Friday, October 04, 2019

Need to update

I haven't posted to my blog in a very long time. Hopefully I'll be able to get a post together soon.

Watch this space.....

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Wishes for a Peaceful Ramadan

Wishing all my friends, family and those who read my blog a safe and peaceful Ramadan. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Is it really the end of another year?

Another year has gone by. It's hard to believe that it is December again. Here is a bit of a synopsis for this year and some of my hopes/dreams/plans for the future.

Do I have any plans for 2019?  It's  hard to plan anything, but I have hopes and dreams. Hopefully I will see things sorted out in Libya (although I'm not holding my breath!). The problems in Libya have not only divided the country, they have divided my family. I'm here in  Florida with four of my children while my husband is in Libya with our other two children. They are mostly grown up now! I dream of a time that we can all be together in one place again. 

Meanwhile, I am here in Florida working a few jobs to keep myself afloat and doing some volunteer work when I can fit it in my schedule. I'm teaching English and doing an occasional workshop for the literacy tutors at the library. Additionally, I do some private tutoring, mostly IELTS preparation. Also, I'm doing a bit of writing and editing. This year I had a few trips for my inspection's work; a trip to Mexico City, I went twice to California, a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, two trips to Ft. Lauderdale and a trip to Miami. I've also been doing some work with the exam center at the local college. 

I'm still volunteering with my city's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), but not as much as I would like -  too often the times conflict with my work schedule, and of course, work comes first. One fun thing that is happening currently is that I was asked if I would display my pin and brooch collection at my local library. I spent a morning setting up the display which will be there until February. 

Another thing that I did this year was participate in an interview for a blog that is written by a Canadian/Swiss woman who is married to a Libyan. She is living with her family in Canada now, but lived in Tripoli in the past. The interview is on the blog, Dear Sister: Where diversity meets solidarity - Khadija. Don't just stop at my interview - the blog is full of interesting stories of women's lives and the experiences of the blog's writer.

More writing - both personal and work related. I am considering expanding my editing business, adding more services and doing more local work. More work related plans are to attend some literacy and teaching conferences and workshops this year. 

Personal plans for the next year: I'm going to focus on my health - eat better and find ways to reduce stress.  Most importantly, I pray that my family will be all together in one place. 

I'm counting my blessings. Even though it has been a stressful year, there are many many positive things that have happened. 

Wishing all my readers a  year full of blessings. 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Nearly a year has gone by

It's been almost a year since my mother passed away (Oct 24th). A lot has happened this year - most of it was stressful. There have been so many details to take care of and my mother's estate is still being sorted out. 

My mother had been secretive about what her assets were and she wasn't very organized either. My sister and I had to dig through tons of papers trying to find out exactly what was there. After we would think he had found it all something else would pop up. Recently, nearly a year after my mother's death, a check came in the mail from a stock we had never found any documentation for at all... so back to trying to figure that out. 

My mom's house was also a big issue. According to the will it was to be shared by my sisters and myself. It was decided that we'd sell it. We had an appraisal done, but the amount given was ridiculously over the market value. I knew that we would never get the amount quoted because the house needed so many repairs. The house is over 40 years old and had almost no updating done. When I suggested to my sisters that the amount quoted was inflated they scoffed and said that we'd get that and maybe more. I'd been watching the market in the area for quite some time and knew that they were dreaming. 

Adding to the task of deciding how to go about selling the house was the fact that my son wanted to buy it, but one of my sisters also was interested. We needed to come up with a fair price for the house. My son's interest was sentimental while my sister's interest was to flip the house and make a profit.

After some discussion it was decided that my sister would supply the names of two realtors and my son would get two more so that we could get an idea about the houses' value. This sounds easy and straightforward, but it required having to make the arrangements to be at the house when the realtors could come - that sounds simple, but I was living in the house with two of my children. Having strangers walking though every room of your house makes you feel vulnerable and your privacy is invaded. I found it extremely stressful.

It was suggested that the buyer should have the house inspected so my son decided to take the recommendations from one of the realtors my sister provided. This way she couldn't complain that my son was being unfair. On one day, I had two realtors in looking at the house at the same time a team of five house inspectors were poking through every nook and cranny and a termite inspector came too. Phew! What a day! 

The inspectors found some issues with a part of the roof and the downstairs plumbing. There are issues with a lot of things in the house, but those two made the difference on how the house would have to be sold. Unless we repaired the roof and the plumbing the house would have to be a cash sale. My sisters and I weren't interested in putting any money into the house. 

The sister that was interested in buying didn't have enough cash. My son had cash and made an offer that my sisters hemmed and hawed over. It was decided that we'd have more realtors and property investors look at the house and see what they would offer. Back to me having a parade of strangers waltzing through. I tried to google names to get an idea of just who I was letting come in. One name came up with a guy with a rap sheet of a variety of crimes a mile long - if the person who came was the same person in the mugshot I was going to say (through the window) that the house was not available. It turned out to be a different guy. After I showed him the house I mentioned that he should start building a better online profile -  I explained what I had found when I googled his name. He said he had never thought about it before and would definitely get right on it!

After what seemed like an endless parade of people in to look at the property, my son's offer was the one we  settled on. He took a big gulp and sunk his life's savings into the purchase. I'm really proud of him. He has a lot of work to do to update the house and he's planning to do one room at a time. Meanwhile I'm here doing what I can to help out while I decide what's next. 

I had moved downstairs to my mother's room after she died. I didn't want to stay in my mom's room, but her dog wanted to be in that room and the poor thing was having serious issues with anxiety. He was gnawing at his leg and side until he had open wounds. Moving downstairs helped him - we were all mourning in our own ways. I left the room as it was, but finally decided it was time to move out my mom's furniture and get something more up to date. A little at I time, over a few months, I added more of 'me' in the room. I hung some pictures on the walls and changed the desk, got rid of mom's old TV. The last thing I did was to take down mom's old window blinds and put up some curtains, then I sat on the edge of the bed and had a good cry.  

It's been a hard year for me. There are still things to settle with my mother's estate and the mourning process continues. I'm dealing with things one step at a time. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The Plight of Libyan Medical Care in 2018

In the past I had my own scary Libyan hospital story, but things are getting worse as each day passes. This was reported on Twitter recently. A night at a hospital in Sebha Medical Center:

No one deserves this... no one...  Thank you @imanlibya for posting this very revealing tweet thread.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Step Forward in Libya

I have always been a firm believer that the way forward for Libya is to include more females in government, business and leadership roles. One organization that has helped Libyan women to attain economic empowerment is MEDA LIBYA which began in Libya in 2013. Over the past five years they have continued their efforts to train and support Libyan women throughout the country. Their efforts help not only women, but the community and country as a whole. 

Congratulations to the girls and women who participated in this year's Step Forward competition. You are all winners in my eyes!

Previously I posted about MEDA here: One Step at a Time

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Libyan Antiquities: Silently Watching for Over a Millennium

photo taken at Leptis Magna, Libya

Silently watching over Libya since the 2nd century AD ....
It's face is battered, but it's eyes are hopeful.