November 28, 2007

This Case is Rediculous

British teacher held in Sudan for calling teddy bear 'Mohammed' could be jailed for sedition

I am sorry, It has no basis. She had no ill intent. If she had any problems with Islam, or Sudan or anything why would she be living there, teaching their children? A student even said he suggested the name. It's a common name, she didn't name the teddy bear Prophet!

All this does is makes Muslims look more and more extreme.

November 27, 2007

ONLY in Egypt


What is this? The leaning tower of Giza?


Stuffed, packed and piled up to the maximum.


Defying all the laws of physics.


In Cairo, they'll squeeze in a building wherever they can! Look at it,it's like one looong room!


Fill him up!


Spare tire security system.


This guy is holding on for dear life and keeping the crates in place all at once.

November 22, 2007

Perspective: The Invisible Woman

I love this. I had to share it... more below.

By Nicole Johnson

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, 'Who is that with you, young fella?''Nobody,' he shrugged. Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, 'Oh my goodness,nobody?'I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like 'Turn the TV down, please' - and nothing would happen.Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, 'Would someone turn the TV down?' Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, 'I'm ready to go when you are.'He just kept right on talking.

That's when I started to put all the pieces together.

I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.She's going she's going she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress, it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.' In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a work man carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centered-ness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see my self as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

I received this in an email on a day I really needed it. I was at the end of my rope and my patience was wearing low. I was at the point where I had to lock myself in my room to keep from yelling and handing out punishments right and left. I couldn't call for Calgon to take me away.

After the kids' bedtime I checked my email and was brought to tears by this touching story. I went to bed early and the next day, I woke up a half hour early to give my self some time to shower, get dressed and I even put on a bit of make up and fix my coffee or tea. I needed that extra half hour to tend to me so I could tend to everyone else. It's surprising how much that half hour could do. I was more ready for my day this way, more patient and in a good mood. When I would wake up with just enough time to sleepily get the kids ready and push them out the door to school, I was crabby and short with everyone. The kids would wake up cranky and whiny. I really believe that saying that goes "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". I saw that my mood reflected on my kids. If I wake them up with the "Good Morning, Good Moooorning it's such a beautiful morning!" song from "Singin' in the Rain". They wake up smiling and give me a hug.

Of course there are lots of days where I need the half hour of sleep more, but I find I like getting ready in the morning. It gives me a sense of purpose and this email forward reminded me how important that purpose is.

Remember it when you are cleaning marker off the walls, sharpening 10 colored pencils, cleaning up after potty training accidents, helping on school projects, tying and retying shoes, wiping buggers and butts, combing tangly hair, giving "gross" medicine, bathing squirmy or screaming kids, scrubbing everything, arguing about wardrobe choices, clipping little toenails, and all the other little (and big) things we do.

November 14, 2007

Tag, Your it!

I have been tagged by UmLayla/The Egyptians Wife for a nablopomo meme. No, it's not laziness on my part. When your tagged, your tagged!

Here's what you gotta do:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My seven things:

1. I can't eat mango, guava, or cantaloupe. People CONSTANTLY tell me to just try it!
2. I crack my knuckles, all three, wrists, ankles, knees elbows, back in 2 places, neck....
3. My phone ring tone goes between either Hotel California, by the Eagles or Take on me by A-ha
4. A few jobs I had as a teenager were working in the lingerie dept. of Sears, refill person at a buffet restaurant, secretary at an Acura dealership and sales at Rag Shop(craft store)
5. I'm kind of a grammar/spelling Nazi.
6. I'm more than a little bit obsessed with the TV show LOST. See just typing LOST makes me happy. LOST!
7. Coloring and vacuuming is therapeutic to me.

I tag:
Cairo Gal
Unique Muslimah
Daisy/Saudi Stepford Wife

November 9, 2007

Interview Meme

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? Fa berry something or other body wash.

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? No, watermelon isn't in season. I have a watermelon jolly rancher in my purse though.

3. What would you change about your living room? It needs a plant and I want to think of a way to cover/hide unsightly wires.

4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?Dishwasher? HA!

5. What is in your fridge? Lots of stuff. Milk, Pepsi, various sandwich making stuff. eggs, jelly,OJ (not Simpson)

6. White or wheat bread? White.

7. What is on top of your refrigerator? A wicker basket for kids art stuff, Monopoly Jr.(thanks O) A caddy with drawers for medicine.

8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? It's beige with a green design.

9. How many plants are in your home? Zero, but I want one or two. What's low maintenance? 10. Is your bed made right now? MADE!

11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Comet, not that they have it here, but the same thing. Soft Scrub's for fancy people.

12. Is your closet organized? I don't currently have one. but clothes are folded..for the moment. (Bea, feeling you on the partial lack of furnishings) There isn't closets in the wall here.

13. Can you describe your flashlight? We should have one, but don't.

14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? Plastic.

15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? No. ..And I resent the implication that for some reason, I need to. I have nothing against Iced tea, it's my favorite beverage, but I don't have to have it ready in a pitcher at any given time, all right?! ;)

16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered?No Garage, but if I did, I'm sure it would be cluttered. This interview is judgemental. Who wrote it? Martha Stewart?

17. Curtains or blinds? Curtains.

18. How many pillows do you sleep with? 2, one under and one to hug.

19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? Just the bathroom, but I shut my bedroom door at night now cause Mishmish thinks its fun to play with my hair or feet while I sleep.

20. How often do you vacuum? Everyday lately, I find it's easier to run the vacuum daily than to let the dust, sand, crumbs sit a day or two.

21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard, but I've always been enamored by electric toothbrushes. I never tried one, but I bet they give you that "just from the dentist feeling".

22. What color is your toothbrush? Light blue

23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? I used to, but it's gone. I think someone thought it meant: You are "WELCOME" to this little rug. I don't have a porch either.

24. What is in your oven right now? A frying pan with oil in it that has no place right now.

25. Is there anything under your bed? Yea, tons. It's the kind you use for storage.

26. Chore you hate doing the most? The dishes, See #4.

27. What retro items are in your home? Retro? This computer's on the brink of being retro.

28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Negative.

29. How many mirrors are in your home? One, in the bathroom. We have a big hand mirror we keep in the living room, that's it.

30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? No.

31. What color are your walls? Living room is a yellowy beige with some dark green. One of the kid's rooms is 4 colors (red, yellow, purple, and blue) The rest are white.

32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? No, man.

33. What does your home smell like right now? Downy. I just read that you can make wannabe Febreeze by putting some Downy with water in a spray bottle. I've gone nuts with it.

34. Favorite candle scent? Vanilla, or Apple.

35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? We have pickled vegetables, like "mekhalil" but no pickles as in pickled cucumbers.

36. What color is your favorite Qur'an? It's blue, "The Noble Reading" Transliteration and Commentary by T.B. Irving.

37. Ever been on your roof? Nope.

38. Do you own a stereo? Yea, it just sits there.

39. How many TVs do you have? One.

40. How many house phones? Two.

41. Do you have a housekeeper? Yea, Tony Danza's cleaning the bathroom right now. (I'm rolling my eyes so hard, I'm gonna have to make an appt. with an optometrist.)

42. What style do you decorate in? I don't know, whatever I like, it's casual.

43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Solids.

44. Is there a smoke detector in your home? Nu-uh.

45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you'd grab if you only could make one quick trip? Probably, this big accordion file that has important papers in it & some old photo albums.

November 6, 2007

Poor kitty

I cannot get Safiyah to leave Mishmish the heck alone. Am I to just let her terrorize him all day? Sometimes, he loves it, don't get me wrong. Plays with her forever, but sometimes he has enough and wants to take a nap. She will pull him out of under stuff! I've tried telling her that "kitty needs a nap now sweetie" but to no avail. I'm just worried she'll hurt him, accidently. Advice?

a steaming hot cup of bloggy goodness

My favorite mug.

I love that it's getting cooler, so I can stand to drink tea and coffee in the mornings. In the summer, it was out of the question, unless the AC was blasting enough to make me chilli. I either have 2 lipton teabags with 3 spoons of sugar and milk in this big honkin mug, or one lipton and one earl grey, or coffee. No matter what it is, Safiyah always wants the last sip left in the cup. I let her, no biggie. A lot of Egyptian people give their kids tea on a regular basis, which I don't find neccessary. Milk or hot chocolate will do. As if they need the caffine. I'd like something that will calm them down. Make them chamomille, or some sleepy time, man.