My annual “who knew I’d be blogging for X years?” post has turned into my any-excuse-will-do fun forage for elaborate and gorgeous cakes that I can invite you into my virtual world to sample, stop and chat, have a cup of virtual coffee, mint tea or even sweet fresh water and Iced tea (it’s a Southern thing).
The first cake pays homage to Kuwait and my blogger beginnings. Kuwait was an amazingly lively blogging scene, with some very daring bloggers, a couple of whom have since spent some time in prison for their daring.
Something elegant and exquisite for my fancier friends:
For those who love the beach as I do, love the waves and the seashells:
And for all my friends who are kids in their hearts, like us.❤
I know my limits, and elaborate Eiffel tower cookies are outside my area of capability, but if you are painstaking and detail oriented, I have added a website where you can see, step by step, how to make these for yourself. I myself will just stand here and gobble as you head for the cakes🙂
I’m surprised every year that I’ve kept at this. In truth, it was so much easier in Kuwait and in Qatar and all the traveling back and forth, there was so much more material! Now, my life is more private, and while blogging is a blessing, there may come a time when I say “enough.” Let’s raise our cups to another good year🙂
“What do you wear when it gets this hot?” they asked me, “like around the home?”
I laughed. I learned a thing or two in Tunis, in Amman, in Tabuk and Riyadh, in Kuwait and in Doha. At home, I dress like local women, in long loose dresses.
Or worse. I dress like their maids. In the souks you could find wonderful, 100% cotton dresss that were loose and flowing, and that is good in hot weather so the air can circulate. Some of the dresses were nicer, but the dresses I liked a lot for just being around the house doing what people do, like making sure the dishes are done and a meal prepped, doing a little quilting or reading . . . you could buy these great little dresses for about $3.00 in the souks. Not only were they practical – especially when you live in a house with a cat, and always put on “real” clothes just as you are about to run out the door so you don’t have any cat hair on you – but they came in great colors and prints, designs that made me happy to put them on.
Now, one of my all time favorite dresses, in purple and black, has bit the dust. I liked it because it had some geometrics, and the geometrics changed, and – it was purple. I have worn it for about six years now, and I have worn it out. I mended it several times when the underarm seams ripped:
I like this dress so much I am saving it and cutting it up so it will have another new life as a quilt🙂
And I am thinking it is time to plan a trip back to Doha and Kuwait to replenish my hot weather dresses🙂
I had a really super group of diplomats in town this week, really smart people dealing with serious topics – arms control, human rights, freedom of the press, immigration – and the appointments were fabulous. They were greeted at Baskervile-Donovan by a German speaker, coffee and cakes, and the presentation was a clear outline on corporate fund raisers, goals, and candidate selection.
We had a few extra minutes before our next appointment, and as we were just next door to Joe Patti’s, I took them there for a peek into life for “real” Pensacolians. Of course, they loved Joe Patti’s.
While I was there, my phone rang and it was a stranger, telling me she had a package for me from a friend in Kuwait. When could she bring it by?
You know how sometimes it’s hard to think? My mind was full with my delegation, but I set a time – and I was at Joe Pattis, so I quickly bought some cookies to serve and headed out for our next appointment.
When I said goodbye to the delegation for the last time and headed home, I put the coffee on and prepared for my Kuwait guests. They arrived and we had a wonderful visit, a friend in common and lots to talk about. And oh my, the packet my friend sent, full of fabrics from the Kuwait souks, a care package for my quilting addiction:
Even better – and it feels so wonderful to have a friend who understands me so well – look at the bag she sent them in! It is SO adorable! It is something I would have bought in a heartbeat, so unique, so special! My heart is dancing with ideas for a new quilt!
Thank you, Hayfa🙂 for a real treat, both the fabrics and the friend you sent to carry the package🙂
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.
At the other extreme is my old hometown, Juneau, Alaska. This is the forecast for today, and the next week or so:
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🙂
I can move mountains! Today it dawned cool! I walked in the garden with my coffee, I turned off the A/C and opened all the doors and windows to get all the stuffiness out AND I re-organized our pantry.
Sounds easy? LOL. It is easy when you move every couple years, or every six months. You get rid of a lot of stuff. Once you settle, you really have to watch out, STUFF begins to accumulate. Like for some reason, I ran out of mustard once, and then every time I was grocery shopping for a while I would buy another mustard so I would be sure not to run out, and now I have like 11 mustards, no two the same, German mustards, Chinese mustards, French mustards, no, no, I won’t be running out any time soon.
AdventureMan had made a list for me at the commissary yesterday, including Penne for a Pasta Putanesca he was making to celebrate my return, he’s not so hot on anchovies, but he did a bang-up job on one of my all-time favorite pastas ever. As I cleaned out today, I found two more boxes of penne.
We changed over to a tankless water system last week, it just seems like a good idea. When we bought the house, one thing made me nervous, the hot water tank was in the pantry, right in the middle of the house. Hot water heaters fail, they all do, eventually, and when it goes, it can leak all over everywhere. The first time it happened to me, we were out of town and it took a week to get all the carpeting and walls dried out. So I traded worrying about a leaking hot water tank for worrying about a gas explosion, aarrgh. Actually, it’s pretty safe. We used tankless systems all the years we lived in Germany, and I really liked them. It feels right, just heating the water when you use it, not holding it – and heating it – when you are not.
So now the big water tank is gone, and I brought in new shelving, and put that together, it was almost idiot-proof, almost . . .
That took most of the day, putting the new shelving in, clearing the shelves, sorting out the items, labeling the shelves so AdventureMan can find what he needs, although to me, it all SEEMS very logical, signs saying “Condiments” “Oriental Condiments” “Back-up Baking Supplies” “Tomato things” “Soups” and “Canned Sea Food”, etc. I did not label the pasta and rice; they just seemed so obvious.
All this with doors and windows open and the most heavenly breeze blowing through; give me the right climate and I can move a mountain! I got the laundry all done as I was re-organizing the pantry, I even cleaned out one of the spice drawers (getting rid of spices kept from Kuwait and Qatar because I couldn’t bear to part with them, but four years . . .) it’s time, and they aren’t really good any more.
AdventureMan brought our adorable four year old grandson over to play, and we got to chat a little. There is nothing like a four year old snuggle, and conversations with him are always so interesting and so direct, it’s so refreshing🙂
And at the end of the day, there is even time to sit outside in the bright, cool, breezy sunlight sipping a glass of tea and watching all the birds come in for one last bite before bed time.
A heavenly day.
Thank you, Desert Girl, for making known this wonderful video on earlier times in Kuwait. It brings back so many wonderful memories of our time as a young family in the Middle East and North Africa in the late 70’s and 80’s.
And thank you Ammar Alabbad for a wonderful production. I love this film.