Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Halloween Warning 2

(Thanks again to my Kuwaiti friend who gets all the good things and passes them to me. 🙂  )

Cabbie picks up a Nun.  She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won’t stop staring at her.

She asks him why he is staring.

He replies: “I have a question to ask, but I don’t want to offend you”

She answers, “My son, you cannot offend me. When you’re as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything.  I’m sure that there’s nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.”

“Well, I’ve always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me.”

She responds, “Well, let’s see what we can do about that:  #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic.”

The cab driver is very excited and says, “Yes, I’m single and Catholic!

“OK” the nun says. “Pull into the next alley.”

The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

“My dear child,” said the nun, “Why are you crying?”

“Forgive me but I’ve sinned.  I lied and I must confess; I’m married and I’m Jewish.”

The nun says, “That’s OK.  My name is Kevin and I’m going to a Halloween party.”


October 31, 2010 Posted by | Cultural, Halloween, Holiday, Humor | 3 Comments

Halloween Post Mortem

Hallowe’en is really more a cultural tradition these days than a religious event. We no longer worry about spirits walking around on Hallowe’en, and wear costumes to try to scare them away from us. In fact, many of the trick-or-treaters who came by our house last night were pretty! There were fairies, and little mermaids, and some very alluring witches.

In fact, there were so many trick-or-treaters that we ran out! How embarrassing! I thought I had a LOT, but there were more trick-or-treaters than we had treats.

It was a great evening, altogether, and next year I will know better.

Here is our not-scary pumpkin. I wish you could see the ears – it is an orange cat pumpkin, in honor of the Qatteri Cat.


All the visitors made the Qatteri Cat jumpy. He was happy to stay inside and hide with all the action in the streets last night.

November 1, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cross Cultural, Doha, Entertainment, Family Issues, Halloween, Living Conditions, Pets, Qatar, Qatteri Cat | Leave a comment

Halloween Baby

You won’t hear all mother-in-laws say things like this, but you’ll hear me say it, and often – we are so lucky. Our son chose a wife who is a true companion, and whose style suits our own, sometimes so much it is scary.

They are expecting a baby – and she is beginning to be “great with child”. She wrote us this morning that she won a Halloween costume contest. We knew they were toying with the concept, but the reality is hilarious. Alien!


Saturday mornings can be depressing for us, as AdventureMan heads back to his job. Not so this morning – we were dying laughing!

October 31, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Family Issues, Halloween, Humor, Marriage, Relationships | 5 Comments

Halloween and Extreme Pumpkins


All it took was one Google: pumpkins carved

It took me to Extreme, and it will give you minutes of helpless laughter. People are SO creative!

Yesterday I bought a pumpkin, not the traditional American sugar pumpkin with it’s thin skin, but a thick, ribbed Indian squash, and when I took it, the clerk said “You want the WHOLE thing??”

It’s not that big. But normally, people buying this kind of squash here buy it in pieces, not as an entire (carvable 🙂 ) pumpkin.

This is not my pumpkin; it is another from Extreme I am making cat pumpkins this year. 🙂

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Food, Halloween, Humor, Living Conditions | 5 Comments

Where to Start a Difficult Conversation?

“Mom,” my son started out, “I have some bad news.”

My heart sank. They are expecting a baby in late January. Please Lord, let this baby be OK.

He starts into a long story, which has to do with an old friend who lost a job, who is staying with them temporarily, who has been very helpful, and on and on and on; I live in a family where nuances are important, and details help understand the conclusions, but it is hard to hold your breath that long!

Then he gets to the point. While he and his wife were at work, the friend was in the house recovering from jet-lag and it started raining hard. His friend thought he heard drips in the attic, and upon exploration, they discovered a small leak in the roof. He will call the contractor we work with, but he wanted me to know.

Bad news?

“Son!” I said, laughing, “when you start a sentence with ‘I have bad news,’ it needs to be followed immediately with ‘I am OK, my wife is OK and the baby is OK’ so I don’t have a heart attack!”

We both laughed. He said “yeh, I thought about that about halfway through the explanation, but I didn’t want to break the train of thought.”

When you have bad news, get it out on the table. Start with “I have bad news, (fill in the blank.)” Then go into the background, and the proposed solutions. My son did everything right, except for the part about I was scared for him and his wife and the baby.

On the other hand, after all that build-up, I was so happy that it seemed like such a small problem, compared to the possibilities.

My husband tells a joke, the point of which is to build up gently to bad news. Not to start with “the cat is dead” but to start with “the cat was on the roof . . . ” The day came when I had to call him with some very bad news, and because I am wired to laugh in the face of the worst things that can happen (it is a sort of hysterical reaction, I have to work hard to control myself at funerals and weddings, I cry at weddings and want to laugh at funerals. The big things are just too overwhelming for me so I react inappropriately. Our family joke is that “inappropriate” is the grown-up word for “stupid”) I had a very hard time not starting off with “the cat was on the roof,” which would have been totally inappropriate but I was overwhelmed, knew I needed to let him know immediately, and you think when you get to be a grown-up you will have all the answers, but we don’t. We really don’t. Like you, we do the best we can.

What I really like was that when our son gave us the bad news, he also had a proposal for how to handle it. Wooo HOOO.

Then he told us they are planning their Halloween costumes. First, because his wife is now very visibly pregnant, they were looking for a cheap doll to take apart and glue some appendages coming out of her little basketball-tummy, but now they are looking for tentacles, a la “Alien”. LLLLOOOOLLLLL! I thought it would be the perfect occasion to wear her wedding dress, our son could wear a tuxedo and the friend could go as the angry-Papa, carrying a shotgun. Yes, we are a little weird in our family, but we have a great time.

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Biography, Building, Character, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Friends & Friendship, Halloween, Living Conditions, Relationships | 11 Comments

Halloween and Your Pet

I got these reminders today from Pet Food Direct who sends the Qatteri Cat’s special diet food every month or so. These are great things to keep in mind, especially shutting your pet away when a thousand strangely dressed creatures are coming to the door!


Keep your pet in a safe, secure, and quiet area of your home during trick-or-treating. Many pets can be scared of kids dressed in costume, the constant ringing of the doorbell, or traffic in and out of the house. Keeping your pet in a secure area away from all of the action will help keep your pet relaxed and will help prevent escape. Be sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags just in case!

Keep your pets indoors during Halloween eve and leading up to Halloween. Cats – black ones in particular – often fall victim to pranksters. Keep cats safely indoors. Visit for more information.

Try to avoid taking your dog trick-or-treating because this can be very stressful to your pet. If you do decide to take your pet out on Halloween eve, make sure they are properly restrained with a reflective collar and leash and make sure they are well supervised.

When decorating your home for Halloween, keep loose wires, open flames, decorations, and Jack-o-lanterns out of your pets’ reach. Pets are curious creatures by nature so these materials can attract their attention and potentially cause harm to them.

Keeping candy out of reach from your pet is very important, too. Chocolate can be poisonous to a dog or cat and candy wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction if ingested. If you think your pet has ingested candy, call your veterinarian immediately and/or contact ASPCA poison control. Poison control charges a $60 fee, but it is well spent should your pet get into trouble. Instead of chocolate, have your pets’ favorite treats handy for them to enjoy!!!

I hope all your family members – including your pets — have a fun, safe, and happy Halloween!

October 25, 2009 Posted by | Halloween, Health Issues, Humor, Pets, Safety | 7 Comments



What happened is that two years ago I wrote a post called Halloween Warning and it got a little attention, but this year, people would Google “halloween” and then they would come to this blog entry.

It’s like how can you get all wrapped up in statistics when what happens is so random and unpredictable? On Halloween day, I got 3,172 hits. I’m a very limited blogger, I don’t have the kind of blog that attracts huge numbers – and while that may look like a huge number, it is discouraging when I know that I may never see a figure like that again.

My top all time posts are led by a picture of a birthday cake. I admit, it is a gorgeous cake, I spent a lot of time looking for just the right cake, but . . . my all time high?


There is nothing like blogging to keep you humble, and from taking yourself too seriously. :-/

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Halloween, Humor, Statistics | 7 Comments

Halloween Sunrise

Boooooooooooooooooo! Good Morning, Kuwait, and a chilly autumn Halloween morning it is:

How COOOOOOOOOL is that? Sweater weather?

The sun rose all golden and smokey looking this morning, there are strings of fishing dhows on the horizon and life is sweet:

Have a great day, Kuwait.

October 31, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Halloween, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 9 Comments

Why Dogs Hate Halloween

A friend sent me a very long e-mail this morning, full of photos like these. I am only sharing these with you at the end of the work day because I don’t want your boss to hear you laughing out loud: 🙂

Can you imagine? Have they no pride, no dignity? A dog will be a good sport and will go along with just about anything. A cat will scratch your eyes out if you are even thinking about it! LLOOLL

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Halloween, Humor, Pets | | 9 Comments

Boston Pumpkin Carving Contest

Unbelievable. Thousands – thousands of pumpkins.

October 31, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Halloween | , , | 7 Comments