Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Happy New Year: Welcome 2015

It’s been a scramble. I say I am not compulsive, I say I am not superstitious, but when it comes to entering the New Year . . . . I am. Clean house. Christmas put away. Bills paid. Money in your pocket. Doing what you love on the first day of the year 🙂

Last night, AdventureMan knocked my socks off. He found a recipe for an Oyster casserole, mille feuille top, and he hit it out of the ballpark. AdventureMan, you ROCK. Happy New Year to all, to all our friends in so many different countries, we wish you all the very best of all this new year has to offer.

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January 1, 2015 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Food, Living Conditions | , , | 2 Comments

Rose-Colored Sunrise 31 Dec 2008

When we got up this morning, it was DARK, at a time when it is normally lighter. When I looked out my window, there were heavy clouds, everything looked dark and sombre:

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Minutes later, the sun begins to break through and the clouds look less substantial:
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And then – the light! The sun breaks through!
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And, a short time later, the day shimmers in silver and gold:
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All that drama, and the morning is yet young! Wooo HOOOO, what a day this might be!

These are funny days, December 29th – 31st, days in which those who follow the Islamic calendar are already in the new year, and days in which we are still waiting. Tomorrow we will all be back on track, starting off a new year. In Kuwait, schools this week reported 85% absenteeism. Schools were open – but the students didn’t come!

AdventureMan and I briefly reviewed our year 2008 before praying this morning. For us – even though our financial investments are (on paper) in the depths – this has been a very good year. We have each other, and we have our sweet Qatteri Cat.

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We have been greatly blessed to have had more time with our son this year than any year we can remember in the last ten years. We love our time with him, and with his wife. We have had weddings, and lots of family times with my family. We have had wonderful times with our friends, old and new. God has blessed us abundantly.

In every way that really matters, life is sweet. We thank God for 2008. We thank God, even for the challenges that 2009 will bring.

Brothers and sisters, we wish you peace, peace in your spirits, peace in your families, peace in your nations, and a desire to meet all obstacles with peaceful intentions. We wish you peaceful times with family, and peaceful resolutions of any conflicts. May your New Year be filled with unexpected blessings!

December 31, 2008 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Relationships, sunrise series, Weather | , | 17 Comments

Fresh Start

I always get a burst of energy between Christmas and New Year’s. Truly, for me, new hope has come into the world. It doesn’t have to be rational, it’s just the way it is for me. I get all kinds of old messes cleaned up, I sort, I organize, I throw out or I hem/mend/ cut down to make something useful once again.

It made the dark months of winter pass more quickly in Seattle and in Germany, where many days go from black to dark grey and then back to black again. Here in Kuwait, with all the sunshine, it is just so much easier. Every day dawns in blues and pinks – how can life be bad when a day starts so beautifully?

There is one sharp sword hanging over me – taxes. *gnashing of teeth* I am pretty good about keeping receipts all in one place all year, but taxes for xpats can be complicated, and our tax guy sends a worksheet – like 14 pages – for us to fill out every year. It really isn’t that hard, but I dread it.

Over a year ago, the US government changed the way expats are taxed. Even worse, they snuck it in as an amendment, I think to a military appropriations or budget bill, and no one was aware of the implications until it was a done-deal. It is a nightmare. In one year, we went from qualifying for refunds to owing a burdensome debt of taxes. Aaarrgh.

I have a list of projects I want to do this year, some challenging, some just fun. Some projects left over from previous years I want to get done once and for all. I see 2008 as a great luxury, all those days, an entire year, stretching out before me in which I can get these things done. Woooo Hooooooo!

December 29, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Political Issues | , , , | 10 Comments