Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's Next , The Air ?

Some airlines are starting to charge passengers for carry on bags as much as $45.In these hard economic times , you would THINK they would be bending over backwards to get passengers to part with their money to fly more , instead of ripping them off  and making it that much more expensive to travel . I am waiting for the day when they will start to charge passengers for the air on board the planes that we have to breath . Read this article to find out about possible future charges and news ones already in use . One day in the near future people are going to get feed up and force their government representatives to legislate laws to protect them from airline tyranny and unfair practices .

The Bathing Queen

Introducing ..... Sophia , the bathing queen!
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Aw , the weather has been fantastic this last week . The temperatures have been in the cool 70 or 60F. degrees range .  Europe is suffering a heat wave right now and I am laughing my head off , since we are usually the ones suffering in the heat .

Today , as well as most of the week ,it was overcast . But today instead of the clouds blowing over us , we got the rain . The Libyan desert has had a lot of rain this week .It looks like it has rained all the way over into the Egyptian desert as well .Pretty heady stuff for this time of the year here !

We went to the beach to watch the clouds come rolling in. They were blowing over us with out a drop of water falling on us .I began to despaired as to whether or not Tagura would get any rain . My friend that lives in a different area of Tripoli called to say it was pouring down cats and dogs where she lived . Jealousy sang in my heart when she called me to let me know about her rain .We went home sad .Just as we turned on the TV , the rain began to fall .It had politely waited until we were home to rain . So lovely, the sound of rain .

I poured us glasses of water to drink as we listened to the rain drum on the sat. dish on our balcony outside the living room .It made me remember that we are made of something like 75% water , maybe more ; I don't remember the exact amount right now .BUT ANYWAY ... it got Moe and I to discussing that fact and how everything on Earth is dependent on water . We grow in our mothers wombs in water ,we have to drink water to stay alive , and we need water to grow our food .Water taste so good too ,silvery cool in the mouth .It feels so sensual on our skin when we swim or bath in it .It's touch soothes one when one is upset . The sound of water is hypnotic . Whatever would we do with out water ?

Painting by : Gerald Schwartz "Surf and Sand"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Q. and A. Time

Just a little peek at how well our kids are learning in school these days . Here are a few answers from exams kids have taken.

Q. What is Sir Walter Raleigh famous for ?
 A. Her is a noted historical figure that started the craze for bicycles and invented cigarettes .

Q.What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common ?
A. Unusual names ?

Q. Name a great early Roman achievement .
A. Learning to speak Latin ?

Q. Name 6 Arctic animals living in the Arctic .
A. 2 polar bears and three four seals ?

Q.Where was the Declaration of Independence signed ?
A. At the bottom of the page ?

Q. What is the meaning of the word varicose ?
A. Near by ?

Q. What is a fibula ?
A. A little lie ?

Q.Explain the phrase free press .
A. Is that when your mom irons all your clothes for you ?

Q. Why would living near a mobile phone mast cause ill health ?
A. You might walk into one ?

Q. Jane works in a office . She has a stand alone computer system . Define stand alone system .
A. A computer that doesn't come with a chair ?

Q. Steve is driving his car . He is traveling at 60 ft. per second and the speed limit is 40 miles an hour . Is he speeding ?
A. He should just look at his speedometer !

Q. Give a reason people might want to live near power lines .
A. They would get their electricity faster ?

Q. What is a vibration ?
A. There are Good Vibrations and there are Bad Vibrations , Good Vibrations were discovered in the 1960's .

Q.The race of people known as Malays were from which country ?
A. Malaria ?


A Fragile Bliss

Our lives , Moe's and mine , has been a blissful blending of days , melding one into another for the last several weeks . When asked how I have spent my day , I am at a loss for an explanation .I know I have done the mundane daily chores that rules my life . I know he has gone to the gym or the cafe for coffee and a visit with his friends , but ask me to describe in details , I am at a loss for words . I have spent time with friends talking of this and that , sharing in their lives , yet somehow untouched by them .Odd , it is odd to have such bliss in our lives .

Moe feels much the same way . We were discussing this today . He said he felt at peace , calm .I feel strangely under stressed . A alien state for us . Normally we have at least two or more crisis roiling through our lives on a daily basis , but not recently .Something always demanding our attention immediately ! Now ! Now ! Now !

Afternoons spent sitting on the beach watching the sea , the sky , all  life moving in time to earths rhythm like the waves .No need for words between the two of us , just a glance now and then for affirmation on the beauty of God's perfection . Long languid drives in the country side seeing  the march of progress slaying Natures work with new construction scattered here and there . This is how I remember our days being spent .

Last night this peace was fractured by a image of a child , dying of AIDS . It might have been a picture of our son .Unexpectedly this child tore into our hearts. We thought were over the heart piercing  pain of losing our son six years ago to AIDS . The kind of pain that tears the breath from your mouth . Makes you want to gag because it is like being punched in the solar plexus .I thought that sort of pain behind us , that we had moved on to a more neutral generic anguish . Something that we were living with , coping , less painful and manageable. Instead we both realized we are living in a fragile bliss that can be shattered in a moment .

Painting by Michael Naples :" Cracked Shell"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pure Joy !

This is the face of pure JOY ! Gail driving the 4 wheeler on Easter Sunday . She is 21 months now .Looks like she will be a dare devil ,huh ?
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shrimp Foulard ,Yummo !

You are NEVER gonna believe what I did yesterday ! It wasn't Earth shaking ,but all the same .... pretty stupid of me to do it . I have never done it before , and I hope like heck never to do it again !!! I was cooking Shrimp Foulard for our supper last night and managed to burn it into the pan ! The amazing part was that the pan was a heavy Teflon pan that shouldn't have burn food stuff stuck on to it . Not only was the sauce burned into the pan , but I couldn't get it to come off when I went to wash it .This is Teflon we are talking about here , you know , the NO STICK stuff ???

First , I let it soak in hot soapy water , for about 8 hours , lol ! That didn't work . I tried to scrape it out with a spoon . I was despite . That didn't work either . I soaked it some more in more hot soapy water . That didn't help any .I remembered a old friend of mine from high school days used to put soapy water in a pan and boil it on the stove until the burnt stuff came up from the bottom of the pan . Well , I tried that too . No love . SIGH !!!!  I boiled it one more time in hopes that this time it would work . Guess what ? It didn't .

I didn't want to take a steal wool pad to it , since that would scape off any of the now useless Teflon that might be left on the pan .SO , I tried several other methods , that of course didn't work either .By this time I am ready to just throw the dam pan away ! So what if it belongs to a matching set . I only looked for this set of pots and pans for 4 years before I found them . Who cares ? I had to get the thing clean .I fleetingly contemplated voodoo but I didn't know who to call , lol !

I talked to the thing , made a bargain with it , that if it would only come clean this time , I would never again boil milk in it .Do you think it cared ??? Oh , no ! The stuff was stuck like Chuck on to the bottom of that pan for good , like cement . I had to do it . I had no other choice . Really I didn't . I went to the kitchen drawer were I keep the soaps and sponges , and drew out the deadly " steal scrubber " .I brandished it before the pan in a menacing way . It wasn't scared at all . It just sat there in all it's burned glory taunting me . So , I did it ! I scrubbed it with the steal pad . I scrubbed and I scrubbed , and I scrubbed some more . After some time passed by , I began to see the bottom of the pan again . My arm was aching from the scourging but at long last that pan was cleaned of all the burnt milk . Sad to say only remnants of the Teflon remain . But at least I didn't have to throw away the pan . I think it learned a valuable lesson ... never let me cook Shrimp Foulard again in that pan . It has a bad attitude !

Here is the Shrimp Foulard recipe from our flagship restaurant we had in Houston .

Shrimp Foulard
4 tbs. butter
1 cup of crab meat chunks uncooked
2 cup of  medium size shrimp uncooked
4 cloves of crushed garlic , more if you LOVE garlic
1 quart of half and half cream ( if you live where there isn't any half and half you can subsistue 2 cans of evaporated milk with a can of cream added to the milk .)
1 pinch of salt
several loaves of french bread

Step 1.... melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan.
When the butter is melted and hot, BUT NOT brunt , add the crushed garlic.Stir garlic until soft and tender .

Step 2... Add the cream/ half and half/ canned milk ( which ever one you have ) . Add the pinch of salt . Stir  the sauce constantly  until it thickens over a medium low fire . Be careful it doesn't boil over .

Step 3 ... When the sauce is nice and thick (If the sauce is too thick , add a little milk to it ), add the shrimp and the crab meat . Stir  occasionally a additional 3 to 5 minutes so that the sea food may cook . Don't over cook the sea food . Now it is done !

Step 4....Serve in individual bowels . Eat by dunking the bread into the sauce and eating it with your fingers .Or you may break the bread up into the sauce ( not too much of the bread at one time ) and eat with a spoon , as you prefer .
Bonn Appitte !

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sad News

In Memorial


With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed last week.   Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey", died peacefully at age 93.   The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin.  They put his left leg in.  And then the trouble started.

Sleep and Brains

I was watcing T.V. this morning .A medical panel was on the show . They were discussing this and that . The topic of evolved human brains came up . A scientific study showed that women's brains were much more evolved than mens . That women were actually much smarter than men, on a general whole . Since women were so much smarter and their brains more evolved than mens brains, they were able to muti task much more than the average man . The study went on to say that a person who has a more devoloped brain would require more sleep then the normal persons typical 8 hours . So , I am thinking I must have a SUPER devoloped brain . I need at LEAST  8 hours sleep , sometimes more to be a cordial  person , lol !How many hours of sleep do you need?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wonderful Day Ends Bad

Yesterday was No Housework Day and today was No Cooking Day , lol . I went to Shelia's today and was pampered to death by her . I felt like a million bucks by the time I left her house . I felt like that all the rest of the day , UNTIL ...... on the way to the restaurant we go to here in Tagura all the time , a traffic police man stood in the way at a traffic light and stopped me .

Moe was sitting next to me in the passenger seat , since I do the driving . The cop looked us over . Then the car . Obviously there was nothing wrong with either the car or my driving , since we were stopped at a light .But because I wasn't wearing a head scarf ( which by the way ISN"T mandatory here in Libya) , my hair being light in color , he could tell I was a foreigner . He asked for the cars papers , which we gave him . That was in order . Then he looked at me ,then Moe . He asked Moe if I was a"Special Friend" . Moe told him , no I was his WIFE . The policeman became embarrassed and let us go . I think he thought I was Moe's "date for the night " , if you know what I mean .All because I was a foreigner .If I had been a Libyan woman he NEVER would have had the nerve to insinuate such a thing to Moe's face or to me .I am still not too sure if I am insulted and angry , or just really mad !

I see more and more evidence everyday, in a country where women were treated with utmost respect , now being insulted with overt rudeness . Sad thing that . Now I know what a foreigner in America , England , Germany , or any other country feels like when they wear their Hijab. Prejudice against the wearing of the Hijab is growing in many countries around the world . They are stared at or insulted because of their choices . The world is too small a place for prejudice and discrimination .

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Reconnection

Facebook is all about reconnection of old friends you thought might have been long lost . Here is a poster that expresses this sentiment so well !

Easter And Papers

Easter came and went this year . I didn't have a chance to wish you a Happy Easter , so let me now, wish you a belated Happy  Easter .Hope for those of you that celebrate , it was wonderful . When I was a little girl baby chickens or baby rabbits were sold in the grocery stores as Easter presents for children . I think I got a baby rabbit once . My cousin Cathy would get a chicken every Easter . I never got it ... the whole chicken as a pet thing . I mean how can you take your chicken for a walk , or cuddle up to your chicken when you go to bed like you could, say, a cat or puppy ? So weird to me  , the whole thing . Even a rabbit as a pet ??? Not the same as a cat or dog .

When I became a mother , we would have the kids dye Easter eggs every single year .As far as I was concerned , it was a fate worse than death !!! I still shudder when I hear the word EASTER EGGS ! EVERY SINGLE YEAR  I would hear this ... He took my egg ! Momma , she is using my dipper ! Momma he put his egg in my blue dye !! Momma , he messed up my green ! Momma she's looking at me . Momma , they are crowding me ! He spilled my purple . I hate how this looks momma . My name egg didn't color pretty and now it is so ugly ( tears are flowing by now ) I hate it momma!!!Opps !! I spilled the red color all over the table momma . Where is the paper towels ?? Momma , momma , momma !!! I told them once that my name wasn't momma . They asked me what it was then ? I told them it was a secret! LOL ! That didn't work for long ,lol ! They knew I was Momma no matter what I called myself !

Then after all that arguing over the dyeing of the eggs , we had to set the eggs out later that night for the Easter Bunny to hide , when he brought the Easter baskets filled with candy later that night , after the kids were supposedly fast asleep . Actually , it was usually Moe and I that hide the eggs . One year we forgot where we hide several eggs that the kids never found . Thank goodness they were in the shell and didn't stink . I think I found them a month or two later inside a vase or in a cabinet .

Moe and I have been running all over town trying to get some papers that we both need in order to file for some more papers , lol . And you know how that is . 1st you have to just find the office, then you have to make about 2,000 trips there just to get one paper . Well , at least we are finished as of yesterday ! I feel like a miracle or something has happened . This has been a all consuming business for the last two weeks . Now we play the waiting game .The funny thing is, after we would get home from going to here and there , we would be so mentally  exhausted that all either one of us wanted to do was just vegetate . I am all for that !

Yesterday , after we went to the last place we needed to go to , we bought a sandwich , went to the beach to eat it and watch the waves crash into the shore line . It was a magical day for us . All our papers were finished , stamped , submitted ,and approved .It was cloudy and windy cool day without all the dust we have been having the last week . We even were rained on . There was a unique mood in the air .I could tell it was affecting others besides me too . People were happy and it seemed everyone I spoke to yesterday had good news to share .One friend is going home in the US to see her son graduate from university . The other is achieving her life long dream of going to Mecca for the Omrah Hag . She is singing praises to Allah all day and night for this opportunity .

Hey , don't forget ... tomorrow is National Don't Do Housework Day !!!! A VERY IMPORTANT DAY !!!!  My personal all time favorite holiday . I think it should have much more recognition as a holiday than it dose now . Prehappes we should start a grass roots movement to make this a "day off" type holiday around the world ? What do you think? Is this celebrated in your country ? I just told Moe about it and he is still laughing!