Friday, November 28, 2008

A day in the country

I had a lovely day in the mountains with family and friends. The day started out looking as though it were going to rain, and it did in fact rain a bit on the way there, but the weather turned out nice.

In the afternoon I went out for a walk. The ground was very dry in the area. Usually by this time of the year there are more green plants growing. I did notice a low type of shrub that was flowering - I counted five different colours and various hues of the flowers. I'm not sure what it is but someone suggested that it might be a type of heather. It didn't have a scent but it was very pretty.

There were lots of beetles bumbling around. I sat down to enjoy the view and found one scraping around nearby. He was very friendly and I played with him for a bit before letting him go on his merry  way.

A day in the countryside is a useful thing. I feel like I've been recharged. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wishing you the very best...

It's Thanksgiving! I wish all my family, friends, and readers a very happy Thanksgiving.

I wish I was back home... eating turkey with my family.... relaxing in front of the TV..... and of course there would be shopping to do tomorrow....

But I am here in Libya.. working today...  But I'm going to enjoy my family today and tomorrow I'll join my friends for a picnic. The whole while I will count my many blessings.

Enjoy your day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Things Moms Say

There are days when I really find being a mom a big chore... today just might be one of those days!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tasty recipes abound - Thanksgiving is right around the corner

.ǝʞɐɔ uʍop ǝpısdn ou ɹɐɟ os ʇnq 'sǝdıɔǝɹ ǝıd uıʞdɯnd ɟo s,ʇo1 .sʇɹǝssǝp ǝɹɐ ɯǝɥʇ ɟo ʇsoɯ .sǝɥsıp buıʞoo1 ʎʇsɐʇ ʇsoɯ ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ sǝdıɔǝɹ ɥʇıʍ sǝbɐssǝɯ ǝɹoɯ ǝɹɐ ǝɹǝɥʇ xoquı ʎɯ uı ʞoo1 ı ǝɯıʇ ʎɹǝʌǝ - sǝdıɔǝɹ ǝɯ buıpuǝs dǝǝʞ ǝ1doǝd .ǝɹǝɥ ʎ1ɹɐǝu sı buıʌıbsʞuɐɥʇ

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Photo journalism - Libya in Life

Google has now got an archive of photos taken from Life magazine. There are pages and pages of historical images of Libya. You can see them here:

Talk of Eid

Eid is just around the corner - only a few weeks away. For some weird reason I'm not dreading it this year as I usually do. I think it's because last year we slaughtered by ourselves for the first time without the in-laws and it turned out fine and so we'll most likely do it again. Eid without in-laws is a peaceful event!

There is some talk going around town about sheep being infected with a disease called 'blue tongue' (?). Also talk of imported sheep. I'm not sure what it's about but according to my husband the sheep that are affected die very quickly and so it's unlikely that you would buy one that was sick because it would be obviously ill. We'll see what happens. If there's a sheep or not I really don't care one way or the other. We can always grill a chicken. At any rate, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

In the mean time, the weather is cooling off. I'm already making plans on how I'll spend my weekend so I can enjoy the fresh air. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A card for Jenna

One of the readers of my blog saw the picture I posted of Jenna doing her Peter Pan imitation and was inspired into creating a card for her out of the image.  

Thanks Mahmud! Great job on this! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

A happy day!

We had a nice time at my friend's house. We ate snacks while we watched movies and then we had Jenna's birthday cake. Do you think there were enough candles and fireworks?

The after the cake the kids put on the movie Peter Pan... which inspired Jenna into making flying leaps off the sofa!

" Yippeeeee! I'm a teenager!!! "

A few minutes to spare

It's been a peaceful day so far. I've done nothing but laundry and lunch and take a nap. I called a friend to see what she was up to and told her if she wasn't busy I'd come over. I've got a surprise for her - a movie that she's been wanting to see (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee). So I've packed up the kid's DVD player and the movie and we'll stop at the supermarket along the way for popcorn and snacks. It's also Jenna's birthday today so we're going to bring along a cake.

Now the girls are busy doing their mad rush to get dressed. Why does it take them so long? Why do they have to try on ten outfits and fifteen scarves before they feel comfortable with the way they look? It's not like Prince Charming is gonna be there, is it? ... sigh... Oh well. It gives me a few minutes to make a blog post. You'd be spared reading this if I didn't have three teenaged daughters!

This is a video from Jenna's birthday from when she turned eight. She's a teenager now!  hehehe...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Old Wive's Tales

One of the weird things that I discovered when I came here was that 'old wives' tales' prevail. Libyans believe all kinds of weird stuff! Especially when it comes to being pregnant and having kids.

  • If you're pregnant and you are craving something and you don't get what you are craving for then there's a pretty good chance that your baby is going to have a birthmark! 
  • If you are over due then you should expect that someone will come and scare you with a fish to make you go into labour. They really believe this - I've had a sister-in-law jump out at me with a fish in her hand! (it didn't work, by the way)
  • When you go into labour you should drink a glass of olive oil to help you squirt that baby right out! (I imagine the doctor or midwife won't be too thrilled about your diarrhea though.)
The list goes on and on.... 

One of the funniest things that happened was when one of my sister-in-laws visited me while she was pregnant and the kids brought out their toys. One of the toys was a rubber troll doll. My sister-in-law took one look and it and jumped up and ran out the door. She stayed downstairs at my other sister-in-law's house until her husband came to pick her up because she was certain that looking at that troll doll was going to cause her to have a baby that looked the same.

The weird thing was that one of my neighbours (who had seen the troll doll while she was pregnant) has a kid that looks like it! I've called that kid troll doll ever since she was born. She's about 10 now and still looks like a troll doll.  She doesn't have blue hair or eyes though - hers are brown but her hair is the same texture. And she has the exact same features. Now that's really weird!

For a while I used to keep the troll doll in the entryway of my apartment, up on the top of the china cabinet. It was like a charm to ward off evil (or sister-in-laws!) lololol

Today I saw this fantastic two headed doll while I was surfing the net. I want this doll! This would be perfect to stick next to the troll doll! Where can I get one of these???

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My kind of weather

The rains have finally come, accompanied by lightening and thunder. The weather is cooler and the dust has settled. We'll see how treacherous the roads are today. Usually the first big rains bring on flooding because the drain systems in the roads are clogged with sand and garbage. But never mind - no one expects anyone to be on time in weather like this. 

I love the rain!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Veterans Day

It was Veterans' Day in the US the other day. In my family it means a visit to the cemetery to see my dad. He was a two-time veteran (WWII and Korea) and is interred at a Veterans Memorial Cemetery. It's a peaceful place next to a beautiful park so going there is nice for the whole family. After visiting the cemetery everyone usually goes to the park for a picnic lunch. Sorry to have missed it - but having the pictures is a nice reminder of home. 

Thank you Adam for sending the pictures!

Friday, November 14, 2008


It was a quiet and peaceful day. I hung around the house all day. Sara and I rearranged some of the furniture and in the evening we went out shopping to buy some bits and pieces. Every once in a while I feel like changing things, even if it's just getting a new vase or a picture frame. And today was the day for it. We really need new furniture but we've been holding off in the hopes of decorating the house (that will never be finished). The girls and I decided to just forget that plan and get things now if we find what we like.

I want to get rid of the sofa I have in the entrance and get two large arm chairs instead and put a table between them. I'll have to pop into different shops as I'm out driving until I find what I want. 

Today I decided to stop into the carpet shop that I usually buy from and low and behold he had some Ben Walid carpets in new colours. So of course I bought one. The prices are higher than before but even so, 280 dinars for a 100% wool carpet that will last for years and years is really a bargain. He said he will be getting even more stuff in the next week or so. I'll have to go back again.

A while back I heard a rumour that Ikea was going to open up in Tripoli. Has anyone heard anything about that? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh so tired

I can hardly believe that the week is halfway over. I've been running non-stop. I was so tired last night that I nearly burnt dinner. I came home and quickly changed clothes and then went into the kitchen to throw something together for dinner. I got it all started and then sat down and immediatly fell asleep. After a while hubby came to wake me up telling me that dinner was burning. He ended up rescuing it because I was too tired to finish cooking. I fell fast asleep and didn't wake up again until six o'clock this morning. phew.... it's a good thing I don't live alone or I would have burnt the house down. Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

Friday, November 07, 2008

Reality check

I was on the phone earlier today having a conversation with On the Edge. We were discussing how we came to marry our Libyan husbands. hmmm... Neither of us wanted to marry a redneck from America so we opted for a foreign guy.

Surprise, surprise! They've got their own version of redneck in Libya! We got here and discovered we landed ourselves with a shlafti. 

Different dog... same fleas! ... sigh

Just chill'n

It's been a long week and even though at times it was stressful, it ran a smoothly as clockwork. Today I've decided to just chill out. Most of the morning was spent relaxing in bed, listening to music on my iPod and just spacing out. Maybe I will do more of the same this afternoon and evening. I think I deserve a break.

Hubby seems to think my day off is the time I should spend eight hours in the kitchen preparing him a gourmet meal... Crank up the volume... What did he say?... hmmm... Can't hear a word... lol

Yesterday I got the kids a new DVD player because their PlayStation is on the fritz and they'd been using that to watch DVDs - I don't want to replace the PlayStation... maybe when school is out next summer. In the meantime this weekend the kids are happily watching DVDs and giving me a break from their arguments. DVD player = pacifier for teenagers.

My son Yusef, and I were discussing Ebonics. He wanted to know why Barack Obama talks like a white guy. Hmm... now that's a good question!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'll just plod along...

My alarm clock rang at exactly six o'clock as usual. I reached over to turn it off and at the same moment the phone rang. I knew who it was without even answering it because of the distinctive ringtone.... 'Your lazy fat-assed friend is calling! Your lazy fat-assed friend is calling!' It was Tara of course, calling from New Mexico.

Me: Hello.
Tara: He won.... (sobbing)... He won Teri!... Barak Obama won!... (crying and sobbing)
Me: Mabrouk! He did it! He really did it!
Tara: Yes... (more crying and sobbing) .... yes.... yes..... he did!

Tara has been backing Obama since before he even got into the race. She's had Barak Obama bumper stickers plastered on her car (even in Libya) since then and wore t-shirts in support. She's been totally consumed by the presidential race. 

I, on the other hand, have been pretty much just sitting back and watching from the side. I had planned to vote and probably would have voted for Obama even though I wasn't totally convinced he was the right person to be running a country. There just seemed to be something not right with Obama. I got the creepy feeling that something evil was hidden inside... he just seemed too polished. But when McCain chose his running mate I decided it was all a big farce - a circus. The thought of McCain croaking and Palin running the country was appalling. In the end I decided not to cast my ballot. I wasn't happy with either candidate and Tara decided not to give me too much grief about my decision.

We'll see how events unfold. Probably there will be more changes nationally but most likely the international scene will remain pretty much the same. That's kind of depressing in a way. I'll just continue plodding along in my world. Obama has his work cut out for him. I wish him the best of luck!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November is here

The weather has been dusty today. All day the sand blew around and everything feels gritty. My eyes are itchy and watering. I hope tomorrow the weather is better. I'm waiting for winter to kick in. We're still using the air conditioner here. It's the beginning of November - the first week of this month usually brings a change in the weather. It will be time to take out warmer clothes soon.

Along with November is Election Day on Tuesday. I'm going to wear red, white and blue on Tuesday. I told my students that I was going to do it and they thought I was joking. My daughter Sara was born on Election Day - on the day Clinton was elected into office. I remember that the staff of the hospital all came to my room to say 'Mabrouk Ibnayah! Mabouk Clinton!' It was funny - but nice. It's interesting to see Libyans get so excited about the elections. Many are glued to the TV, addicted to the twists and turns of the election process. 

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a poem she wrote titled 'November Cricket'. Every year in November I would come across it while sorting out papers and things. I'd read it and then call her up and we'd have a long chat on the phone. Last year for some reason I couldn't find the poem. It's on a piece of paper somewhere in my house. I know I haven't thrown it away. I hope I come across it sometime this month... November Cricket... chirping by my door...

Saturday, November 01, 2008


For weeks I've had no desire to cook anything. I'm in a rut. I'm still trying to get over the drain of Ramadan. Having kids on all different schedules for school doesn't help either. I hate cooking for seven people. There is always someone that complains about what I make. 

Today I went to the supermarket hoping for inspiration. I didn't find any...  I'm sick of cooking.... I'm tired of Libyan food... 

tomato paste and pasta... yuck... 
tomato paste and couscous... double yuck... 
tomato paste and rice... more yuck... 
I am totally uninspired.... sigh...

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. Now maybe I can go into the kitchen and cook something.


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