sleeping - as she had not slept at night. So I visited with Gehan and the kids - Suzanne was busy in the kitchen cooking for them. They were supposed to be back by 5:30 or 6 - they left around 7. Gotta love Egyptian time - it is even 'better' than Mormon Standard time. After they left I came back upstairs - Mawada, little Mohammed and Esraa (Gehan's youngest) came up with me to see the cat - Esraa was afraid of him - Mawada was pretty good with him - Mohammed of course was a disaster with the cat - he is unable to be patient - he is always in a hurry - which of course translates to an uptight cat. They did not stay long.

About five minutes after they had left there was a knock on the door - Penny and her friend Gillian had come by for a quick little visit. Gillian has just purchased a flat in the next area over from me - and Penny wanted to show off my garden. They stayed for about 20 minutes - Gillian does not like cats - so of course Mish Mish was all over her.

I ended up staying up later than I had anticipated - had been dragging all day - but got hooked on a few TV shows. Could not figure out why I was so stiff - my legs were killing me - was anxious that I might be developing cellulitis again - because I could not remember any reason for being in so much pain - then it dawned on me - on Friday I had had to walk down the 15 flights of stairs as someone was hogging the elevator - and my legs were complaining.

It has been danged chilly here the last couple of days - yesterday I resorted to wearing my yellow hug - must admit it does give the family a charge when I wear my hugs - they are so bright - and of course they do not wear bright colours. It is nice and sunny today - yesterday was a great day for laundry - I had two loads - was quite windy and sunny - so everything dried in short order. Today there is not much wind - so I need to vacuum and dust - was thinking about doing it yesterday - but with the sand flying around did not think it made much sense to vacuum and dust when the sand was just coming in through the windows and doors. Such an exciting life I lead.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a 'quiet' day - did not do much of anything - my kitchen looks like a cyclone hit it - but I just did not care.

Spent four hours at Toyota waiting for them to fix my car. Aymn had taken the car in before he left and they said they would call when the 'specialist' was in - to ascertain whether the damage was because of faulty parts or just normal wear and tear. Got there about 10 minutes late - traffic was atrocious - and then sat and waited - inside - which I do not like as 99% of the customers are male and of course 80% of them smoke like chimneys. Around 3 Aymn called and asked what I was doing - told him - he talked with the receptionist - who said it would be just a few more minutes - I opted to sit in the car until they were ready for me - sat there for over an hour - thank goodness I had had the foresight to bring a couple of magazines and some water - so at least I had something to do. The specialist finally came to the car and started going over the windshield that has been damaged - he asked me what had happened - told him I did not really know - had parked it and there was nothing - next day it had this wonderful mess in it - figured someone had dropped something from their balcony and it had hit the car. He thanked me for my honesty - turns out most people would have tried to pass it of as a faulty windshield - wonder if that is why Aymn mentioned it - but I know it is not because the windshield is faulty - just the people in this great country. He then asked me what else was wrong - told him that my husband had told me that a strut needed looking at - of course nobody bothers to tell me anything about my car - I am but a stupid woman who would not understand - and to top it off I am from the West - double whammy. He got in the car - turned the steering wheel - trying to get it to 'clunk' - told him it does not happen when the car is stationery - and not all the time - it is intermittent - so he asked if he could take the car for a test drive - said sure - so he and the MANAGER went for a drive - came back and told me that there was a clunk and it was not all the time - hmmm - where have I heard this before - so they finally took the car into the shop - after 4:30 - and there I stood outside - no way was I going back into the waiting area. I had also been smart and slathered myself with insect repellant as the area is full of mosquitoes. So I stood outside and read - until someone came and brought me a chair. One of the engineers came out and asked me where the registration was - told him it was in the car - then he asked me for the keys - told him they were in the car as well - really on the ball. Finally got the car at 5:30 as they were closing up - they asked me if I wanted to wait another 10 minutes while the washed the car - told them no thanks. When the engineer brought the car back I was told I have to take it in in a month to have the shock absorber greased - I do not think he was intending on telling me what the problem was - but I asked - so he told me they had to replace a shock absorber. Drove the car home - no clunking - YEAH. Even managed to find a place to park the car - down the block from my place - but I really do not care as long as it is within walking distance and off the main road.

Got home a little after 6 and warmed up some food to eat - had not eaten lunch - so I was hungry - go figure. Then I did not much else - sat with the cat in my lap - he sure is a friendly little thing. He spent the night with me - not sure I will do that again - can not quite figure out whether I should just close my door or try to get used to having him sleeping with me - decisions, decisions - it is a tough life - LOL.

Tried to post last night - but my internet crashed and I could not be bothered fighting for more than 30 minutes to get it back - hit the hay around 10. Tried to read - but the cat kept insisting on laying on my chest right in front of the book - so I gave up.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Between having visitors and the internet not working properly I missed a couple of days. So I will recap.

Tuesday I woke up bright and early - just shortly after five - planned on going for a walk - got up and figured that walking at that hour was not something I wanted to do - so posted on my blog, went through my emails and then started working on the 5kg of tomatoes that I had bought for making spaghetti sauce - they were calling me from the crisper. I HAD to deal with them - they should have been dealt with on Saturday as the tomatoes were very ripe - but .... my get up and go had abandoned me. So I figured I would make the spaghetti sauce and then head out for a walk - after all I had all day - not like I HAVE to go first thing in the morning - so I dug in and got the spaghetti sauce made - takes 3 hours per batch and I had enough tomatoes for 2 batches - so 6 hours were spent making spaghetti sauce. Have enough sauce made for two batches of eggplant parmesan, 3 pizzas and a couple of meals of sauce and pasta - figured I could make meatballs to go with the sauce as making it with sausage is out of the question here. Five kg of tomatoes in 7 jars - sure does compact them. Need to get some more onions - as I used all the onions I have - and I really do not like not having onions in the house - they are a staple. While the 2nd batch of sauce was cooking I made blue cheese dressing. After I had finished canning the 2nd batch I hard boiled 13 eggs and pickled them (another staple I have in the house - such a quick meal). Then it was time for my walk - only Margaret had arrived - saved by the bell - she arrived with two more cats in tow - she had left her cat Tootoose at home - a woman who moved here less than a year ago had purchased two cats - 'purebred' siamese brother and sister act - and is now heading back to the States with her new husband in tow - so Margaret jumped at the chance to have the female so she could breed Tootoose and have kittens - her family here is very taken with Tootoose and they all want his kittens. The male is headed for Margaret's stepdaughter - only problem being that she is in the middle of writing mid term exams and does not want him for two weeks. Margaret was working at figuring out what to do with Mish mish and I said he could stay here for two weeks - her options were to leave her with her BIL fiancee who already has a cat if not more - only problem is that the cats spend time outside and this one is not to go outside - as he would likely get lost because he would not associate the new place as his home - or she could take him home and deal with the fights between the two males and also the little female is starting to go into heat - and she does not want brother to impregnate her - so I opened my mouth and said he could stay here for two weeks until Esraa (stepdaughter) is ready for him. He is a very nice cat - very affectionate.

I made spaghetti alfredo for supper and then after I did up the dishes and we watched Obama's inauguration speech we picked up Suzanne and headed to Sharon's place. Margaret took Popeye so Sharon wanted her to spend some time with him so he would at least 'know' her, Suzanne wanted to shop at Sharon's place. Thank God Popeye took a real shine to Margaret - went to her within minutes - usually takes him longer to warm up - but he really likes Margaret - which certainly put Sharon's mind at rest. Anyhow - Suzanne shopped and bought lots of treasures. And of course Margaret shopped as well - leaving a fairly large pile on one of the spare beds - to be picked up on Wednesday when Mustafa (hubby) came to get her and Popeye and the turtle and the bride for their cat.

Stopped in at Suzanne's for a bit after we finished shopping then finally made it home - it was after 11 when we got back. Hit the hay around midnight - and I left my bedroom door open and of course had company - so did not get a lot of sleep - I am so unused to sharing my bed that having the cat laying on me kept waking me up - and of course I am not a very restful sleeper - I do a lot of tossing and turning - so he had to keep moving.

Got up around 8 yesterday morning (Wednesday) and made coffee for Margaret. Phone rang - it was Sharon - she had just received an email from her landlady telling her that she would be by around 10 - no reason given - so I invited Sharon over for breakfast and she came over promptly. I cooked up potatoes and scrambled eggs - had planned on an omelet but I do not have the knack for making a 5 egg omelet - put some ham (smoked turkey breast) and broccoli in it - cats liked it as did the humans. Phone rang and it was Suzanne - Gehan wanted to go over to Sharon's place and look at her stove that is for sale - I said okay - should have let Sharon talk to her - as it was not a good idea - SIGH. Oh well - sorry about that Sharon.

Anyway then we were off to Sharon's place where more shopping happened - and Mustafa came and got Margaret and Popeye and the turtle and all the treasures that she found. Hit me hard - in my head I knew she was leaving - but this really brought it home - I am sure going to miss her - even though she seems to believe that the only person who will think of her is Margaret. That kind of stings - as I had hoped we were good enough friends that she would know how much I am going to miss her - have told her -but obviously she does not believe me.

I got home around 2 and went to bed - I was just knackered. Woke up around 4 - and of course it took me awhile to feel human again - must say I envy people who can sleep in the afternoon and wake up all revved and ready to go. I just sat around - could not get online until just before I had a date with my mom online - thank goodness the internet finally worked. Must say it is frustrating to me when I want to use it and I cannot - especially when it says it is connected but I cannot access it. Chatted for a bit with my mom and then vegged in front of the TV with my new lap warmer keeping a very small part of me warm.

Headed for bed around 9 - this time I closed my bedroom door - and thank goodness he did not caterwaul at my door - he just went to the 2nd bedroom and curled up on the bed and slept.

There, now I am all caught up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is my update for yesterday (Monday) - tried to post yesterday but for some strange reason I could not get online - welcome to Egypt - so I went to bed at 9:00 instead - and then at 12:46 a.m. Vodaphone (my cell phone 'provider) sent me two messages - now one message I would have slept through - but the 2nd one woke me up - need to find out how I can get it so the messages come through during the day - not very likely - and even less likely when I remember where I am - this is Egypt.

Woke up and and did my dishes and cleaned up my kitchen - looked like a cyclone had hit it. Then I did weight training for my upper body. Then I showered and had breakfast and out the door to take Suzanne to Carrefour to get some more chickens at a good price - alas and alack they no longer had any - ARGH - guess I should have just bought extra - but I had no idea how much room she would have - must keep enough money on my cell phone so I can make 'emergency' calls like this in the future. She managed to find some good bargains anyhow - she stocked up on oil - but 13 litres of it - and 5 kg of rice and 10 or more cans of tuna. I am amazed at how much oil she goes through - but then when I eat there a lot of the stuff is fried - and they are all quite thin - in fact all but Suzanne are string beans - SIGH. Then we headed across the street to Fathalla and she bought some ground beef and also some 'shwarma' - meat that is cut into strips to be used to make sandwiches called shwarma. It was an education to shop with her at Fathalla - they have a large 'bulk' section - so I was asking what all kinds of things are - need to go with someone whose English is a bit better - but I learned a lot of things - and of course garnered a lot of double takes and out and out staring - here is this covered woman - speaking English and this Egyptian answering her.

Got home around 1:30 - figured I would have enough time to make lunch before Sharon showed up - as she had arranged to have the ladies from Club over after Club for a preview shopping experience. When we got here the bowab's son - Mahmoud (not my nephew) - told us that Sharon had been and gone - wondered why she had left as she does have a key to the place. Oh well - figured I would phone her when I got in and tell her I was now home. Got to the door and my door was not 'locked' - hmmm - got in and there was Sharon sitting all bundled up watching TV. Turns out her elevator was not working - so the ladies were unable to shop until the dropped - and while she was sitting in my lobby she realized she had to use the toilet and it dawned on her that she had a key - so she came back upstairs - guess no one was around when she took the elevator back up to my place. Glad she was here.

Left her watching TV and I 'chatted' with Aymn - heard all about the business - he did not even ask me how I was or what I was doing - heard over and over again that he would like to 'borrow' 10,000 LD from a bank so he could stock up on copper as it is at a very low price in Libya now and it is slowly rising here in Egypt - needless to say this bank is insolvent and even if it were not - no way would I lend him anything again.

Got off the computer after listening to enough moaning and groaning and moved to the kitchen to try out a new recipe for Fettucine Carbonara - called for peas - hence my purchase of the peas last time I was at the souk - and I had some broccoli - so I cut it up and put it in as well. Turned out really well. Called for ham steak - so I purchased some smoked turkey breast and cut it up and put it in. Sharon had two good sized helpings - I do enjoy it when people eat what I cook - nothing worse than cooking something and having someone 'pick' at it. I sent her home with a meal and I have two meals of it here. I then got out the two pieces of butter tart square that I had been saving for her - as well as a few other Christmas goodies. After we had finished eating I did up the dishes - need to keep doing that - because if I leave it for later it never gets done until it is a disaster. I then had the 'honour' of giving her a shot - she had meant to ask me to do it when I was over Sunday night - but forgot - and then she was going to bring the stuff over with her - but she did not get back into her flat. But I had the 'stuff' here - so I was glad to help her out.

After she left - I watched a bit of TV - tried to get online - could not - played a few games of Spider Solitaire - left the computer defragging and headed to bed. TTFN

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today I managed to get out of bed and go for a walk. Winter is here - again. Although it feels like it may stay around for awhile. Means that it is windier than a fart in a windstorm and quite brisk. Did not get as far as before - but after I started I realized that I am not 100% yet - even with a week off my left butt and leg are still sore - really frustrating - figured it should be better by now. But I did do something.

Got home and had some breakfast after doing my stretches. Had a shower, got dressed and headed out to Carrefour and Fathalla. At Carrefour they had frozen chickens - 1200-1300 g - for 11 LE - a really good price - you can always tell when things are a good price - the shopping carts are full. I bought 3 of them - would have like to have bought more - but do not have anywhere to store any more than that - SIGH - sure do wish I had a freezer - would have bought at least 10 of them - would have lasted quite a few months. I got some prints made from the camera - must go through my pictures and make more prints - I do like to have pictures not just what is on the camera. But I got busy and printed the pictures of my 'friends' at the souk - they have been after me for a copy. Printed a few others as well. Costs .80 LE per print - not bad. At Fathalla I bought ground beef - it is from Argentina - previously frozen - but it is better than the ground beef I bought at Carrefour and a fraction of the price. It was only 14.80 a kg - down from 15.00 - I bought a kg last week and another kg this week - do not dare buy it when Aymn is around - as he will not eat it - little does he know - I just buy it when he is not around - tastes wonderful.

Managed to snag a good parking spot again - my lucky day. Gave the key to the car to Ahmed - the bowab - so he could clean the inside of the car - was much easier when he had a key - then he could clean it whenever he had time - but Aymn pitched a fit and insisted on getting the key back. And of course I cannot communicate with Ahmed to give him a key and just to make sure he does not let Aymn know that he has a key - and besides it would just get him in trouble - so...

After I got most of my groceries away my get up and go deserted me - I am very tired - not really sure why - just feel drained.

Chatted with mom in the afternoon. Such an exciting life they lead - the family up the hill is providing all kinds of drama.

Then I went to Sharon's for a sneak peak at her moving sale. I managed to spend a bit of money - got a fan that I really need as I do not have one - and an ironing board - not that I iron - but Aymn does - we have the iron - so when he wants to iron anything he ends up ironing on the bed - which makes me nervous - especially as he managed to burn the furniture in an apartment when he was at university - ironed something - on the bed - and forgot to turn the iron off - came home from university to a smoldering mess - need I say more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It was a busy day - just spent the last hour shelling peas - something I have not done in a very long time.

Woke up this morning around 6:30 a.m. - much too early - but such is my life these days -having trouble sleeping. Puttsed around for a bit - looked like it was going to be a nice day - had plans to head to the produce souk with Suzanne - around 9:00 the sky darkened - the wind picked up and it became downright nasty - cold, rain and really windy. Hmmm - do I really want to head out in this - not so sure. Suzanne phoned around 9:30 - asking if we were still going - said I would call her in an hour to let her know. Around 10 things calmed down - so I got ready to go - we headed out around 11 - bit later than I would have liked - but you have to take into consideration the wonderful weather.

Had a lot of fun - Suzanne always gets good deals on things because I am with her - the vendors are always very curious about me - guess a fair number of them asked if I was Muslim - she just told them yes - did not want to deal with all the questions that come when they find out that I am Christian. I bought 5 kg of tomatoes - going to make spaghetti sauce - managed to find room for the tomatoes in the fridge - good thing as there is no way I have time to make the sauce tonight - hoping I have time tomorrow - after I get back from shopping - I know such a life I lead - never rains but it pours. Had not been out of the house since last Sunday - now I am just all over the place - LOL - well I guess that statement I made is not quite accurate as I was out of the house Thursday evening - great memory just really short. Anyhow - stocked up on veggies - need to get back to eating better. These last few days have been pretty sketchy for eating - have been eating popcorn - just did not feel like cooking - combination of being under the weather with this cold and then my mental state did not help - but in shaa allah I will be back on track shortly. Took a couple of pictures of the cauliflower - not sure I will post them now - maybe tomorrow - but the large cauliflower is for 6 LE - so $1.20. I did not buy one - but Suzanne bought a really large one and gave me part of it - I cannot eat a whole one on my own - on top of all the other things I bought. Must admit I am enjoying the fresh strawberries - so yummy and so inexpensive. I know - I am so bad.

After we finished at the souk we made our usual pit stop at Mom's - as Suzanne always purchases Mom's fresh produce for her - personally I think Mom should come out and get her own - would be good for her - get some exercise and just to get out of the house, but what do I know. After that we ended up visiting with Shereen and her husband Tamer - they are still here - guess they will be in town for a few months. The visit lasted longer than I had anticipated - but Suzanne had not seen Shereen in over 10 days - so there was lots to catch up on.

Got home and was fortunate enough to find a good parking space - not on a corner - actually just about right in front of our building.

Unfortunately Suzanne had been 'brilliant' and managed to work it so they could not get into their apartment. The locks on the doors are a bit different here - guess they are like a deadbolt - but with a bit of a difference - there is no handle on the outside of the door that you can use to unlatch the door. Her door handle is not working very well - they are having to use the key to unlatch the door - and she inadvertently left the key in the handle inside - which means you cannot use a key to unlock the door from outside - do not ask my why - but she did eventually get in - not sure if they got a carpenter or if they managed to get in using the knife they borrowed from me.

Made a meal - nothing really fancy - but better than nothing - cooked up a couple of potatoes - oven baked fries - and some weiners and fresh beans.

After supper I cleaned out the fridge - meaning I got all the science experiments and dumped them - made room for more fresh stuff in my crisper - washed and cut up the strawberries I had bought - had some for dessert - very good.

I then spent an hour shelling 1 kg of peas.

And then I figured I had a few minutes to spare before heading to bed - and opted to update my blog - other option was to do dishes. So my blog is updated and I am headed to bed - want to get to bed 'early' so that I can get up tomorrow and go for a walk - back to exercise - figure my lungs are better enough that I should be able to manage. So I am off to bed to get my much needed beauty sleep - I know, I know, there are not enough hours in the day to help me, but I do persist in trying.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I have not said anything about what is going on in Palestine because I truly do not 'get' what is going on - and I refuse to watch the interminable news reports about it - do catch a glimpse once in awhile - just makes me so sad. Man's inhumanity to man. But there has been lots being said in the groups that I belong to - I just peruse and delete for the most part. But the following was posted and I found it very interesting - kind of follows my thoughts on the 'mess'.

Today has been a quiet day. Did a load of laundry -actually started it washing last night - so I hung it up today - have yet to bring it it - may just leave it 'til tomorrow.

Chatted with Aymn for a bit - not sure why I bother - I usually end up more frustrated by the end of the conversation. ARGH. He still has not idea when he will be heading back - I truly believe he is much happier being in Libya - no one to deal with - life is much easier there than it is here.

Now I am trying to figure out when I can have a dinner party to return the hospitality of Ron and Angela. And also what to serve - nothing I make is all that 'classy' - I am into just ordinary food - have been perusing the internet - so far nothing has struck my fancy. Aymn figures I should wait until he is back - but I would rather do it on my own - I think it would be much less stressful - as I do not need him running around 'picking up and putting away' or critiquing what I am serving - because I would not be serving an Egyptian style meal with at least two meat dishes, two carbs, and various other veggies. He really struggles with this concept that you have rice, potatoes or pasta - not two or three of them - and of course I have had to wean him from his having to have bread at every meal as well - I am so mean.

Will be heading to the souk tomorrow to get more veggies - think I will get lots of tomatoes and make some spaghetti sauce - then I do not have to buy any - and it is always nice to have some around. Then on Sunday I am heading to Carrefour and Fathalla - need to make up my mind about when and what I will serve - will get the groceries then.

I am heading to a cup of hot lemon and honey - my voice is really gruff today. Will endeavour to get to bed fairly early - hope I can get some sleep.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Went out for dinner - had a wonderful time - good company, great food - got home around 10:30 - was even lucky enough to find a decent place to park my car - YAHOO. That is no mean feat in this part of the world - although I have found it is sometimes easier to find a spot to park later in the evening than it is in the early afternoon - as most people are out and about in the evenings. The drive home was not too chaotic - not quite as bad as it can be during the summer.

Met up with Rod and he directed me to their place - they have a very nice apartment - I did not get to see the whole thing - but I am sure it is very nice. The building is quite small - there is one apartment on each floor - and it is right across from the Egyptian CIA headquarters here in Alex - good neighbours to have - I guess. But it is very quiet - and thank goodness there is parking available - so that is a great thing.

Not a lot more to report - should head to bed soon - as I was up at 4:30 a.m. - and did not have a nap - my throat is letting me know that I have worn it out - I am losing my voice - a very sad state of affairs.

Chatted with Aymn earlier - told him that I wanted to purchase the bookcases from Sharon - then I got the song and dance about expenses going up every month - so told him to forget it. But upon further reflection you know what - I am tired of being the only one that has had to tighten her belt - if he can afford to buy himself a new cell phone - when there was nothing wrong with the old one - he can dang well fork over the money for the bookcases. They are not exactly what I want - but until I get what I want they will do - and then once they are no longer being used as bookcases they are big enough to store a lot of stuff on them - that is the reason I do not think they are what I want for bookcases - they are a lot deeper from front to back as well as the shelves being fairly deep than I would really like them - but in a pinch they will do the trick - and afterwards the will be awesome storage shelves. So tomorrow when I chat with him I will tell him that I will take them. Guess I shouldn't be so nasty - but it irritates me that I get this song and dance that money is tight - but there is money for his new cell phone, money to get his car fixed again and again, money to fix a cell phone for his kid (the cell phone originally cost 5000 LE and was Aymn's - Aymn broke it - and bought himself a new one - but instead of selling the old one he paid over 1500 LE to get it fixed and gave it to his son) so I think I deserve to have shelves so I can put my books and other treasures out.

Night night from Egypt. I am heading to bed.
Alas and alack - I did not have internet access yesterday - 'tis enough to drive a sane person to drink and I am not sane.

Yesterday I chatted with my buddy Sharon - she has finally made the decision and she is heading back to the States - God willing all will turn out for the best for her - but I am sure going to miss her - now I am truly on my own. No longer have a buddy to hang out with - to spend time with - to go places with - SIGH. Best of luck Sharon. Hope we can keep in touch.

I was in a bit of a blue funk yesterday - lost my voice - feeling kind of crummy and really wondering what in sam hill I am doing here - bottom line is I need to do some major soul searching and make a decision or two in my life - had sort of opted for hanging tough for one more year and seeing what comes about - but now I am on the proverbial see saw. I do not like being indecisive - so I need to make a decision and soon. Either way and just get on with it.

Yes, Lynn, it does feel grand to get rid of some of the 'clutter' - not that I have a lot of it - at least not compared to what I had in Canada - but according to my husband I have way too much stuff - little does he know. Of course one of the reasons he says I have too much stuff is because I have nowhere to put my books and magazines - and of course I do have those - no way can I live without them. In fact I am seriously contemplating having the Ensign sent to me here - especially as I now know that things can be delivered to my home address - no guarantee though that they will make it - but one can only try.

I hit the hay last night around 6 - could not stay up any longer - had the beginnings of a migraine - only drawback is that I woke up really early - SIGH. Was trying to stay asleep - but gave up and got up and as I could get online I figured I would go through my emails and work on my blog - also want to see if I can find a recipe for Ranch Salad Dressing. Strangely enough Aymn really likes it and I did not bring back enough mixes with me last trip - silly woman - so figured I would see what I could find online. And if I get tired I will go for a snooze later on.

I have been invited out for dinner tonight - think I will go - now the big decision is how do I get there - likely not much in the way of parking - and I have no idea where these people live - decisions, decisions - but of course a taxi will cost money and on a Thursday there is no guarantee that you will find one to take you home at night - so.....

Weather has been a bit 'strange' according to the locals - has been windy and sunny - as usual warmer outside than inside my flat - one drawback to living on the top floor and being the only apartment - no respite.

Not much on the homefront - will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today I woke up a bit later than 'usual' - got busy after I posted last night and cleaned up the kitchen, vacuumed the apartment and washed the kitchen floor - one drawback to ceramic tile - sure does show the grease from cooking. Did not go for a walk - my cold has gotten worse - so figured I would pamper myself until I feel better - no sense in pushing my luck.

Rose and Louise showed up a bit after 10 - we had a good visit - my closet is now just about empty -made room for my new clothes - now Aymn cannot ask why I need more clothes when the closet is jam packed - anything I had not worn over the last 12 months got sent out - well not quite everything - I do have a few dresses that I wear only in the winter - so .... Felt good to get rid of some of the 'clutter'.

Went downstairs and visited with Suzanne and family for a bit. Sadeek has asked me to talk to Mahmoud because he is not studying - not sure why they think I have any sway - but will not hurt to try.

Has been a quiet day - working at accepting life as it is and not stewing about things I have no control over. Did manage to water the garden - now it will likely rain - such is life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It has been an interesting two days.

Yesterday I got up went for my walk - my left glute and down the back of my leg to my knee were 'tender' - not as bad as it was - but I certainly knew they were there - whereas my right leg and butt were just fine - go figure. Did my stretches. Had my breakfast then showered, made my bed and headed out to do some shopping - needed just a couple of things - yeah right - came back with two bags full of things. Found celery and broccoli at Carrefour - so bought some celery - plan on freezing it for when I want it for soups - and a bit of brocolli for a stir fry or something. Also found some granola - was expensive - but then it is very pricey here - and for 1.2 kg it was not such a bad price - I like to have it in the house for when I am in a hurry - or want something - but do not want to cook. Then over to Fathalla to get the last few things - did better there - but still added up.

Got home a bit after noon - chatted with my friend Margaret online until around 2 when Mawada came up for more tutoring. After we finished with the English she took out her Arabic and sat and read until after 4. I make a chicken stir fry for supper - was quite good.

Started to feel really punky - thought I had licked the cold - but no such luck. Went to bed fairly early - slept quite well.

Aymn had called me Saturday and told me that someone would be coming over to pick up a piece of paper that I had that he needed for court. No one showed up - but I did not stay home - which turned out to be a good thing as when I talked to him today he informed me that he had sent a message that the court date was for February 11 not January - of course I did not receive the message. He went to Bengazi yesterday to start the process for getting his work permit - to find out that the office that is responsible for this is under 'maintenance' - so after waiting for 3 weeks to have the work permit from Bengazi he is going to have to head to Tripoli anyhow - which he will not be doing until next week sometime. Needless to say I am not a happy camper - I am so tired of the 'lies' - which he does not admit to - they have this idea that by telling you what you want to hear and then doing whatever they want to - it is not lying - unfortunately in my book it is lying - so he had not intention of being back here for Christmas. So today has not been a good day - feeling punky because of the cold and then this added on top - did not do my weight training.

Did manage to get the celery washed, cut and bagged and put in the freezer. Then juiced the lemons I bought on Thursday so I can have hot lemon and honey - something I am sucking back to help my throat - a bit better tasting than Buckley's. Ended up taking a two hour snooze this afternoon - also did a bit of laundry before my snooze. Must admit I do hesitate to take snoozes because it takes me so long to 'recover' from one - feel so groggy and no energy - but I did and I had some tomato soup for supper. Then I did dishes and actually did all of them - including cleaning the countertops and putting things away - kitchen looks much better. Also brought in the laundry that I had washed. Toying with the idea of vacuuming - will see how I feel. Sure do hope that I can get out for a walk tomorrow.

Have a friend coming over to pick up some things - they are gathering clothing and any household goods for the people in Gaza - there is a mosque that is sending things on Friday - so will thin out my clothing - actually will be getting rid of 70% of what I have - makes more room for my 'new' things - when I get around to having them made.

That is my news for the last couple of days - such an exciting life I lead.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today was another quiet day. Managed to get my bedding washed and dried - weather was good for it - nice and sunny and a good breeze - do enjoy being able to dry my clothes outside - love the fresh feeling of the clean 'crisp' bedding. Not that the bedding gets all the dirty - as I shower every night before I crawl into it - but it is just the idea of it.

Did not do a lot today - did manage to do the dishes from the last couple of days. Even managed to eat properly. Ate the last of my eggplant parmesan - was sooo good - do not think Aymn would enjoy it much as there is no meat in it - just lots of cheese. Had not made it for over five years - before I left Canada - the cheese is expensive - but every once in a while - what the heck.

My niece Mawada came up for some tutoring in English - they are preparing for final exams. At least she has done all the work - she is just doing the exams that are included in the book - unlike her elder brother who is so far behind he thinks he is coming in first. Oh well - such is life. Mawada is a real sweety - such a soft hearted young lady - she is growing - amazing how that happens. I can tell she has not been around me enough as she has slipped back into the bad habit of pronouncing the 'th' as an 's' sound. Will whip her into shape.

Forgot to mention that yesterday morning I found a cockroach on the floor by the front door - it was on it's back - so it was easy to kill it - wonder how it got there - was wondering if maybe I picked it up while I was at the souk - and it fell off my outer clothes - oh well does not really matter - all that matters is that it is dead.

That is my life in a nutshell. Am feeling a bit better today. Tomorrow I have to get back to walking - thank goodness my glutes have recovered - at least they are not nearly as sore as they were - will see how things go tomorrow.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Today has been a very 'quiet' day. Managed to get three loads of laundry washed and dried - was a great day - now the challenge is to get them folded and put away. Tried a new recipe - scammed from my friend Lynn's blog - not sure I got it quite right - but not bad.

Spent most of my day in bed - woke up feeling not so great - that cold is here - and it is in my sinuses - which makes my teeth ache. Have been doctoring myself with Buckley's and antihistamines - which make me sleepy - which is good - obviously I need lots of sleep - not sure where I picked this bug up from - but wish I had not bothered. Hopefully tomorrow I will have more energy - would not take much - as I am really wiped -and not fighting it - munching on fruit and not much else - do not feel like making the effort to cook - although I do have tomato soup in the fridge - maybe will have some of that in a bit.

Other than that it has been an uneventful day - great day for laundry - nice and sunny with a bit of a breeze - not so windy that it is knocking clothes off the line and blowing them around - had that happen last week - most annoying because of course the clothes have to fall into the only puddle on the deck - so had to rewash - SIGH - just glad that I have my automatic washing machine - definite step up from Libya where I had to hand wash everything.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

OW, OW, OW - not sure how to say it in Arabic - but OW. Woke up this morning and my gluteus maximus were stiff - but I went out walking anyhow - not sure why - but my left glute got very sore while I was out walking - my right glute was stiff - but not too bad. Gotta love doing those exercises yesterday - NOT. Oh well - such is life - so now I am suffering with a sore butt and that is a lot of sore. Makes bending over and sitting down and getting up painful - but I will persevere.

Weather today was not great - has been overcast with a few sprinklings of rain.

Suzanne and I went to the souk to get more fruit and vegetables. I got 1/2 kg of spinach - cost 1 LE, as well as some more swiss chard, onions, oranges, strawberries, lemons and bananas. Already have the strawberries sliced and in the fridge. Must admit I do enjoy fruit - just need to remember to eat it. Suzanne is frequently trying to get me into trouble - like I need help - she was threatening to tell the people that I was from Israel - actually told one of the sellers this - and he responded by saying I did not look like an Israeli. Took a few pictures - hope you enjoy them.

This woman is always wanting me to speak to her - today she invited me to visit her in her home.

Anyone want a fresh green bean - only 1 LE per kg.

Not enough light - but this is taro root - not a delicacy I am particularly fond of - very starchy and kind of mushy.

Tomatoes and potatoes.

Want a cow head - there is a butcher at the entrance when we entered into the market - by the time we left there were two heads, eight feet and some innards on the ground - so very appetizing - and of course it will all be sold.
This is Suzanne - tried to get a shot of the souk - hard to do - not a lot of light and I do not like to use the flash as it attracts a lot of attention and I get enough as it is. Part of the souk is 'indoors' and another part is out of doors - the aisles are very narrow and there is a fair amount of pushing and shoving. Next time I will try to remember to take a picture of a tree that is located in the middle of the souk. The souk is located on some vacant ground - they have built it where there is room.

Just a small head of cabbage - that is what is used to make Mashee. Suzanne purchased two of them - got a good price because I took a picture of the 'shop keeper'.
This is the fellow that I usually buy my tomatoes and cucumbers from - and Suzanne got her 'small' cabbages from. Sharon and I ran into him a while ago - she took a picture of him as he was smoking his sheesha - he remembers. The shop keepers are for the most part quite poor and very kind. The minute the camera comes out they are ready to pose. I am very careful to get permission before I take pictures - especially of the women.

After we finished shopping we went to Mom's place - Suzanne shops for her at the same time. Mom was busy making Mashee - Suzanne had started hers yesterday - was in a hurry to get home and finish it - Mawada just brought me a plate of Mashee - it is a lot like cabbage rolls - except they make them really really small - and different spices - they use parsely and dill - they are excellent - but way to much work for me.

Had a grand chat with a 'friend' that lives just outside of Cairo - have never met her in person - but we have chatted a bit online - she is planning on coming to Alex this month - will be great to put a face to the name.
Not much else to report - life is life.

Have been watching all these wonderful shows that tell you how to lose weight, what you should eat, what you should steer clear of - must admit I am getting very confused - will just eat in moderation - and add more vegetables and fruit to my diet. As I said previously I do like fruit - I just 'forget' to eat it. While we were at Mom's I was served two oranges - one would have been lots - but they were small so I was told to eat two - so I did.
I feel as if I am catching a cold - woke up with the usual indicator - back of my throat feels as if I have been swimming in a chlorinated pool - so I am glad that oranges are in season - and am sucking back the Buckley's - seems to work.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Reporting in - as I promised myself - I have to be accountable so I am doing it here online. Today I got up and finally did my exercises - did some leg work - took me about 45 minutes to do - did two sets of 10 reps each - worked up a sweat.

Yesterday I sat outside for a bit - did some reading - even ate my lunch outside - weather was great - nice and sunny - minimal wind - so it was warm - felt like an early summer day. I ate really well today - a few 'treats' - but for the most part ate really well. Am running out of veggies and fruit so will have to make another trip to the market to get some more. Bought some swiss chard last week - ate it yesterday - was excellent - will buy some more when I get to the market - if I can find it.

Did not do a lot more today - for some reason my get up and go got up and left me in the dust. Really struggling with my demon depression - slowly but surely am beating it down - when it gets me I need to pick myself up and dust myself off and get moving again - will not let it completely defeat me. So tomorrow is another day.

Will get up tomorrow and go for my walk - and then I am going with Suzanne to the souk - phoned her and asked her if she wanted to come along and she said sure. Really working at spending more time with her - she is a positive person.

That is my big news for the day.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ta da!!!! Today I went for another walk - walked a bit further - but in less time - so things are progressing - walked for about 20 minutes again and then sat and enjoyed the view - must admit it is quite calming to sit and watch the sea - kind of puts things in perspective. It is 11:15 a.m. and I have finished my walk, did my stretches, ate breakfast, watered the garden, had a shower, made my bed (does not seem like a productive thing - but sure does make me 'feel' better), did dishes and tidied the kitchen, and put my clothes away from the other day (will not say which day - I do have problems putting clothes away - no problem washing and drying them - but then they seem to have a problem finding their way back to the drawers) and now I am updating my blog. What to do for the rest of the day????

Yesterday I had issues with the internet - went online early - and lost access due to non-payment of the bill - not my non-payment (mind you I do have to pay for it this month yet) - but the non-payment of my 'provider'. I do not get legal internet - it is pirated from a 'business' that has access - I think he sells it to at least seven or eight people - so he is making lots of money. The fellow is really good - he never cuts me off for non-payment. When I got back from Canada in October - I had not paid for six months - went to pay - and he said I owed 180 LE - told him that I had been out of the country for two months and he said fine - 120 - so I paid him the 120 - will have to go out for a walk later in the day and pay him - only problem is that my walking is first thing in the morning - and of course he is not open. Not much opens around here until after 11 a.m. - if you are lucky. They stay open until 2 or 3 a.m. - so I guess it is understandable - this morning person has yet to acclimate to the society of night owls. Oh well - such is life.

I did not go for a walk yesterday - did some weight training and stretches instead. And I am feeling it today - my upper body and arms are going - E X C U S E M E E E - what do you think you are doing - feels kind of good - as long as I do not focus on the fact that I am so out of shape that the little bit I did is making me sore - just glad I am doing it. After I had my chores around the house done yesterday I went downstairs and visited with Suzanne - Miles challenged me to spend more time with her and do the stairs - sorry did not do the stairs yet - that is on the list of upcoming events - need to be realistic about what I can do - no sense in killing myself so I can not do anything. Had a great visit with her - kids were home - Mawada did not go to school - no one in her class is going as they are prepping for final exams. Mahmoud came home after writing his biology exam - and watched a bit of TV then went to bed to get some sleep. Mohammed was watching TV when I arrived - not sure if he has final exams - he is in Grade Two - so glad I do not have children here - do not think I would do well - especially after raising Miles in Canada - so much easier in so many ways - not that raising him was a piece of cake - but in Canada there are many more services available - and the kids can go out to play - here there is not much chance for them to go out and play and run off steam - very few 'green areas'.

Not much more to report - my life is just so jam packed with thrills - NOT.

P.S. Lynn - you did not give me your recipe for Caesar dressing - I scammed it from your blog -Na-na-na-na

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Woo hoo - I have just finished my exercise for the day. Went for a 40 minute walk - talk about an eye opener - I am sooo out of shape - how come it takes so little time to get out of shape but so long to get into it - oh well - I have started the process. My goal is to walk for at least 3 times a week and work it up to 5 times a week by the end of January. Even got down on the floor and did some stretches - my hips are very very sore these days - just aching - so they need some work done on them - biggest treat I could do for them would be to lose weight - that will come. Right now I will focus on getting the exercise back into my life - must admit that I find it 'easier' to exercise at a gym then to get up and go walking along the corniche - but the corniche is my only option at the moment so I need to push myself to do it. Walked for 20 minutes then took a 5 minute rest - enjoyed watching the sea - sure does look inviting - wonder how cold it is - maybe I will get brave and give it a whirl one of these days - just put on my swim gear and walk to the beach and go for a swim then walk home - people will think I am crazy because the water is much too cold for any sensible Egyptian to be in it - but it sounds like a great idea. Time will tell. Tried to do some yoga yesterday - talk about being embarrassed - could not do much of it - as my upper body does not have the strength. On the alternate days that I do not walk I will do some weights - I have a set of 3 kg dumbbells here - and a book with all kinds of exercises - so I will work on that.

My word for the year will be health - I will strive for much better physical health and in shaa allah the mental will follow along - must admit that I never ever dreamed that I would 'enjoy' exercise - when I started back to Spa Lady I dreaded going -but of course I pushed myself and made friends - really good friends in fact - and now whenever I am in Canada I am anxious to head to the gym - mainly to meet up with friends - but the exercise is great as well. And when I was going to the Renaissance five days a week here before I headed back to Canada I enjoyed it as well - even though I did not meet up with anyone - I have reached the place where I know I need it and I actually enjoy doing it - not while I am doing it - but I really enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get when I am finished. And I am realizing that yes I need to do it early in the morning - but does not mean I have to get up at the crack of dawn to do it - I do not have any pressing engagements - so I can get up when I wake up and go and do it. Makes the day go faster as I have less time to fret about what to do.
Today on the agenda I am going to vacuum, do some dishes and work on eating a bit better. Found a recipe on Kraft that I am going to try - not much of a recipe but a good idea - it is for a salad with chicken and bacon and cheese - using caesar salad dressing with bacon - of course I am unable to use their products as they are not available here - so yesterday I whipped up Lynn's caesar salad dressing. I need to get moving and have my breakfast, so I can have lunch and supper - if I get moving on the eating too late I run out of time to eat my 3 meals a day. So will have my usual eggs, mushrooms and salad for breakfast, leftover eggplant parmesan, beans and salad, and for supper will have the salad with chicken and bacon. Will get busy and cook up all the bacon - find I do much better at eating better if everything is prepared and I do not have to cook when I am hungry - if I do that then I am in a hurry and end up making popcorn - my one big downfall. I do love my popcorn. Am going to work at cutting back on how much I consume in a week - had been eating it 3-4 times a week - will cut it back to once a week - wish me luck. May make some bread - do not have any pita bread left - and I have a craving for raisin bread - and the only way to get raisin bread in this country is to make it oneself - so off I go to make raisin bread. Hope there is room in the freezer for one of the loaves - as the recipe makes two loaves and I do not need to eat both of them - so will freeze one of them for later. Maybe share it with Aymn - MAYBE.

Anyway - that is my plan for the day - will work at keeping you informed about my oh so exciting life.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I am so chagrined!!! My buddy Lynn just celebrated her 1st year anniversary of blogging with way over 300 entries - and here I am at a measly 81 for just about 3 years of blogging - guess this is a message to me that my life is indeed very very boring - LOL. I just do not have enough going on in my life to post every day - at least that is how I feel.

I did manage to get all my baking done - not that I needed to do any - as I surely do not need the calories - but it was my only concession to Christmas this year - did not even drag out one ornament or decoration to hang - did not even get my door decoration out. SIGH.

Christmas Day was spent cleaning and cooking as my 'family' had informed me that they were coming over for a visit. Made Tomato Bread, spinach dip, spanakopita and samosas - figured that I needed a few savouries to counteract all the sweets - may as well not have bothered - the savouries were barely touched - and the sweets were taken and left on the plates - so a lot of it went in the garbage. One thing was a hit - the tomato bread - Suzanne saw the loaves on the table and told me she wanted one - so I gave her one - she dug in right there and then - ripping it off and eating - and was quite amazed that it was good - as were the rest of the family. They operate under the belief that westerner's do not know to cook - from watching all the shows where people are usually ordering in. My BIL Mr. Mossad was quite nonplussed when he found out that all the baking was done in the house - imagine that - a westerner who can bake - amazing - like I got to this size by not knowing how to cook - go figure. My mother in law, 3 sisters in law, some of the kids and two of the brothers in law made an appearance - and they all came bearing gifts - feel bad about that - as I know that finances are tight with them. Aymn had sent Suzanne out with directions to buy me something to wear and she came with a vase - not to my taste - but such is life. It was a wonderful thought. Mom gave me 6 little bowls that will go nicely with the set of kitchen dishes that I have, Suzanne gave me two little vases filled with potpourri, Shereen gave me a little clock and Gehan gave me a home made candle and some warm slippers - all much appreciated. I was also fortunate to receive phone calls from my parents and my cousin Maurine - made my day. Had heard from Miles a few days earlier - he called me at 11:30 p.m. - I did not get out of bed to answer the phone - was nice and toasty under the covers - did not want to crawl out - usually calls that late are wrong numbers - figured if the person really wanted to talk to me they would call on my cell phone - which is what he finally did. We chatted for about 35 minutes - they are doing well - headed out to Banff to spend the holiday with her family.

Boxing Day my friend Margaret came over and we had a wonderful visit - put the spinach dip and bread out as well as all the other goodies - she enjoyed the grazing. She was in a very good mood as she had been reunited with her kitten - who had been catnapped a few weeks prior - likely about 3 weeks - she had given up hope - but thank goodness somebody was honest and returned him - looking a bit worse for wear - in an attempt to disguise the cat - called Tootoose - they had done a really bad haircut - trimmed the hair on his tail until the actual tail was showing through - poor thing. But he seems to be recovering from his ordeal. Margaret made me a really great apron - nice and large - with great pockets - it is very colourful - the trim anyway - wonder why she did that?????? Tuxedo

Went out this past Wednesday with Suzanne to the local produce market - love that produce is fresh and so inexpensive. Bought a kilo of straweberries for 3 LE, 2 kilos of tomatoes for 3 LE, 1 kilo of fresh green beans for 1 LE, a kilo of cucumbers for 3 LE, a bunch of what I am hoping is swiss chard for .25 LE, a kilo of bananas for 3.50 LE, a kilo of tangerines for 1.5 LE, head of lettuce for 1 LE, a bunch of romaine lettuce for .75 LE and one eggplant - weighed in at 1 kilo for 1 LE. Came home with two bags of fruit and veggies for under 20 LE (which is equivalent to about $4 CAN). Unfortunately other things are not so cheap - meat is about the same price as it is in Canada - which makes it pricey.

New Years Eve was spent by myself - my friend Wafaa invited me out after she finished working - but I do not like heading out after 9 - at least not driving - and I did not think it fair to invite her to my place as she does not live all that close. She had also come for a very short visit on Christmas Day - brought me some body lotion (much appreciated) and some Ferrero Rocher - still not opened. It is sitting there tempting me - I need to put it away and 'forget' that I have it. I have put the baking away - but have yet to forget where I put it - LOL.

New Years Day - Thursday sawa Sharon and I headed to a store called Alfa - it is located at a mall called Green Plaza - I have been to Green Plaza many times but never made it to Alfa - so after we paid our phone bills - mine was 93.55 LE for 3 months - very low as I was out of the country for 2 months - we headed to Green Plaza - and thankfully found Alfa Market to be open - it was only around 9:30 and most grocery stores do not open until 10 - traffic was really light - and we went to pay the phone bill early so that we would not have to contend with line ups. Line ups in this country are an unpleasant experience. Alfa had some interesting things - a few things that are not found in the other stores but the prices are a lot higher - ended up getting a few things - some spices and some hot dogs that I have trouble finding - and of course went to Carrefour after and they had them - SIGH - and they were a bit cheaper - oh well win some lose some.

Yesterday I did a bit and I mean a very little bit of weeding in the garden. One drawback to living in this 'warm' climate - is the weeds never stop and also have been bitten by a mosquito - of all the nerve - don't they know it is winter. Wonder where they are coming from - maybe from the water that is pooling on the balcony. Aymn got 'bright' and put concrete in the drainage pipe - although he claims it was not him - hmmm - wonder who it was. At the one drainage pipe he put up a dam - which I broke so the water can flow down when it is raining. I refuse to try to get the concrete out of the pipe - he can do it when he finally shows up - just hope that the people below me do not get a wet ceiling - although at this point I really do not care - they refuse to assist in figuring another way to get the water drained off the balcony and when it rains a lot the water drains out of the rose garden - much to the chagrin of Suzanne - she told me that her clothes got dirty even after it had quit raining - told her to take it up with Aymn - he was the bright spark who did not bother to fill up the drain spout that is located in the rose garden - so when it rains a lot or the garden gets overwatered the water drains out and down onto everyone's laundry that has it hung up. Embarrassed

Today I got up with the intention of doing some Yoga and after I finally got to it - realized that I am so out of shape - OMG - no way can I do any of the floor work - I would end up flat on my face if I tried to do the 'dog' - so I did a few things - and then had breakfast. My day got off to a late start because Aymn was online and we chatted for a while. I have now showered and need to get busy and make some more pita bread and some eggplant parmesan - was hoping to find Suzane Somer's recipe for it - but was unable to - so will have to go from memory. Need to work at eating more sensibly - which is a real challenge to me - I do not do well cooking for one - cannot see the sense - but I need to work on it so that I can do the Yoga and more.

That is my life in a nutshell - will try to post on a more regular basis.