Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Serious Heat Coming In

00BigHotSun

I’m almost embarrassed to post this !Alert from the WeatherUnderground people about the Heat wave hitting the Gulf, only because I see the temperatures in Kuwait have been hitting in the 113 – 115°F range and a part of me feels like I missed a speeding bullet.

On the other hand, these three days I have a group of delightful women in town and I am shepherding them from place to place, and they are all air-conditioned to the freezing ice-box stage, which being an Alaska girl I actually kinda like, but . . . then you open the door into summer and it just about knocks me over.

Although, I will admit, there was one place, along Palafox, where when I sat on a bench around 2:00 pm, there was a breeze and it wasn’t at all bad.

But as hot as it is, the real hot is coming, or so the alert tells us:

Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 7.41.43 PM Coastal Escambia Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio
Special Statement
Statement as of 1:40 PM CDT on August 20, 2014
…Potentially dangerous heat conditions through the weekend…

High pressure over the region will allow for progressively hotter temperatures through Friday with no relief expected over the weekend. High temperatures on Thursday will range from around 97 over inland areas to 92 near the immediate coast. Hotter temperatures are expected on Friday with highs ranging from around 99 inland to around 95 at the immediate coast. Highs on Saturday and Sunday will be similar and range from around 98 inland to 94 at the coast.

With plenty of Gulf moisture still over the region…heat index values will be at least 102 to 107 each afternoon…and areas closer to the coast will have locations around 108…possibly around 110 on Friday when the hottest temperatures are expected.

Children…the elderly…and people with chronic ailments are usually the first to suffer from the heat. Heat exhaustion…cramps or in extreme cases heat stroke can result from prolonged exposure to these conditions.

Persons working or playing sports outdoors from late morning through this afternoon are urged to drink plenty of water and sport drinks…taking frequent breaks to prevent overheating. Refrain from the Intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Remember to check on relatives and neighbors…especially the elderly to make sure they have adequate air conditioning.

Also…do not Forget about your pets. Pets should be brought indoors…especially during the heat of the day. If pets must be kept outdoors…provide shade and plenty of fresh water. Livestock are also vulnerable.

We miss the Qatari Cat. AdventureMan takes it harder than I do; I’ve had two dreams in which he is happy, and FREE. I heard him thinking that life with us was good, but he was born to be a cat and now he is FREE. He was the sweetest little cat, and I live in horror that the operation we chose to have so that his quality of life would be better killed him and that his last week was horrible for him. I track the alternatives. None of them were good. I just hate that it ended in a hospital situation instead of in the quiet haven of our home. We still grieve, we miss his presence.

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Pensacola, Qatteri Cat, Survival, Weather | Leave a comment

“You Can Be Right, Or You Can Be Happy”

As AdventureMan and I were trying a new place for lunch yesterday, the booth next to us filled with a group of roofers (roofers have a lot of good business in a place like Pensacola which gets both heavy winds and heavy rains). While they were not talking overly loud, one had a voice that carried and he shared with his friends – and us – a rule of life his Grandfather had told him.

“You can be right, or you can be happy.”

We laughed. When AdventureMan wants to annoy me, he tells other people that the reason we’ve been married so long is that whenever we disagree, he apologizes.

Hilarious.

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Civility, Communication, Cultural, Family Issues, Humor, Pet Peeves | Leave a comment

$10M For Me!

Yeh. Right.

Karen Diamond kdiamond@obps.org

From: Karen Diamond
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 2:54 AM
To: Karen Diamond
Subject:

My name is Mrs. Rachel Williams, 72 yrs old widow.I got your contact information from a Christian website. I decided to bequeath the sum of $10,000,000.00 to you. Please Contact My Lawyer on email for more information (Contact; zenithlawfirm@rogers.com TELL: +447031975915 )

August 20, 2014 Posted by | Crime, Lies, Scams | Leave a comment

Pockets of Silence

Every now and then, after all these years, I can still crack my husband up by saying something unexpected.

Happy mature couple discussing their finances at home

Retirement carries some unexpected adjustments. There was a time, when he was managing a major contract in Germany, where over dinner, I once told AdventureMan I needed him to look at me and to listen. He looked at me in horror; he told me later he thought I was leaving him. No. No. I just looked at him and told him that I am very independent, but that at least once, every single day of our lives together, I need five minutes of his undivided attention.

“Five minutes isn’t much,” he said to me.

“Five minutes is more than I am getting now,” I responded. I knew he was busy, and under a lot of stress, but relationships require nurturing, and I knew I could get by on five minutes, as long as I could count on that five minutes to stay connected.

Now, years later, the shoe is on the other foot. AdventureMan LOVES retirement, and he comes into my office all the time to tell me about a new Tiger Swallowtail in his garden, or to update me on our financial worth, or to use me as a sounding board for a political item that has come up in his garden club.

There are times I need focus. All the years we were married, I had that time, and more, I had all this time to myself, and I learned how to fill and manage my time. I rarely had to coordinate anything with AdventureMan, he just trusted me to manage the house and finances and making sure everything was in its place.

Once he had time, I had to learn how to share my time. I also had to let go of a lot of control. The first time he organized and cleaned out the garage, I almost had a heart attack. He was so proud! And I was so horrified! I am very logical, and more than a little compulsive, and I knew where everything was, in its logical place, and now . . . things were, very literally, out of control. A part of me wanted to kill him, and another part of me said “hey, cool, now you don’t have to clean out the garage, he he he” but making that gain meant giving up control over where things were!

AdventureMan started cooking, and suddenly pots and pans and measuring spoons were not where they were “supposed” to be. AdventureMan took over the garden, and I danced for joy at not having to go out and water in the heat, but I lost control over what was planted out there.

It’s hard. We are both managers, and both very good at it. We’ve had to draw some lines. I’ve had to share territory I always thought of as mine, and he has had to consult with me, when he would much rather carry out his plans directly.

We’ve both had to draw some lines. We don’t touch stuff in one another’s offices. We consult. When I clean out the pantry, the first thing I do is show him the logic, even put little signs so he will know where to find things when he is cooking. I put up with things ending up in the wrong place, except for the spice drawers, where all the normal cooking herbs and in spices are in the left drawer and all the chilis and peppers and exotic herbs are in the right drawer, with all the teas. It can be irrational, but sometimes it is the smallest things that matter.

From time to time, I need a pocket of silence.

I welcome my sweet husband into my office; he is always welcome. From time to time, however, if I am working on paying bills or a blog post or designing a quilt, or trying to get my readings done for my bible study, I tell him I can listen for five minutes, and then I need a pocket of silence.

The first time I said it, he looked at me in horrified disbelief, what I was saying was so astonishing to him that he couldn’t even take it in. Once he comprehended, he started laughing, and now he tells his friends he has a wife who needs her “pockets of silence” – and I do. As he has become more relaxed and stress free, he has become chattier. As I live a life of commitments and connections in retirement, I need some times with no talking.

I need silence in my life the way some people need to be around other people hanging out. Silence refreshes me. Silence helps me focus, helps me think things through and develop a strategy. I am never bored with silence; for me silence is a resource I use with great respect and gratitude. I love my family and my friends, and then – I need a pocket of silence.

August 16, 2014 Posted by | Aging, Character, Civility, Communication, Community, Cultural, Family Issues, Generational, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Marriage, Quality of Life Issues, Relationships | 5 Comments

Amazon.com Scam

The first thing I do when I get something like this is to look at the details of the sender’s address. This one says:

service@coupon.com

That does not look like Amazon.com to me!

Screen shot 2014-08-13 at 7.51.28 AM

August 13, 2014 Posted by | Crime, Financial Issues, Lies, Scams | 2 Comments

4801

We have to celebrate every milestone at Here There and Everywhere :-)

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August 11, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, Statistics | 2 Comments

Total WOW at Pot Roast And Pinot

So Pot Roast and Pinot has been open for months now, and although we have heard good things, we couldn’t bring ourselves to go. We hear the food is wonderful. People rave about it. But . . . pot roast? Pot roast is that tasteless Sunday dish anyone can make, stringy meat, watery gravy . . . hmmmmm, no, that doesn’t sound good to me, nor to AdventureMan.

But one day I said “we really have to go, so we can have an informed opinion” and we both kept coming up with alternatives, we were so unenthusiastic. Then, AdventureMan googled the Menu at Pot Roast and Pinot and his opinion shifted. “We should go,” he said, “We should give them a try. Their menu is interesting.”

As we entered, we mentally groaned. It’s all hard surfaces and hard chairs and a hard looking bench along one set of windows. The chairs are not actually hard to sit in, and that is good, because service is relaxed, i.e. slow. They aren’t slow in a bad way, they let you take your time ordering, they don’t rush you. We spend longer at Pot Roast and Pinot than we spend in other restaurants (and we have eaten there twice now). It’s an urban feel, with an open kitchen.

It also gets crowded fast. We’ve been once for lunch, once for dinner, and this is a popular place. Both times, we ended up sitting at ‘high tops’ in chairs I have to climb up on and have difficulty dismounting gracefully.

Those are the negatives.

The meals, the preparation and the presentation overcome the negatives. The food at Pot Roast and Pinot is ripe with robust flavors.

This is what it looks like mid-day inside. I love the frosted windows that let in the light but hide the traffic outside on Cervantes.

00PotRoastPinotInterior

This is the sign on the outside, as well as the logo on their glass. I think they need to be more specific for most people – many won’t guess that it is supposed to be a Pot Roast and Pinot.

00PotRoastPinotGlassLogo

Here is their signature soup, and our first hint of the delights to come – Tomato Florentine Soup. It hits your mouth with a burst of flavor, the ripest intense tomatoes, basil, spinach, it’s all there with some mild but enhancing herbs. A Total WOW.

00PotRoastPinotTomatoFlorentineSoup

My starter was a beet salad, and another ‘oh, WOW.’ Thick, meaty slices of red beets AND a golden beet, woven together, a smokey tomato, very tasty, and a smokey vinaigrette dressing, with a sprinkle of a mild goat cheese. This salad was a rich tapestry of perfectly blended ingredients.

00PotRoastPinotBeetSalad

My main course was a bowl of Gumbo, and this was one of the best Gumbos I have ever eaten. It was a very manly treatment of Gumbo, thicker than most, a rich thick brown roux binding it all together with great big shrimp and spicy bites of andouille and every bite as flavorful as the last. This was so filling, I couldn’t even eat half of it, and I had the rest at night for dinner. It was just as delicious for dinner as it was for lunch. It had a beautiful garnish of deep fried okra on top, wasted on me, as I am not a big fan of okra, but I appreciate the effort and the artistry :-)

00PotRoastPinotGumbo

AdventureMan was in heaven. He ordered the grilled vegetables. He got a plate glistening with a great variety of vegetables, each more luscious than the previous. He said he would order this dish again in a heartbeat, it was so good.

00PotRoastPinotGriledVegetables

We had them pack up our leftovers so we could split a dessert. I love love love the drip-free container for my Gumbo. The lid fits tightly and doesn’t spill a drop, wooo hooooo!

00PotRoastPinotTakeAwaySoup

The Creme Brulee’ changes from day to day, and this day was chock full of huge blueberries. It was perfectly crisped, not burned, with a smooth interior. Magnificent!

00PotRoastPinotCremeBruleeBlueberries

When we went back, it was night (not good for photos) and crowded (not good for photos) and we were with friends (not a good time to take food photos) but the food was equally good. One friend actually ordered the pot roast, of which he ate EVERY bite and declared it very tasty, and another ordered the Surf and Turf special, which was also perfectly prepared.

One friend is totally Gluten Free, and appreciated the goodly number of gluten free options on the menu. She has to be very careful what she eats; when she had questions, the waitstaff were very helpful at getting confirmations for her.

We all enjoyed the Chocolate Mousse for dessert, and I think as much as I like their Creme Brulee’, I am totally hooked on their Chocolate Mousse!

Pedestrian name; world class flavor. Forget the name, go for the flavors. There is no place like this in Pensacola.

August 11, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Experiment, Food | Leave a comment

Putting Pensacola Weather in Perspective

I know, I know, you all are tired of hearing me gripe and groan about heat and humidity. I just had a humbling experience. I finished my Lectionary Readings and went to Weather Underground to see how the weather is shaping up for today and caught a glimpse of Kuwait weather. I have it marked as a favorite so I can see how my friends there are doing.

113°F in Kuwait City.

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At the other extreme is my old hometown, Juneau, Alaska. This is the forecast for today, and the next week or so:

Screen shot 2014-08-09 at 8.39.55 AM

You know, today it’s supposed to be less than 90°F in Pensacola, and the humidity feels lighter today – so far. We are expecting a thunderstorm, and yesterday, the temperature dropped ten 15 degrees at noon as a thunderstorm rolled in – how cool is that? We have those beautiful white sand beaches and a surf as warm as bathwater – 84°F – Pensacola in the heat of August is looking a lot better :-)

August 9, 2014 Posted by | Alaska, Kuwait, Pensacola, Statistics, Weather | Leave a comment

Wayfaring Stranger and James Lee Burke in the Heat of August

Just in time to save August from being my most hated month EVER, a new James Lee Burke novel, Wayfaring Stranger.

Screen shot 2014-08-08 at 8.57.52 PM

LOL, escaping from the relentless heat and humidity of Pensacola, I enter the heat and humidity of Burke country, ranging from the oil fields in Louisiana to the desolate social scene of Houston in the 1950’s.

I got hooked on James Lee Burke in a very cold winter February in Wiesbaden, Germany, when I came across a book called A Morning for Flamingos. I like mysteries, but this was a mystery by a poet! When I read about the what an approaching thunderstorm looks like when you live in a little cabin in New Iberia on Bayou Teche, I was lost. I-don’t-know-how-many books later, I’ve been to New Iberia, had lunch by the Bayou Teche and explored Burke country.

Louisiana is soulful, all those little roads, and sugar cane factories (think True Detective, here) but, (sigh) no matter how colorful, no matter how beautiful, the Louisiana in James Lee Burke’s books is better. He’s been there longer, he has the eye to see that heron, that shiver of wind over the water, that glint of pure evil in a bad guy’s eye. I know you think I am blathering on, but kinda-sorta the Dave Robicheaux detective series are all pretty similar, what changes is the particular social injustice. So this is what hooks me – Burke’s relentless battle against injustice, by writing powerful books that get read by a lot of people, and the elegant prose and philosophy he inserts to lift it way beyond the run of the mill mystery book.

The Wayfaring Stranger is the best yet. It’s not one of the Robicheaux series, it’s part of a Holland series, lawmen whose Texas lives and challenges we’ve read about in previous books. Wayfaring Stranger is the story of Weldon Holland (Burke tells us in an after word that Hollan – no D – is an old Texas family name in his line) who lives with his grandfather and runs into the real Bonnie and Clyde. Fast forward and he is fighting in the Ardennes, and the only reason you have faith he will survive is that there are so many pages ahead of you . . . he and one of his men trek, hop a train, and end up in a deserted death camp, where they find one survivor – a woman. The three of them are surrounded by fighting armies and find safety in a local farm’s cellar.

Oops. I’ve already given away that Weldon survives the battle. It’s hard to write much more without giving too much away. It’s a powerful story, powerfully written. It’s about good men and women and weak men and women and how sometimes an evil person can surprise you with a goodness.

Warning. Once you pick up Wayfaring Stranger, you’ll need a block of time so you can just go ahead and finish it. You won’t be putting it down.

August 8, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Books, Character, Civility, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Social Issues, Survival, Technical Issue, Values, Work Related Issues | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Sanctions 2 Kuwait Al Ajmis for Raising Support for Al Nusra

From 7 August Arab Times

US Sanctions On 3 In Kuwait – ‘FUND EXTREMISTS’
WASHINGTON, Aug 6, (Agencies): The United States imposed sanctions on three men, two of them Kuwaiti, on Wednesday, accusing them of providing money, fighters and weapons to extremists in Iraq and Syria. Under the order, issued by the US Treasury, any assets the men hold in the United States are frozen and American citizens and residents are “generally prohibited” from doing business with them. The order accused Shafi Sultan Mohammed al-Ajmi, 41, and Hajjaj Fahd Hajjaj Muhammad Shabib al-Ajmi, 26, of raising money for the Al-Nusra front, a jihadist group fighting in Syria.

Both men are said to be Kuwaiti, and the elder Al-Ajmi’s street address in Kuwait was given A third man, Abdulrahman Khalafa al- Anizi, whose nationality was not disclosed and who is thought to be around 40 years old, is accused of supporting the so-called Islamic State, formerly al- Qaeda in Iraq. All three have been named a “specially designated global terrorist” by the United States government, which accuses them of soliciting donations for militants from wealthy donors in the Gulf region. “We and our international partners, including the Kuwaiti government, need to act more urgently and effectively to disrupt these terrorist financing efforts,” said Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen.

The Treasury statement alleged that Al-Anizi had worked in the past with al- Qaeda facilitators based in Iran, and that the younger Al-Ajmi had tried to get fellow Kuwaitis into leadership positions in Al-Nusra. The latest US terrorism report on the country noted “increased reports of Kuwait-based private individuals funneling charitable donations and other funds to violent extremist groups outside the country.”

On Tuesday, Kuwait’s social affairs and labor minister, Hind Al-Sabeeh, announced tighter transparency rules to “correct the course” of charities gathering and distributing private donations. The Islamic Affairs Ministry announced on the same day it had suspended all types of cash fundraising inside the country’s mosques, including collections “for the Syrian people.” Unlike some other Gulf states, US ally Kuwait is against arming rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al- Assad. But it has tolerated fundraising in private houses, mosques and on social media.

Earlier this year, Treasury’s Cohen accused Kuwait’s former justice minister of promoting terrorism funding and calling for jihad. The minister subsequently quit. In a speech in Washington in March, Cohen said Kuwait and Qatar in particular needed to do more to prevent humanitarian donations from getting channeled to militant groups.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Counter-terrorism, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Fund Raising, Kuwait, Political Issues, Social Issues, Women's Issues | , | Leave a comment

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