Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Qatteri Cat’s Five Under Five

As told to me by the Qatteri Cat:

1. The sound of Dad’s key in the door when he comes home.

2. Tuna water

3. Sleeping on my back in the last remaining spot of sunshine

4. Cat mint! Cat grass! Catnip!

5. Snuggling up to Mom on a cold winter day.

June 30, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pets, Relationships, Tag | 6 Comments

Five Under Five Tag – You’re It!

It’s a slow summer day, not a lot going on, so let’s play.

I was making the Pasta Melanzane and added some sun-dried tomatoes when the smell suddenly reached my nose and I was caught by the sweet intensity of the smell. I thought to myself “so much flavor! and at so little cost!” and it started a whole train of thought.

What gives your life pleasure and doesn’t cost much? Here are the rules – the cost of your pleasure must be under 5KD (under $20 for my USA players). See if you can think of five. If you find more than five, you can list those too, if you want – the rules here are pretty vague. so – give me five!

Here are mine:

1. The sound of my husband whistling – it means he is feeling peaceful, even happy.

2. Moments with my family when I suddenly realize how special they are, and truly treasure our time together.

3. The intense flavor of sun-dried tomatoes.

4. The sound of waves crashing onto the shore.

5. The smell of the sea, cloves, lavender, baked apples, roasting meat, a fresh pine Christmas tree,
the first rain in a dry, dusty country.

Bonus: The smell of Comfort fabric softener on laundered underwear. ๐Ÿ™‚

The sound of my friend’s voice when I don’t expect a call from her.

June 30, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Relationships, Tag | 4 Comments

Unspectacular Quirks Tag

My friend 3baid tagged me for the 6 Unspectacular Quirks tag.

The Rules:
Link the person(s) who tagged you.
Mention the rules on your blog.
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggerโ€™s blogs letting them know theyโ€™ve been tagged.

1. In a family of spectacular women, I am a mouse. And yet, after lo these many years, my husband still finds me interesting, so I guess I have something going for me. Men like me, trust me, and work well with me, like a sister.

2. I prefer organization to chaos. My clothes are organized by item and then by color. I don’t like drawers, where things hide and get lost, I like shelves, where I can see things.

3. I have always had to make lists and keep calendars so I can remember things, so no, it’s not creeping dementia, it is just a time of information and option overload.

4. I’m a morning person, I have to have had a nap to be any good after ten at night, and I refuse to discuss finances with AdventureMan after nine p.m.

5. Being a believer is a big part of my life, but you guessed that, didn’t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Whether it’s my religion or yours, when people start telling me how I am supposed to live my life, I get real nervous, and feel LESS inclined to follow their rules, rather than more.

6. I like listening and asking questions a whole lot more than talking and giving my opinion. Odd thing for a blogger to say, I guess!

I was sort of hoping no one would notice I hadn’t done this one yet, but the problem is that now there are so few people left to tag!

1. BoJacob
2. Erzulie
3. Fonzy
4. ะฏ at Farragoes
5. Shopaholic
6. Teagirl

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Biography, Blogging, Tag | 13 Comments

Seven Things Tag

Seven things I plan to do:

1. Get more exercise
2. See Canada and the US
3. Be a good aunt
4. Take care of my husband
5. Eat more locally
6. Go back to Alaska for a visit
7. Love God, love my neighbor as myself (I think that is supposed to be #1)

Seven things I can do:

1. Write
2. Spin stories for media
3. Make intuitive connections
4. Calm a terrified child or friend
5. Keep friends for years ๐Ÿ™‚
6. Tip generously
7. Speak in public

Seven things I canโ€™t do:

1. Ride a bicycle
2. Run on pavement (knees)
3. Have more than three “things” in one day
4. Lie and get away with it
5. Pass a hungry cat without feeding it if I can
6. Listen to gossip
7. Get by without sleep

Seven things I say the most:

1. Good Morning!
2. Thanks be to God
3. Is this a good time?
4. Aaaarrrgghhh!
5. Who is this?
6. Ayb!
7. 3asel!

I tag Mirror Polisher, who used to be Magical Droplets,, q80Saracen, and Yousef at Some Contrast.

April 26, 2008 Posted by | Biography, Blogging, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Tag | 5 Comments

The Purg’s Not-Tag

The Purg has non-tagged us to link to The Purgatorian Blog with things that fascinate us.

It fascinates me that thirty year olds are sounding like really really OLD people, criticizing the young people just the way the adults used to criticize them, their choice in music, their ideas of fashion and I wonder how we change from young people who explore new ideas into old people who criticize new ideas?

It fascinates me that although we became “human” so long ago, we find the most amazing reasons to beat up on each other, kill each other, torture each other, and if you just step back a step or two, you begin to see that all the reasons to fight one another are flimsy compared to the great miracle of our creation. I wonder if we are really civilized? I wonder just how thin the veneer of civilization really is? How little it takes to turn us back into beasts?

It fascinates me how the things we own really own us. I have a horror of being forced, in the afterlife, to carry all the THINGS I consider important in this life on my back, like a turtle with it’s shell.

It fascinates me the trivia I give my attention to, the time I WASTE when I have things I really need to do.

I am fascinated by the darkness we all carry within us, and the heroic people I know who strive on a daily basis to overcome that darkness, to give their best in every situation, with earthly good humor and humility.

The Purg sent out this not-challenge to anyone interested to write a post on the sorts of thoughts that fascinate you.

February 17, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Character, Random Musings, Tag | 19 Comments

Tagged by This Lady

Some tags are silly, but fun. This one . . . someone took some time. These questions are genuinely thought provoking. Thanks for tagging me, Lady.

*Do your closest friends have any nicknames for you? No. If they do, they don’t use it to my face! But when I have grandchildren, I am going to be called “Shisha.” I won’t tell you why, but it has nothing to do with smoking.
*What would your ex-(boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse) say about you in one sentence? “Life just isn’t the same without you.”
*What is the greatest achievement of your life so far? Staying married for years and years and years, and producing a son who is a successful adult. Sharing the triumphs of his graduation(s) and career and marriage with his father/ my husband.
*How should people think of sex in this, the 21st century? Often, and with joy.
*Where would you live if anywhere was possible? If anything were possible, I would live in a house with a view of the sea and mountains.
*Is there a religion that’s fulfilling for you and/or the masses? I am a Christian, and one who has come to believe that the ultimate truth will be a grand adventure. We all have glimpses, and we are limited. One day, we will see clearly, and not “through the glass, darkly.”
*What inspires awe in your life’s experience? People who create something out of nothing. People with vision who make things happen.
*What was/is your best pick-up line? The most interesting women don’t need a line; they are good listeners.
*What and when is the most potent emotion you’ve ever experienced and why? Anger. I am not an angry person, but once I knew I could kill to protect my son. On the very rare occasion when I get angry, my anger scares me, my primitive nature scares me.
*On what occasions do you act self-absorbed or just plain selfish? When I am tired past being able to sleep, or sick past being able to be gracious, or depressed beyond my ability to fight on. Then I need quiet, and rest, and miso soup, and to just curl into a ball until it’s passed.
*If someone assigned you a quest, or if you decided your own, what would you be looking to find? I would want to find the secret to helping us all just get along.
*If you had to choose between them, would you live in Hollywood, Washington D.C. or New York, and why? Oh please! Spare me. Neither!
*Who or what makes you feel “wholeโ€? I feel whole when my spiritual life, my family life and my friend-life are all in order.
*Where is your greatest opportunity for change? I love living in places where my husband and I can walk. I feel the need for walking as exercise.
*What do you consider to be the greatest opportunity for humankind? To learn to live together, and to find a fair way to allocate resources.
*What surprises you about getting older? The betrayals of the body. Inside, you are still young!
*What or who makes you feel younger or rejuvenated? Walking, a good haircut, a great conversation.
*Where or when do you feel most alone? When my husband and I disagree.
*Where or how is society most ripe for change? When people are willing to step forward and take their part in making changes.
*Do you think of yourself as attractive to the opposite sex? ๐Ÿ˜‰
*When or where do you feel the most free? In Seatttle, on the west coast, women are about as close to being equal people as I have ever hoped to see. I feel most free there.
*What is the greatest memory of your life to date? The night I discovered my brain had not turned to jello during childbirth and child-raising. You can read about it here.
*Where and when did you find out who you really are? A female mentor laughed and said “you have no idea yet what you are capable of” and I was so shocked I decided to start finding out.
*How and when do you collect your thoughts and why? I take a bath. I wash off any defilement and pray for discernment.
*If someone told you when and where you would die, what would you do immediately after being told? I would thank God for the many many blessings he has given me, especially seeing our son dance at his wedding, and living happily, and for the years I have had with my husband, and the lively and exciting life we have had together, then I would make lunch dates with my dearest friends one-on-one, to say goodbye and thank them for their contributions to my life.
*What are the best parts of being in love? Learning how many many kinds of love their are, and that love is a verb, and a choice.
*What’s your favorite libation (a drink offered to a god)? I really like coffee! And ginger beer (it is not really beer)
*What “life philosophies” have you adopted since you’ve become an adult? Serve God first, live life so that you have no regrets, stay out of debt, invest for the future, life’s true riches are the blessings of the angels God sends you in family and friends and even brief moments of connection with others.
*How would you like to be remembered? I would love for people to say “Whoa! She was a pistol!” ๐Ÿ™‚

I TAG star blogger FONZY, Kuwait’s premier blogger Don Veto, sweet True Faith, Touche, who thinks outside the box, Chirp, because I want to know the answers, and a blogger I think is going to have a very interesting life, MirimtheMirim. I also tag my niece, Beiruti-blogger Little Diamond.

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Humor, Marriage, Tag | 17 Comments

Kinan’s Tag

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?
Pirates of the Caribbean 2

2. What book are you reading?
Currently: Donna Leon, Through a Glass Darkly

3. Favorite board game?
Board games are too slow. Hearts. Bridge. Poker!

4.Favorite magazine?
New Yorker

5. Favorite smell?
Jet fuel

6. Favorite food?
Italian and Japanese

7. Favorite sound?
Call to prayer

8. Worst feeling in the world?
Making a careless decision that causes harm to others

9. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Gahwa!

10. Favorite fast food place?
Ivar’s (seafood chain in the Pacific Northwest)

11. Future child’s name?
Morgan. Douglas. Megan.

12. Finish this statement. If I had a lot of money:
I’d join Bill Gates Foundation and find ways to make the money work hard making the world a better place.

13. Do you drive fast?
Yeh.

14. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Husband? Cat?

15. Storms cool or scary?
Very cool.

16. What was your first car?
An ancient Mercedes

17. Favorite drink?
Bordeaux

18. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would…”:
I have the time . . .

19. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
In soup.

20. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Red
21. Name all the different cities/ towns you have lived in?
Alaska, Seattle, Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern, Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Tampa, Tunis, Monterey, Amman, Riyadh, Leavenworth, Doha, Kuwait

22. Half empty or half full?
Mostly Full

23. Favorite sports to watch?
College football

25. Morning person, or night owl?
Morning

26. Over easy, or sunny side-up?
3 minute

27. Favorite place to relax?
Zanzibar

28. Favorite pie?
Blueberry or rhubarb

I tag Fluent Thoughts, Magical Droplets, Skunk, Swair and Little Diamond.

June 18, 2007 Posted by | Biography, Blogging, Community, Cross Cultural, Friends & Friendship, Tag | 14 Comments

Alphabet Tag! You’re It!

A: Available or single โ€” Definitely taken.

B: Best Friend โ€” My college buddy, Alison, through thick and thin. But there are a whole band of good buddies out there. You know who you are.

C: Cake or pie โ€”Pie, Rhubarb or Blueberry

D: Dance or exercise โ€” Either, as long as there is laughing.

E: Essential Item โ€” My laptop

F: Favorite color โ€” Blue / Purple

G: Gummy bears or worms โ€” Gummy Bears, red ones.

H: Home town โ€” Kuwait and Seattle.

I: Indulgence โ€” I still date my husband.

J: January or February โ€” Both! Two of my favorite months in Kuwait

K: Kids โ€” The hope of the future. I love their questions.

L: Life โ€” God willing, we get the life we were created to live.

M: Marriage โ€” Partnership

N: Number of siblings โ€”2

O: Oranges or apples โ€” Apples fresh from the tree, or refrigerated, cold and crispy

P: Phobias โ€” Zombies, wild bear, things that would kill me without thinking twice about it.

Q: Quote: Of all God’s creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat. Mark Twain

R: Reasons to smile โ€” 180 degrees of Gulf view

S: Season โ€” Autumn – love the coolness, the hint of cold to come, the freshness and new beginnings (school starts).

T: Tag 3 people: No surprises: Skunk, Zin/1001 Nights and Little Diamond

U: Unknown fact about me โ€” My niece thinks I am an artist; I think I just have a craft.

V/W: Worst habit โ€”I am very focused and I really really like being alone.

X/Y: Your favorite Food โ€” Pacific Northwest Bouillabaisse, but fish soup in almost every culture.

Z: Zodiac โ€”Aquarius – that’s why Elijah and I tag each other.

June 9, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Biography, Blogging, Community, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Tag | 8 Comments