Monday, December 27, 2010


We are enjoying some major quality time with family. This blog will resume it's regular streaming next Monday God willing. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas for those of you who celebrate it!

Later gators ;)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happiness is...

 An "Allah" pruned tree, photo doesn't show much, but here it is, also the turban wearing guy is cool

I need to sleep. It's far too late for me to be near anything omitting light. You see, I am supposed to wake up in less than seven hours. But I've been sitting here staring at my blog page, wanting to blog about anything. Why? Vanity, boredom, a fake sense of importance. But mainly because both my babes are asleep and it's the golden chance to be creative. And since I wasted precious crafting hours on watching a far too gory (yet good none-the-less) movie, now it's too late to collect my energy to do anything but sleep... or blog.

Let's start by mentioning how I am finally feeling happy. I mean not trying to be positive and finding beauty in things so I can feel better 'Happy'. But effortlessly 'Happy'.

Am I not making sense to you?

Okay, lets try again, today I had to drive to one of Cairo's notoriously crowded streets, I got honked at, yelled at, and probably insulted several times (I had my widows up, and my blissful music on as always) and yet I caught myself smiling. Really, the cars next to mine must have thought I was high or crazy or something, because we were jammed in an endless sea of motionless metal for a good two hours. And I, dear and patient readers was smiling... no, not just smiling I was thanking God. Did I mention that I got lost about three times. I did!

Grabby slept through the first traffic jam, and I listened to endless stories from Mei about 'Mei-land' and how to get there, the appropriate clothing, and what kind of pets they like in Mei-land. And did you know that in Mei-land the sidewalks are made of ice-cream, the houses from Juice! how so?  "Oh mommy, you just freeze it and then you can make the juice stand like walls"
Also there are no mommies and daddies in Mei-land, everyone is a kid there, so don't worry if you find yourself shrinking in Mei-land. It's normal.

On the way back Mei slept, and I had the pleasure of playing I SPY (a game usually played by her elder sister) with the lovely Grabby:

I shpy wit my wittle eye, a buiwdin (building)

Let me guess, is it a Building?

You dot (got) it! now you torn mommy!

We continued the day by stopping at the playground aka the nady (sports club) and then called it a day.

Tomorrow, the place gets cleaned, and Mei (please pray she likes her class) goes to an Arabic class catered to non-Arab speaking kids learning the correct pronunciation through an old method (it's called al qaeda al nooraniyah or the light rule).

 Also I got myself a job... well sorta (more about that later)


Friday, December 17, 2010

Egypt Checklist :: Salahul Din's Citadel

  Fridays and Saturdays are the official weekend in Muslim land, so naturally it is also the official day for family trips around the city. Today was Salahul din's Citadel day. It was a gorgeous day-- warm, sunny, and (as the case for friday mornings) traffic-free.

(The Citadel is now home to a lot more small nick-nack shops and what have you, so both my girls got something new for their costume trunk today. And must say Mei attracted quite the audience with her new head gear!)

Mei was especially excited to visit the Castle that we've been talking about for so long. She was curious if Salah ul Din has a princess to share his Castle with or not, and got disappointed to learn that he has parted his Castle along with this earth.

They were preparing for a wedding party when we arrived (this is new. I've never heard of renting an area in the Citadel for parties!) and there were flower arrangements, and crystal shingles everywhere.

As we were leaving, someone was bringing in caged pigeons for the party, so they could be set free sometime along the festivities. I am quite sure it's an old wedding tradition for this part of the world-- for I have seen it done in black and white Egyptian movies. They also fire rifles, but I am not sure if they're adopting this tradition to tonight's wedding celebration. At any rate there's no way of finding out, unfortunately we can't crash a wedding with wee ones attached to our sides *wink*

I did forget my big Camera, but the Hipsta App on my phone, never fails me. Also you really can't go wrong with scenes like the ones in a city as old as Cairo *smile*

Have a fantabulous weekend!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My first bathroom cleaning experience...

...was at the age of 26. I was a newly wed, and disclosed to my patient husband that I had never cooked a meal or cleaned a bathroom, or any room for that matter. He taught me how to do the later-- like here's a trick, he taught me: When sweeping a room, always, ALWAYS sweep towards the exist of the room, so you don't find yourself stuck in a corner with a broom in hand and a small hill of dust. you know.

So I left my ever so patient husband in Cairo/Egypt (we spent the first two years of our marriage in Cairo/Egypt) and embarked on a week long spiritual retreat of sorts. I was staying at my teacher's (at the time) place. He lived in a two story house, with a big yard and a pool. And other than taking classes from sun-up till sun-down and gathering at night time for religious chants (dhikr), we also had to do khidma (service). There were thirty girls/students at the retreat, and a schedule was hung with who would be doing what chore/day.

I must've gasped so loud when I saw my name on that sheet under bathroom cleaning, that the girls looked at me in surprise.

What's the problem?

Oh, nothing, It's just that I've NEVER cleaned a bathroom in my life. Bathroom cleaning scares me!

Who cleans the bathroom at your place then?

Oh, the cleaning lady of course! (I was spoiled)

Don't worry, there's always a first for everything, it's not as bad as you think.

So dear and lovely readers when that dreadful day (in my head at the time) came, I was almost in tears. The sisters gave me a bucket, a brush, a squeegee, rubber gloves, some cleaning products and I was left to do my thing.

My memory of what I've done in there that day, is not pretty!

It took me 2 whole hours (I must've missed several classes that day) and when I finally emerged I received a big cheer and enthusiastic clapping from a small audience.

I have since moved on to clean bathrooms in different rented places in two different states in America, and, and I have recently taught my older sister how to clean her bathroom in Canada. (impressive, no?)

I currently do not clean bathrooms, the cleaning lady does that for me, but I would take bathroom cleaning in America anytime any day. I once made the mistake (when I lived in America and was sick of cleaning bathrooms) of posting something on facebook along the lines of: "I think every upper class Egyptian girl (or boy) should clean a bathroom at least once in her life" I received a lot of comments on this post. The most one that I remember now as I am back in Egypt was "why would you say that? Egyptian's have it rough too!"

I take it baaaack!


In case you wanted to know my strategy of cleaning our teacher's bathroom that day, I just poured bucket upon bucket of water. The bathroom must've  been a mess, and I am quite sure someone went in there after me and re-did the whole thing. They were such nice girls!

Another thing I feel the urge to mention is: Any religious reference of how I choose to practice my religion is NOT for discussion on this space. It's personal, and was mentioned for the sake of the story. If you wish to comment on the story you are more than welcome to do so. Otherwise, let's play nice shall we?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

A reminder

We are the second day into a dust storm... Our Apartment is currently our refuge, thank God for our new windows, they work, they really and truly work, and if you are one of the residents of Cairo/Egypt and do not yet own those expensive shields against Egyptian weather, then by all means do yourself a favor and buy them or save for they are more handy than a car (how's that for a run on a sentence?). You can simply shut yourself from the dust, the (Currently) howling street dogs and much much more.


Winter is finally upon us, the woolens are out, THEY ARE FINALLY OUT! sorry was I yelling?
We have one oil heater, and since our building is built with concrete, with no isolation what-so-ever, which is the case for all Buildings in Egypt-- it gets chilly. So the one heater that we own got moved into the girls bedroom. I want to start and assure everyone before continuing the story (especially family) that the girls are fine, but unfortunately the connecting plug was faulty. So when (thank goodness for husbands who check frequently on little sleeping ones) husband went in to check, the room was full of fumes. The wire had started to melt and... well we moved both girls into our bedroom, opened the girls windows and the living room window to air the fumes. It is currently very dusty and chilly in our apartment, but I take dust and chill anytime any day over toxic fumes. May God protect us all.
Two words, and this is for everyone with a similar situation (meaning keeping heaters or other electrical appliances in little ones, or anyone's room really) CIRCUIT BREAKER. We are a little out of practice, we owned safe heaters in America, but I am not sure if they sell them here. I am only sharing this story, because with God's grace nothing bad happened tonight. But, and I am still collecting myself from the whole ordeal here. Please be wiser than us tonight. Safe heaters or circuit breakers and check (more than once if you can) on your little ones.

Alhamdulilah (all praise and thanks to God)

Stay safe.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

new things::

dust proof and (relatively ) sound proof windows. The rooms are all blue and the rest are all mustard yellow. A bold move, we know!

Literally a truck load full of wooden blocks. Everyone has been enjoying these, oh so much!

New homemade play-dough, recipe from this book, but you can make it from here.

And this friends is a WIP: Mei's superhero outfit for her coming birthday as requested. I simply up-cycled an old black t-shirt of mine-- shrunk it in this fashion and am waiting to add the applique' on. The mask will be starched to hold it's shape and I'll add an elastic to keep it in place. I am considering making her a cape, even though this would go against the idea behind The Icrendibles Costumes.We'll see how I do time-wise.

Happy Season Everyone!


Friday, December 3, 2010


Oh Friday, I am so glad you're a couple of hours from being done. What happened today? Not a day I want to remember. I took down last night's post because I felt like a liar. It did not work at all today. Baba got sick, Mei is coming down with something and avidly refused to go to her class (I tried to have her go before she started looking tired). Grabby was crying from the break of dawn, wait did I say the break of dawn? no, I meant to say from the wee hours of early morning. It was rough. But I am so glad it's over. I am also embarrassed about how I handled today.

Tomorrow is a new day, so lets try again, shall we?

 I did watch Scott Pilgrim Versus The world for the second time though, and boy do I love that movie. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet, and especially if you're having one of those days.

Current motto: why leave home?

Current mood: Meh!

Highlights of today: finished doing the dishes in seven hours. actual labor time: one whole hour.

Right now: there are still more dishes in the sink waiting to get washed. (they can wait till tomorrow)

Lessons learned: Next place we move into, make sure to have a dishwasher.