Friday, January 29, 2010

Rain, puddles and pizza

I got up late this morning. The house was quiet and I had time to enjoy my cup of coffee in peace. It rained most of the morning and part of the afternoon. A pretty heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning.

At about five o'clock Jenna and I went out to do some shopping. The rain had stopped but the streets were flooded in many places. It was pretty treacherous on the roads, but I drove carefully and we got what we needed and came home. On the list were pizza ingredients so the girls could spend the evening making pizza. Yummmy!

Apart from Ibrahim misbehaving (because of boredom) it was a peaceful day.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Over in a flash...

Jenna and I went out to run some errands this evening. We went out with a list and managed to cross off everything and then we headed for home. The traffic was bumper to bumper for cars heading out of Ainzarah towards Tripoli. Thank God we were headed in the opposite direction.

As we pulled off the blacktop on to the dirt road that leads to our house we saw a fireball arch across the sky in front of us. We both squealed with delight at the same time and then we started laughing. What a beautiful sight! (A fireball is a large, very bright meteor often seen with a tail of flame.)

Tonight I looked in the news to see if there are any meteor showers and found out that it's the last day of the Coma Berenicid meteor showers. This year it's been making lots of headlines with it's spectacular shows.

A nice end to the weekend and the school's winter holidays. It ended all too quickly. The kids go back to school tomorrow.


I struck oil!

After looking for days we finally found some oil for my car ... yeah! It was more than double the price it usually is. I'm going to hoard a case or two so I don't have this problem again. Imagine having to hoard motor oil in an oil producing country... sigh...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Making sense of Libya

My car needs oil.... it's on low. Now here I am in an oil producing country - do you think I can find a couple of cans of oil?

No.... of course not.... grrrrrrrr!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting a good soak

It's finally raining here. I've just been hanging out at home enjoying the weather. I can look out my window and watch the clouds rolling in. It's been a peaceful day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cooled off

The weather has finally gotten cold here. Hooray!

The kids were outside grilling chicken tonight in the garden. It smelled wonderful and tasted even better. Unfortunately they'd eaten all the marshmallows and I had these really nice chocolate coated cookies that would have made great s'mores...sigh... I'll have to get more marshmallows and hide them better.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Yusef!



It's hard to believe that Yusef is already sixteen. It seems like only yesterday that he was born. I almost lost him that day, but that's another story.

Happy Birthday Yusef! 

Friday, January 08, 2010

Making Arrangments

About a month ago my mother-in-law went off to Tunis to have medical treatment. She ended up having balloon angioplasty and returned home looking much healthier than when she left, thank God. For a while she had a houseful of guests but things have slowed down. 

I visited my mother-in-law on the day she came home, after that I stayed away. The kids stopped by from time to time on their way home from school to visit their grandmother. One day my daughter Sara informed me that her grandmother said she wanted to have me take her out shopping. I guess the stream of visitors has died down and now she is ready to get on with life... and probably needs to restock everything that the visitors have used up. 

I called her on the phone and we had a cryptic conversation:

Me: Asalamualaikum!
Hajja: Walaikumasalam wa rahmatulla wa barakatuhu! (she's been studying at the mosque)

Me: How are you?
Hajja: Elhamdulilla! I'm fine!

Me: I'll pick you up tomorrow morning. Ten o'clock.
Hajja: Bahi!

Me: Bye
Hajja: Bye

We hang up.

We always have to make our arrangements this way. If any of my sisters-in-law find out we're going shopping they will want to come along too. But I know when my mother-in-law asks me to take her out it's because she wants to get away from them for a change.

Retail therapy begins tomorrow at ten... we're gonna have a good time!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sprouting!

The flower seeds I planted are starting to sprout! So exciting to see. Watch and wait.... tend carefully... soon there will be flowers... I hope.




They're so tiny!





Sunday, January 03, 2010

Truly a blessing

I've been a reader all my life. As soon as I learned to read I began to devour every book in sight. Always eclectic in my tastes,  I read everything I could get my hands on including even dictionaries and the phone directory! Growing up, I think I spent most of my spare time in libraries and bookshops... a true bookworm. Whenever I got out of line, my parents would punish me by not allowing me the privilege to read for a day or two.

When I moved to Libya in 1989 I had to make the choices of what to bring, and what to ship, and what to leave behind. I whittled my library down to books that would fit into eight boxes and watched as they were put into the shipping container. That was the last I ever saw of them as they were seized immediately upon arrival in Libya by the censorship authorities. So sad, especially as I had been very selective in what I had packed to make sure that nothing would be looked upon as being taboo. I kind of suspect that a bribe would have released them, but neither my husband or I work that way. In a way it felt as though my children had been wrenched away from me. I was upset and very bitter.

After settling in I met others who loved to read and we exchanged what few books we had. Anyone going home would bring a few books back in their carry-on luggage and they would be added to the small lending library. After some time the restrictions were eased slightly and my sister and friends would send books, shipping them using a special postal rate that was cheap but slow to arrive. Each arrival of books was a special day.

There have been a few bookshops in Tripoli that deal in mostly Arabic books, and mostly those of an academic nature. The majority of books in English were related to learning or teaching the language along with some books about Libya. On the first day of the year I went to the opening of a new bookshop in Tripoli and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice selection of books in English. Not only that, you can even place orders with them. I bought a few books and placed an order for Remarkable Creatures, a new book written by Tracy Chevalier.

How wonderful to have the New Year begin with books. Libya is changing and I feel truly blessed!

Morning Hysterics

Week two of the kids exams starts today and what do you think happened? We all got up late! There was a mad rush to get everyone out the door and off to school. The kids pushing and shoving to be the first in the bathroom, even though they have three to choose from. Banging around in the kitchen trying to slurp down too hot tea.

              'Where's my bag?', 


'What happened to my shoes?', 

                                                                                                                   'Hurry UP!',          
      'Get in the car so we can GO!' 

Maybe this is a good thing... adrenaline is pumping now -  the blood flow to the brain has begun! Next week the school holidays will begin. A two week break for the kids. So far we haven't planned anything.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A Resolution

I made a few resolutions. One of them was to spend more time taking photographs. So in order to help keep my promise to myself I created a photoblog. You can find it here: Picture This .

On the radio

I seldom watch television because I find it so boring and I can't sit still for that long. I prefer the internet because I can be doing more than one thing at a time. For me, audio is better than video, maybe because it loads faster. NPR has really fantastic programs but for some reason I don't like their news (too much like VOA which I don't like either).

I listened to this story this morning.  Life is such a precious thing. I especially like the part when the mother said it was as if they were holding an angel... Oh they were, they were!