Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Words for Life

From The Lectionary readings for Friday, October 26:

Sirach 11:2-20

2 Do not praise individuals for their good looks,
or loathe anyone because of appearance alone.
3 The bee is small among flying creatures,
but what it produces is the best of sweet things.
4 Do not boast about wearing fine clothes,
and do not exalt yourself when you are honoured;
for the works of the Lord are wonderful,
and his works are concealed from humankind.
5 Many kings have had to sit on the ground,
but one who was never thought of has worn a crown.
6 Many rulers have been utterly disgraced,
and the honoured have been handed over to others.

7 Do not find fault before you investigate;
examine first, and then criticize.
8 Do not answer before you listen,
and do not interrupt when another is speaking.
9 Do not argue about a matter that does not concern you,
and do not sit with sinners when they judge a case.

10 My child, do not busy yourself with many matters;
if you multiply activities, you will not be held blameless.
If you pursue, you will not overtake,
and by fleeing you will not escape.
11 There are those who work and struggle and hurry,
but are so much the more in want.
12 There are others who are slow and need help,
who lack strength and abound in poverty;
but the eyes of the Lord look kindly upon them;
he lifts them out of their lowly condition
13 and raises up their heads
to the amazement of many.

14 Good things and bad, life and death,
poverty and wealth, come from the Lord.*
17 The Lord’s gift remains with the devout,
and his favour brings lasting success.
18 One becomes rich through diligence and self-denial,
and the reward allotted to him is this:
19 when he says, ‘I have found rest,
and now I shall feast on my goods!’
he does not know how long it will be
until he leaves them to others and dies.

20 Stand by your agreement and attend to it,
and grow old in your work

October 26, 2012 Posted by | Lectionary Readings, Relationships, Spiritual | Leave a comment

Eid Mubarak! Blessings of Eid 2012

There is one God, and he created us all. May your worship draw you close to God, and may his blessings abound for you and for your families.

October 26, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cross Cultural, Eid, Faith, Spiritual | 2 Comments

It’s Demographics . . .

I never thought I would see this day:

I remember when we lived in the Tampa area, we had a mortgage at 8%. We were selling the house, and I got a lot of calls from people who wanted me to take my next mortgage with them. I remember one guy, when I laughed at the rate he offered me, he asked what rate I thought I could get. I said 6% – and I told him, it’s demographics. The baby boomers are aging and are going to start selling or downsizing. There isn’t going to be the same market for housing that there used to be. He laughed at me and wished me luck before hanging up.

I think I got the next mortgage around 7%. We only had it five years and paid it off, and when we got the next mortgage, it was at 5.5% and we laughed every time we made a payment.

When we bought this house, we had a mortgage at 4%. To me, I had thought 6% was about the lowest mortgages could go, I was so so so so wrong.

Now, when I see these mortgage rates, I feel like I SHOULD buy something, but we are all paid off and we don’t need anything more. It sure is tempting, but it’s like Sam’s Club, where you get a great deal on nutmeg, if you need 10 lbs of nutmeg, but who can use ten pounds of nutmeg in a lifetime? It just doesn’t make sense, but the low rate is SO tempting . . .

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Social Issues | Leave a comment

Benghazi Terrorist Suspect Extradited from Turkey to Tunisia

Turkey originally arrested two suspects early in October; you can read the article here. It is also from the HuffPost. Huff Post


TUNIS, Tunisia — A Tunisian man who was arrested in Turkey this month with reported links to the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya is facing terrorism charges, his lawyer said Wednesday, as an Egyptian official said a militant suspected of involvement was killed in clashes in Cairo.

Ali Harzi was repatriated to Tunisia on Oct. 11 by authorities in Turkey, and a judge issued his arrest warrant, lawyer Ouled Ali Anwar told The Associated Press. He said his client was told by a judge Tuesday that he has been charged with “membership of a terrorist organization in a time of peace in another country.”

A person who saw Harzi’s court dossier told The Associated Press that the file links him to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.

He said Harzi is one of two Tunisians reportedly arrested Oct. 3 in Turkey when they tried to enter the country with false passports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. Harzi’s alleged role in the attack is not clear.

Anwar denied there was any evidence that Ali was implicated in the attacks. He added his client was not using a fake passport, saying he was a “scapegoat to satisfy the Americans.”

The charge against Harzi is punishable by six to 12 years in prison, according to the provisions of the anti-terrorist law in force in Tunisia since 2003.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. has been looking into the arrests of two Tunisian men being detained in Turkey reportedly in connection with the attacks. The State Department in Washington had no further comment on Wednesday.

A U.S. intelligence official was cautious about the Tunisian arrest, saying that the Tunisians have so far not allowed American officials to interview the suspect, so the U.S. is not yet certain how directly he is connected to the attack.

The suspect has ties to both Ansar al-Shariah and Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, as do most like-minded militants in the region, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

Tunisian Interior Ministry spokesman Tarrouch Khaled confirmed that Harzi was in custody in Tunis. Khaled said “his case is in the hands of justice,” but he would not elaborate further.

In Egypt, a security official said a local militant suspected of involvement in the attack was killed in clashes in Cairo when he attacked approaching Egyptian forces.

The official said the man, known only by his first name, Hazem, recently returned from Libya and kept weapons in his hideout. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said an investigation into the man’s possible involvement in the consulate attack is under way.

This is the first time an Egyptian has been declared a suspect in the attack.


Kimberly Dozier in Washington and Sarah El Deeb in Cairo contributed to this report.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Tunisia | , | Leave a comment

Eid Mubarak Statistic

In just half a day, I have a full day’s statistics, LOL, thanks to the Eid al Adha, the big Eid coming up this Friday, October 26th. In the six years I have managed this blog, I’ve sent out many Eid Mubarak messages, and now they are coming back to me, at least statistically:

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Eid, Statistics, Technical Issue | Leave a comment

Foods a la Louisiane: Jambalaya

Did I tell you I collect cookbooks? One of the guidelines I use is that the cookbook have the name of a person attached to each recipe; if your name is on a recipe going into a book, you know you are going to be very careful that this recipe is really, really good.

I don’t remember buying this cookbook, but it is a gem. On the other hand, there have been some surprises . . . there is a recipe for making boudin, that ubiquitous Cajun sausage, and it starts off with “1 large hoghead.” The directions state that you boil the hog’s head until tender, let it cool, remove meat from bones, then grind hoghead meat with heart, kidney, onions, parsley, etc. in a meat grinder.

Thank goodness boudin is not a favorite of mine. Andouille, a spicier sausage, IS a favorite of mine and if I see a recipe for andouille, I am NOT going to look at it.

I love making jambalaya – and here is a genuine Louisiana recipe:

1/2 cup vegetable oil or drippings
2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Red Pepper to taste
Pepper to taste
Browning agent or 2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet
2 lbs peeled raw shrimp
4 cups long grain rice

Heat oil over low heat in a heavy 6 quart Dutch oven until warmed. Add vegetables; saute until lightly browned. Add enough water to cover vegetables; add seasoning and browning agent. Bring to a boil; add shrimp. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in rice; cook 10 minutes. Cover and cook until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Yield 10 – 12 servings.

I do jambalaya all the time (DISCLAIMER: I am neither a Louisiana native nor of Cajun descent, so what I do cannot be taken as authentic, even if it is tasty 🙂 ) and I use more spices, chopped tomatoes and I don’t add the shrimp until the rice is cooked; I add it at the end and give it five minutes for the heat of the rice and cooked ingredients to cook the shrimp. We also use andouille sausage (or a turkey sausage if we are entertaining Moslem friends) and some cut artichoke hearts, maybe a small jar of pimentos, maybe some leftover peas. Sort of like a jambalaya/paella 🙂

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Books, Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, NonFiction, Recipes | | 4 Comments

Romney Tax Plan

This is not meant to be a political endorsement; it is just that some people are so funny – this made me laugh out loud. Thanks Little Diamond 🙂

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Political Issues | Leave a comment

My Wealth and My Treasure . . .

Blessings abound when you have faithful friends! Blessings on my friends, and know I am thinking of you as I write this, each and every one-in-a-thousand 🙂 From today’s readings in The Lectionary:

Sirach 6:5-17

5 Pleasant speech multiplies friends,
and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
6 Let those who are friendly with you be many,
but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
7 When you gain friends, gain them through testing,
and do not trust them hastily.
8 For there are friends who are such when it suits them,
but they will not stand by you in time of trouble.
9 And there are friends who change into enemies,
and tell of the quarrel to your disgrace.
10 And there are friends who sit at your table,
but they will not stand by you in time of trouble.
11 When you are prosperous, they become your second self,
and lord it over your servants;
12 but if you are brought low, they turn against you,
and hide themselves from you.
13 Keep away from your enemies,
and be on guard with your friends.

14 Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter:
whoever finds one has found a treasure.
15 Faithful friends are beyond price;
no amount can balance their worth.
16 Faithful friends are life-saving medicine;
and those who fear the Lord will find them.
17 Those who fear the Lord direct their friendship aright,
for as they are, so are their neighbours also.

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Character, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Lectionary Readings, Relationships, Spiritual | Leave a comment

Carmina Burana Flashmob: Your WeekEnd Treat

I love it when an orchestra has a sense of humor 🙂

October 20, 2012 Posted by | Germany, Music | 4 Comments

Jonah and Nineveh

We tell our children the story about Jonah and the Whale, but often, the story ends there, with Jonah deciding to trust God and be obedient. To me, it is the rest of the story that is more interesting.

First, I have pious acquaintances who will pronounce “God never changes his mind” and yet . . . here, and in many other places, God relents against a prior judgement. He listens, and he has compassion.

Second, what is this toddler-like behavior when God does not destroy Nineveh? Jonah was rescued from the belly of the great fish/whale, and yet he pouts and is angry when God delivers Nineveh from a fiery destruction? He is downcast when the bush withers?

Third, At the very end, God asks should he not be concerned, when there are so many people, 120,000, who don’t know their right from their left AND MANY ANIMALS. I love it that God is also concerned about the condition of the animals, and shudder to think of the price people will have to pay in the after life who treat an animal with cruelty.

From today’s Lectionary readings:

Jonah 3:1-10,4:1-11

3 The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2 ‘Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.’ 3 So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, ‘Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: ‘By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. 8 Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.’

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
4But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3 And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ 4 And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ 5 Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.

6 The Lord God appointed a bush,* and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. 7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

9 But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ 10 Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Charity, Cross Cultural, Interconnected, Lectionary Readings, Living Conditions, Spiritual, Values, Work Related Issues | Leave a comment