Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“You’re Not Southern – You’re Arab!”

My mind works in quirky ways, and yesterday as I was setting up for the hands-on Heirloom Feathers workshop with Cindy Needham, one of the good local Pensacola quilters was telling her how you can tell a Southerner from a Northerner.

“If you go to a Southerner’s house, they’ll ask you first thing if you’d like a drink of water, or iced tea or something, but if you go into a Northerner’s house, you can sit there for five hours and they won’t offer you ANYTHING!”

I grinned to myself, no, I have learned to censor these thoughts. But I couldn’t help it.

“You’re not a Southerner,” I am thinking, “You’re ARAB!”

I thought about a long ago trip through Morocco, we have a rental car and on our way from Ouazazarte to Marrakesh, on an isolated stretch of the road, we see a car in trouble. We stop and ask if we can help, if the man would like a lift to the next town. He tells us no, he wants to stay with the car, but asks if we would go to such and such service station and tell his uncle he needs help, and where he is.

Of course.

Screen shot 2013-03-30 at 4.47.18 PM

We drive into town, find the service station, and find the young man’s uncle, who is the owner. He sends help.

Did I mention it was Ramadan? No eating or drinking in public from dawn to dusk?

The owner insisted we come into his house, and seated us in his diwaniyya, and sent in mint tea and luscious almond-filled dates to refresh us. We said “No! No! It’s Ramadan!” but he told us it was his honor. He sat while we drank and ate.

Such enormous hospitality. Such grace. We only stayed a very short time; we still had a long drive, but I’ve never forgotten his hospitality.

Then again, it was Southern Morocco. 🙂 Maybe he was Southern.

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Character, Cold Drinks, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Hot drinks, Morocco, Pensacola, Road Trips, Travel | Leave a comment

The Week Flew By

Yesterday when I got home from a day-long seminar on Heirloom Feathers (a follow up to another one earlier in the week on making quilts from Heirloom linens), with Cindy Needham, well-known expert and instructor, (that’s Cindy giving us an extra demo during lunch on how to do beading embellishments while on an airplane)


I found a huge bouquet of flowers from my sister and her husband, who had been house guests this week. It’s one of those gorgeous days we have a few of in Spring, warm and sunny, not too hot, and oh, this bouquet looks like Spring. Arriving home and finding this gorgeous bouquet just made my heart laugh. Can you see the Easter Bunny? We had time to walk and talk, to laugh and share stories, and we were able to take them to Five Sisters. We hope they come back soon 🙂


We’ve had a busy week. AdventureMan is getting ready for the big Expo and garden sale in May, we expect our next set of house guests tomorrow morning, and meanwhile, we have our normal daily busy lives to follow. Tonight we meet up with friends we love, people who spend their lives doing good for others, and with whom we always have great conversations, and tomorrow, early, we pick up the house guests, get them settled in, and share an Easter banquet with them, and with our son, his wife, our sweet little grandson and her mother and her husband.

I found a wonderful new Spring salad recipe to share with you 🙂 Very easy, very good:

Spring Asparagus Salad

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Whisk together the rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and mustard. Drizzle in the peanut oil and sesame oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify. Set aside.

2. Bring a pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the water and cook 3 to 5 minutes until just tender, but still mostly firm. Remove and rinse under cold water to stop from cooking any further.

3. Place the asparagus in a large bowl and drizzle the dressing over the asparagus. Toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Tomorrow is our happiest of holidays, the day that sin and death are defeated and HOPE for all mankind is welcomed joyfully into the world. Happy Easter, my friends.

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cooking, Cultural, Easter, Family Issues, Florida, Food, Friends & Friendship, Gardens, Living Conditions, Pensacola | 2 Comments