Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wow the End is Near

It's hard to believe but the year will soon be over. So what has the last year been like? Mostly I stay at home working on the computer to keep my sanity. Doing my genealogy is great at distracting me from a otherwise dull existence. We finally got another car-yeah a car not a suv or a truck as I had wished for but a Ford Taurus that thankfully will seat 6 people. But for me that didn't change much. I'm still at home as the son needs the car for school and when he is home its time to cook dinner. If I am really in the mood I will go out on Sunday with the hubby to do any shopping that requires my attention. I gave up on grocery shopping its a run in and out and "what do we need that for" experience and even when I do need something I have to have a good reason for it.

I'm thinking about going back to school next year for study in Medical Assisting. I found a program for 350 for 11 weeks evening classes twice a week. I want it more for me and my knowledge than to actually get a job. I have to wait and see if our elementary school is going calendar next year or not.

The kids are working on their braces. Khadijah maybe has a year left and Aieysha has just started by getting the metal bands that will hold her rubber bands. I need to find a way to pay for 11 teeth to be pulled between her and Suhayb and at a cost of 3600 I don't know how. That is a salary for a month lately.

We lost our health insurance this month too. Tell me how a company looks at one month to decide if you qualify as poor? Most months this year Hubby has made around 3-4000 if we are lucky. With the car accident we are now faced with a larger car payment and lost money having to pay off what we owed on the Subaru. He found a good deal but now our payments are double what we were making and with two accidents our rates have gone up too. Any way I reapplied for medical assistance and they sent me all this stuff that I had to do to prove identities and income and such. Also now that the oldest is 18, we could loose coverage for him. They were upset that he was not graduating this year, well I am too but why deny a child medical because of that? He is back on Honor Roll and he will finish the first quarter of next year. Seeing that our paycheck was not enough to cover the new expenses Hubby asked for his vacation pay and that put us over the limit for a family of seven. So they denied us and now I got to hustle to reapply before Fatimah needs medicines again. One month is only 800 we can afford that, right.....

We were invited to a wedding for a young man at Hubby's work last month and he actually asked me if I wanted to go. Hey its a night out even if its all the family. I warned them ahead of time if they didn't want to go they could stay home, I didn't want to hear it that they were bored or tired. Hubby was working but said he would take off in time(yeah right) to attend the wedding party. Well the girls and I started early as I had been over a year since we had worn a dress and pulled out all the dresses from my closet that I had left. Khadijah was easy she had bought a dress in Libya that still fit but she wanted ringlets in her hair. Aieysha was harder, she had lost some weight but not enough to fit in any of the nice dresses I had. I have some that I wore like 10 years ago still in my closet and thankfully one fit her. We even curled her hair a bit and added a clip. I finally found one I could fit in and that wasn't to unbecoming of a older lady and put my hair up in a bun. We were set. Suhayl wore a suit and Suhayb and Fatimah wanted to stay home. At the last minute Fatimah wanted to go so I had to scramble to find her an outfit. We put on our abayahs and headed out the door. We arrived at the Hotel and were sadden to find that it was going to be a mixed party. If I had known that I would have stayed home or at least dressed in Jeans under my Abayah. Khadijah was almost in tears so I finally let her take her Abayah off. We were the first to arrive and sat alone for a bit at one of the tables off to the side of the room. All evening was "were is Taher"? Working! I finally reached him and he was on his way. You mean you didn't change your mind and just want to go home.. He arrived and on seeing the set up he wanted to leave. Oh NO, you are sitting here for a bit this is your friend not mine, I don't know most of these people. They served dinner finally and I had a plate of bloody roast beef sat before me. NO way take it back and when it stops mooing bring it back. They did but it was still mooing! Ok so now I'm hungry and bored. The music was too loud and in a mixed group no way was I going to have the opportunity to dance so we just sat there. Fatimah was for once my break. She was getting tired and we were all hungry still so I told him I was leaving and taking the kids home to tell his friend thanks for the invite and he could stay for a bit. He didn't want to but he had just arrived and his friends had been asking for him all night.

He came home later saying that the couple was mad we didn't stay and dance. Sorry I don't do mixed unless they are family. There was not one person there I was related to except for my kids. Funny and when Hubby went to say hello to the couple she said she doesn't shake hands with men, but you dance in front of them? I do have to admit her gown was nice it was very islamic but still a wedding gown. I told Taher that it will not be too long and this will be us preparing for the weddings of our kids. We talk about the choices of wives or husbands available here. He wants a Libyan for his kids. Oh yeah a kid who has been raised in the USA all their life goes to Libya to take a spouse. I would like it too but lets be realistic.

The girls have another concert this week for Band and I hope to remember to take the camera. Other than that my life is the same. Eid is coming and I don't remember when was the last time he actually went and killed a lamb for Eid. The boys last went when Suhayl was 5 I think. Let's keep those traditions strong now! Last year we couldn't afford one so we didn't get a lamb. We got a half of a cow earlier this year and as usual it was chopped to pieces and bones everywhere. Nothing recognizable to call a steak or such. So it was bagged and he and the kids eat it mostly as I have had too much trouble with my teeth this year. I got three yanked out a few days before Thanksgiving. I am finally seeing a dentist but with the other kids and our bills lately I can't do too much at any given time. I'll keep with chicken and fish.

Well I guess I have caught you up with my year. I always hope that the next year is better but I don't know I guess I just give up sometimes. Thank God for my computer and genealogy work. Pouring over census records from the 1700's keeps me sane. And I have now found a bunch more relations that we didn't know we had. No close ones yet but hopefully I will find some soon. Trying to prove someone existed is a bit harder than you think. I was thinking this week, census is done every ten years. Yet, since I have been married I have not been a part of one. Glad my stuff is online now as there would be a difficult time proving we existed! I'm still having trouble proving that my parents existed. But when the 1940 census records are out hopefully they will be there. See you all next year if I don't stop in before that. The photos I added are the kids the day of the wedding and a photo of my grandparents when they were young. Grandma was such a beautiful woman.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day's Turned into Weeks

Sorry, I guess life did get me busy, at least researching my family history did! I am now 7,000 more names closer to my goal. Working with my family and searching online databases I found a lost great-uncle and how some of my relations passed away. Ever wonder how life was 100 years ago? How about 200? Our history books are filled with "Stories" told by learned men about how are ancestors lived, worked and helped defend our countries.
Did you ever hear of a war called the "War of the Wilderness" during studies of the Civil War Era? Over 40,000 men died in a two day battle! Killed by their own friends, brothers, neighbors and fellow country men. A more recent relation died when the Navy Sub he was on during WW1 sank of the coast of Florida and all men aboard lost their lives. What happened you may ask? The battery got damp with water and failed to work is what the Navy's final ruling was. Sad way to drowned below the sea on a training mission.
I'm not a defender of wars by any means. Let the ones who start it finish it. Go out in some field like our Welch ancestors did and fight it out the two best men and then the rest go home safely to their families. One relation had 18 kids, 12 he lost to the war. Yes, I found a fair share of illness that took lives in my family and that is one reason why I search them out. So I know what may be lurking out there that my children may have inherited.
I wish you all a Happy Eid, as usual mine was just like last year. Get hopes up of doing something and then change the plan to stay at home and order dinner out. So if you want to know what my Eid was like look up last years.
Things have been tight this year as car sales have slipped with rising gas prices so if an accident doesn't bring you in its slim pickings for the salesmen.
The kids are all doing well in school. Fatimah is finally reading up a storm and her skills are improving more each day. Aieysha has lost 12 pounds playing in marching band! Which means we keep having to buy her new pants every few weeks. But hey she is looking great. Khadijah did her first band concert this week too. Try finding a black floor lenght skirt for a 5'7 girl who is a size ZERO and not be slit all the way up to her panties! We did some looking and Khols was our savior. Suhayl has moved from Color Guard to Male Choir and he is now a Tenor 2. He was a Baritone but his voice, common for 15 yr old males is changing and he is just getting deeper. Suhayb is playing Ice Hockey this year and with that is new challenges. The first real practice he fell and his head hit the ice, next he vomited and then when the friend brought him home it was another rush to the local emergency room to make sure his head was still whole. Here he term "hard headed" is literal for him! Yesterday, was his 18th birthday. Wow we just celebrated 20 yrs of marriage to this month. Where did the time go? Things overall are better with hubby, my mom and life in general so I guess not much to be un-thankful for. I'm throwing in a few picks so you can feel the life as I live it. Finally, you will notice another set of my car. My son was taking it as he is farther away now for classes and no bus and some kids ask to go for lunch. Well he was fasting and a bit dizzy to drive but said no problem when another student offered to drive for him. He did and not more than a few seconds later it could have been a disaster for four young lives.
A CD case had been put on the dash and it slid, the kid reached for the case and lost control of the car and was soon sliding down an embankment next to the school. Had the car not hit the tree, it was likely the car would have rolled and four young men would have been upside down in the ditch. So long story short all are fine but a bit wiser. Seems the young man who offer to drive was also without a license! But, what mattered most is no one was injured, my car is a total loss this time. Cars can be fixed or replaced but how do you fix the loss of a child?
Oh, one special photo I have added is my Great-grandmother Margaret Etter Bush. She is my idol and the woman I loved most as a child. 104 when she died and was the smallest of ladies but her love was big enough for all her children. If I live to be half the woman she was I will be good. Every grey hair I get reminds me of the lovely gray hair she had and so now I will no longer wish to color it. Going on 50 who should really care? The other man is my greatgrandfather Stephen J Bowen . I think I took after the Bush side don't you?
So to everyone I wish health, happiness and love for the comming year and I'll try to stay in touch more often. And to my older girls and my brother Kerry I love and miss you all. Love Old Momma

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh What a Life

Sorry I hadn't stepped in to say hi in awhile. Getting kids back to school is hard enough when you have a few but five to go back takes planning. We started out seeing who needs what to start the year with. Took the girls out first as they are usually the hardest to find clothing for. We got lucky this year and Aieysha actually found some blouses she liked at Khols that were three/quarter sleeved and fit over her properly. Khadijah is never hard unless they don't carry as small size 1 in Women's is hard to find too. Fatimah had to start back before the others being in year round school so she was already done. The boys were told they would have to wait until winter time as they had pretty much gotten a new wardrobe around summer as they had outgrown all we brought from Libya last year. Then we started school supplies. Thankfully. I didn't need backpacks so it wasn't so much of a hassle trying to find just the right backpack for each kid. A few trips to Walmart and then the dollar stores and we were pretty much set.
Now mom could go back to working on her genealogy. It got so I was spending all day online adding names to my tree. Not that it is bad but nothing else was getting done either! I did find some more neat relatives. Let me see I have one who became a Governor of Rhode Island, at least two who were honored Revolutionary heroes, a dear aunt who was killed by the Indians during the King Phillips War along with two of her children and one who was quite daring.
Ephraim Bowen look him up he is online. He and a band of men got fed up with Britain's taxation of American supplies that they arranged and carried out the attack on the HMS Gaspee one night in 1776's. He was only 18 at the time and never spoke about the incident until he was in his 80's. After the attack Britain sent investigators to find out who had taken part in the attack on the ship and had they been found they would surely have faced death at the gallows or firing squads. The group of men some 60 or more banned together and kept their secrets all those years until way after our fight with England had been won. It was documented on the Gaspee website that this action caused so much anger with England that it became the reason the war began.
This got me curious because I remember some old song from Saturday morning cartoons called "The Shot Heard 'round the World" it was one of those famous School House Rocks songs and I had the collection on DVD. Yeah I know who would have such a item in a DVD collection? But I pulled out the song and listened to it with renewed interest. But the song refers to Lexington? And my ancestors were in Rhode Island? So what shot did they refer to? I hope to use some of my ancestors lives as references for my kids in History classes this year. They can learn how their ancestors helped shape our Independence. I found letters from General Washington and references to them having known Benjamin Franklin too. Wow what a life some of them had. I found one who came all the way to Colorado and had one child here and then off to Texas to continue our line there. Could there be some old mining documents here in my home state that I could find out about. What else would someone in the early 1800's have wanted with Colorado? And why did they suddenly go to Texas? Maybe I will have my brother Kerry look into it. He is into finding stuff like that. As of yet it seems that although most of the family was very wealthy at their arrival to the USA, it seems that I have no "rich uncles" out there. I got a bunch that went far in life. They became scholars and chancellors in Universities in the mid USA and continued to serve our country most honorably. So for me I can say that my relatives surely helped reach our Independence. As a Muslim that is a good thing here when everyday people question our contributions to our homelands.
I had an incident were someone placed a slur on the Board for our family name and in anger I stated that I was a Muslim and proud of it and if you were on that Board more than 80% chance you were related to me so like it or not you had a Muslim family member! The Board was incensed that someone would place such garbage on a forum and a few days later I got an email asking who had placed the note. I thought it was a personal email to me so I replied. I said I didn't know who did it but I was angry for it and replied when I should have ignored it. Found out a few minutes later it was a question posted to the forum and some "witch" for lack of a nicer word" replied that well from what she has heard it is true so if it angered me so much why did I keep bringing it up? Jeeze lord a mighty! Can't win for losing.
Finally, I found a member of my family that was kicked out of our Puritan colonies. Yes, it appears he was deemed a "pestilent fellow". hahahahahahaha
Now that sounds like a Bowen!

One last bit the kids go back to school Monday YEAH......But Fatimah will go on her three week break, DARN.......just as they return. So I guess I will be busy this year trying to make sure a certain someone graduates this year. Aieysha and Suhayl and Khadijah are all in Band so it will keep me busy and Suhayb is off to try a hand at Ice Hockey so it will be a fight to see who gets the car more me or him. I plan on taking some photos today at their first performance for band so I will post some more soon. Its time to wake the kiddies so I must say tata for now.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Remember the movie "Roots"? It came out in 1978 here in the USA and after its airing thousands flocked to libraries and cemeteries and all types of archival places looking for their ancestors. Me I was already doing that. My mother married a man who was Mormon and its a part of their life to look for ancestors. I knew that I was adopted so the book I was helping create was false. It was his family history not mine. I knew that my birth name was Roder and when I was around 14 I did some snooping and found our adoption papers in a trunk my mother had. I found my fathers name was John and he had been born in NY. I had a birth date even and carried that secret copy of the info with me for many years.

What is the chance that a person will stay where they were born? Zilch in most cases but since that was all I had that was all I could go on. Once the Internet became a reality finding people became much easier but it took me over the next twenty years at least before I found even a glimmer. Three years ago I was at work and my oldest daughter called. "Mom I think I found John" . I could not imagine the possibility of finding my father after so many years. She made the call and a bit later called back its him. I got a brief conversation with him on Mothers Day that year and since then I was asked by his step daughter not to contact him again. To not contact the man I had been looking for! I even agreed to paternity testing but no response. I have continued to look and finally last night I found two cousins. I now know the name of my fathers brothers and more on my past. I also finally looked upon the image of the man whom I was to call father. John is on the left and his brother William is the right. I didn't see a connection. DNA will have to tell the truth. I was born to John but I may not be his child. Shame on Mom.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer is Here

Wow, I can't believe that school is finally over. Khadijah and Fatimah were the last to finish and we have until July 9th and Fatimah will begin second grade. We have year round school here they get three weeks off and eight weeks on year round. I think it is great as the learning is retained and we don't have that long summer of "there is nothing to do mom". We didn't get to go to Libya again this summer but we are making plans for next year to go and find land to start a new home with. We plan to allow the first three to finish high school and then we will move to Libya. I know that will affect the two younger girls but hey I can't wait till all of them finish high school I'd be looking at 60 by then.

So what to do for summer here? I tried to plan to take the kids on trips around Colorado and I would love to take them to Mount Rushmore as well but we will see how the money goes. We took our first trip to the Natural History Museum in Denver and didn't get the day like I wanted but we saw most of the exhibits. Taher's back was acting up and he had not eaten breakfast before we left so he was getting grouchy about halfway through. Anyways there was the Titanic exhibit coming in July so I felt we could come again. Forgot the camera but not much to see that most people would feel was great. The largest gold nugget ever found in Colorado was on exhibit but that just reminded me of the gold I wanted and didn't get while I was in Libya.

Next, we went to the Renaissance Festival and it was just me and the kids. Taher didn't go as it was on Saturday and the mountain terrain would have been hard on him. Suhayb was my biggest pain he didn't want to go see a bunch of people living in fantasy land. I told him I needed him to help drive and to help keep and eye on his youngest sister so he had no choice. The kids dressed up (except Suhayb) in costumes and we set off. The drive is just about an hour from our city so we got a nice warm drive. Missed the turnoff for Larkspur and had to go another 3 miles just to turn around. Then a officer directed me away from the fair and I had to stop at a fire station to get directions. We got there around 9:30 and it opened at 10 so we got to see the opening ceremonies of the first day. Hundreds of people dressed up like early England and fairies and knights abound. Not to mention the pirates and wenches and town drunks. Gypsies and the lot.

As we waited for the gates to open we met Prince Charming he was looking for Cinderella all day much to Fatimah's dismay. I told her he would find her probably on the last day. Fatimah had dressed as an arab princess and Suhayl was her body guard. Aieysha was a pirate and Khadijah was a Gypsy. We met the king and queen walking the grounds and introduced Princess Fatimah to them. We told them we were looking for servants for her palace! They suggested the Gypsy camp. Lots of fun there and we took a few pictures it wasn't till I got home I realized that I hadn't taken one of Fatimah or Suhayl. The festival had a jousting match and musical instruments from the period. Some of them were quite unique. The bell piano was one and the hammered dulcimer was so lovely. I have included some pics. The end of our day was joyous when we attended the Puke and Snott show they were adult comedy group that hinted to many topics. While waiting for the show to begin we heard a man scream and he became the laugh of the day. At the top of his voice he screeched IIIIIIII SCREAM. Then he said come and get it. He was the ice cream man. The kids had a blast even the forlorn Suhayb found a fairy that lit his eyes. I got a shot of her and some other young fairies. She is the one in white. He liked her eyes. She reminded me of a young Janel. Next time I want to go to the fair he wont say no. He also rolled with laughter over the jokes of Puke and Snott. The fair runs through July so we will go again. My hubby even said he wanted to go. One day was surely not enough. Our next planned trip is to the Denver Mint. And a return to the Museum to see the Titanic exhibit. Hopefully I will remember our camera!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Catching Up

Got a few minutes this morning so I decided to stop in an post what has been going on lately.

I'm still happily working with my daughter and her husband and we have gone through at least 15 houses since I last wrote. Tile floors in a laundry room and some bathrooms was one of my favorites lately. I kept telling my son in law that in Libya they do not have grout lines. He kept insisting that they must or the floors would crack. I kept telling him that they mortar them down onto the cement floor and that the tile is far thicker in Libya than here in the USA. Finally I remembered that Khadijah Teri had posted a few recent pics of her house and the wonderful tile floor she had done. Ha ha no grout lines! I told him that I had hand scrubbed my floor while I was there enough to know there was no cracks in my floor and its over 26 years old.
While in the tile store picking up our tile order I saw a beautiful mosaic piece that cost 800 dollars. I started to laugh I was telling him how there was so much broken tile on the ground in Libya that I could start a mosaic tile business with all the free material lying around! OK ladies no getting any ideas.

The kids have begun seeing how much money mom is bringing home and they want in so they all got their work permits and will help us this summer. Wow this year we are down to Fatimah in year-round school. Khadijah is off to Junior High and Aieysha is now going to High School. Now I will be lucky if Suhayb graduates next year ;( Aieysha turned 14 this week and she wanted a Wii for her birthday. How many stores and all were out of them. She was a little disappointed but we told her as soon as we find one we will buy it. Suhayl plans on saving his money to buy a car when he turns 16 next year. At the rate he works he will have money for a good used car for sure. I'm hoping he will go for a truck. The rates are higher but we sure need one. I started putting my paycheck towards repairs on the house. Nice that I can decide what we get fixed and how much is spent. I bought a new security door for the front of the house and by the time I got all the new handles and a fancy touch pad entry lock it was most of my paycheck. I had it put in before the hubby came home! Aieysha went with me to find the door for the house and wanted the high gadget lock. No more keys. Enter a code and the door opens. I laughed and told her I need a fingerprint door for my room!
Hubby came home and baulked at the techno door. I told him he could use his key still he didn't have to push buttons. Darn him and his distaste for technology. And you wonder why we don't have cell phones. Oh well better get a move on its payday so all the teams will be coming in wanting their checks. Got to finish spraying a house we started yesterday. Write when I can. Off to work i go....hi ho hi ho.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Back to Work

I am sure some of you wonder where I have been lately. I went back to work about two weeks ago. I joined one of my daughters in her husband's family business of repairing houses for resale for government or private individuals.
It is amazing the houses we have done. From ugly ducks to swans in a few weeks time.
I work a full week and come home sore and tired to the bone. Don't let anyone tell you house repair is easy. It can be fun but there is days when you don't want to see another window or caulk behind another toilet that is in a very small room.
One house we are working on now is a newer home that someone came in an vandalized. They broke the patio door and a large picture window. Tore off the wooded stair rails and bashed all the walls on the main floor out with it. Then they used the wood to knock off cabinet doors and broke the toilet off from the upstairs bath. Imagine a two story wall that you need to drywall again.
All the work is getting me into shape for building our home in Libya.
Along the way I have seen some things that you see and say "oh I would love to have that" then when you got to clean it or paint it you realize I am thankful I don't have that. One house had walls that were capped over the kitchen so they formed a ledge and boy did the guys have fun painting the upper areas. The hallway had a very sharp angle that went up almost three stories. And those large walls of windows. Nice but try covering them to paint the walls. Corner bead walls are a pain too. Hard to get edges stright if they are going to be two different colors. And knock down walls are harder to paint than orange peel walls. Think twice if you ever buy a new home and you will be the one to paint it one day. Not to mention those light bulbs that are two stories up!!
After seeing how that poor home was damaged I was thinking how hard it would be to tear up a home that was made of cement blocks and plaster. I am going to get a air compressed powered sprayer for the walls of the courtyard my poor nephew did it by hand while I was in Libya and his arms hurt bad. With a air sprayer it would have been so much easier.

I am hoping to learn more about tile work and maybe some plaster work while I am at this job but in the end it all goes into the database of my knowledge gained in life. If I don't do it at least I will know if they didn't do it right!
Finally! My car will be getting repaired this week. We finally got the parts and they money so we hope to start this weekend on getting it running again. In my off time I am also getting my yard into shape, the flowers are starting to come up and the water ponds are all cleaned out and running again. I need to get a truck so I can remulch the front yard again. Still dry so I am thinking of what to do with the upper lawn. Stones or grass?

Last but not least, the kids are doing better. Fatimah's rash turned out to be strep infection. Suhayb's wounds healed up and he was left with a few blemishes that I hope will fade soon. Aieysha finished Wrestling class and did ok for her first season. She got a ear infection so she missed a few games. Suhayl celebrated his 15th birthday this month too. Funny, we went to order the cake and had wanted the words "Happy 15th ya spaz" written on it. The guy was japaneese and wrote "happy 15th spaz" instead. I think he thought it was his name! We all laughed at the guys looks when we asked him to write it. Last but not least Khadijah did well on her CSAPS exams as usual. I guess maybe I will get lucky and get a few smart kids out of seven. Talk again soon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bumps and Scrapes

How do I begin to tell the day I had! Seems just when you think things are getting better something happens to let you know you are not in control of anything!

Monday started out looking busy but I never dreamed how busy it would be. I had been helping a friend with their taxes and it had spit it back to me for almost two weeks with errors that I could just not figure out. So in desperation I called them to see what my error was. They said her birth date was incorrect. I called and triple checked the info yet it still came back so the lady informed me that we would have to go to the local IRS office. This was last Thursday. We got there and if anyone knows your gonna have a wait. We waited three hours. We finally got our number called only to find out we didn't have a paper she needed. So we had agreed to go on Monday to get it done again. On Friday, my youngest broke out in a rash and I took her to the doctor. They thought it was a rash from something she had eaten. Since the day before was the first day she had been out I called my friend to see if she had eaten anything different while she was there. No. The doctor assured me she would be fine the next day. On Monday, she still had the rash and now it was on her feet and palms. Now the fun began. On Sundays my hubby usually buys the kids a dinner from outside so we had gone shopping and stopped and gotten Chinese food. Monday morning begins and he went to the store to grab milk that we had forgotten on Sundays trips to the store. He got home and readied for work. We drove to get gas and when he went to pay, no credit card! Thankfully he had a check and we went back home to look for his card. Nowhere. We called the market, nope not there. So we began to trace our steps from Sunday. Aha, the Chinese food . There had been a problem with the credit machine, did she give us the card back? Nope.

So since it was on his way we went there hoping it was there and had not been stolen. Thankfully they had it. Dropped him off and headed back to pick up my friend to take her to the IRS again. I had called an set another appointment for my youngest to see the doctor for her rash and we had plenty of time.

Got to the IRS office and the ticket said 228 minutes expected wait. Oh my, that is around the time of her doctor appointment. God must have been listening to our prayers because unlike the prior day they had full staff, (yeah in a government building)! We got out just in time for me to run to my house grab my daughter and drop the friend off and back to the doctor with 20 minutes to spare. The doctor now thinks she has Steven Johnson Syndrome. This is a viral rash that can occur after medications or the onset of an infection. Oh yeah, and I had plans for her to go back to classes on Tuesday. We wrapped up there and headed home. I just pulled up and my younger son runs out to inform me that the neighbor had just taken my older son to the hospital. Great back to the car again. I drove without knowing for sure which hospital to go to but I figured that they went to the closest one. Thankfully that was the one. I met up with them in triage.

My first glance he has a neck brace on and blood everywhere. He had gone for a bike ride with a buddy and had barely gotten two blocks from the house and the chain on the bike broke as he was going down a hill and he trashed out bad. He had a large about three inches circle scraped out of his skull above his ear. His face was trashed on the cheek and his shoulder blade and down his arm and leg, both hands were also damaged. They x-rayed and thankfully no injuries. He had passed out so they said to watch him for concussion symptoms. We finished at the hospital and headed home. Finally I can sit. I dished myself some dinner that the other kids had helped make and I sat in total disarray. Then the phone rang. Honey can you come and pick me up I cant find a ride. So back again to the car.

This morning we kept him home and he wont play this week either. My youngest woke up and began vomiting oh yeah. By the way I was going out for lunch today with a friend. Here are some picks to show all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Having Some Fun

Yesterday my son reminded me for the third time he needed a trim. Its still cold but the boys hate to have hair over the ears. I should be thankful that they have grown up. It was not that long ago when he was asking to grow his hair out so he could resemble some guy in his anime programs. Plus all that hair gel makes his hair produce more dandruff! I told him to grab my kit and meet me in the bathroom. I came in a proceeded to pull out the pieces and he put the shawl around his neck and pulled up the garbage can. We began to trim the sides and I always work around and then the top of the head in case they want it longer on the top. Aieysha was teasing and said Mom why don't you do one of those designs on his head like the kids at school? Well by then I was down to a strip down the middle of his head. Hummm, its long enough. Hey he could sport a mohawk. We laughed and decided that we would gel and color it until his dad came home and give dad a shock. When dad walked in the door he was surely shocked. But they wanted to cut it off. Boy they are no fun. I told him he ought to go to school like that to see if anyone noticed him. I laughed and said we could pierce his ears too! Luckily I have good boys. But hey what do you think? Mohawk or no?

He is so much like his father. They say he was the spit of his dad when I visited his family.

I wonder does Libya have salon sinks like here in the USA? If not I will bring one. I hate to have to shower just to wash off the loose hair. My niece bought us a hair trimmer set while we were in Libya so I can cut hair there too. But when its only 1.50$ why should I dirty the house? Here a cut can cost upwards of 10$.

Also here is a photo of the final snow buildup before we finally got some meltdown. The total was around 5 feet. This is a look down my street. Looks like white sand! I am still clearing the snow around my flower gardens.

Spring is in the air as my crocus and grape hyacinth are coming up and I can just see the tops of my irises and tulips. My water ponds are a mess and the kids broke one of my pumps so I need to do some work this year. I let the yard go last year and now I am paying the price. Oh well that's what we have trash day for. But we do have a forecast of more snow this weekend.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Making Some Needed Changes

Sorry I hadn't written in a while. It seems that the weather was taking a toil on me and my marriage. I had been struggling with some issues that needed resolving when I came back from Libya and they finally came to a head last week.
In general, the man I married is a good and wonderful man. Even with his loner attitude he was better than many men of middle east faith than I had ever known. But, he married a woman from another culture and he knew that even if I tried I will never be like the women of his country. After my return and the hassles I had with his family I was determined that even though things were not the best the first time that I was willing to move back to his country to provide our children with the best life we can give them.
I came back angry with him. I tried to express how I felt only to be told he didn't want to hear about it. I began planning a new house design and when we should plan on returning to his homeland only to be met with indifference with him and total refusal by my children. The constant snowfall here didn't help either. Now I see how some people can go stir crazy very easily in such situations. We are now on our sixth straight week of snowfall with very little reprieve from the cold. This week we get hit from the north and south and are again looking at not one but two possible days of moderate snowfall. Today we have 18 degrees and tomorrow a high of 7!
Anyways back to my most pressing issue. For years my husband has been gradually removing us from society. We do not visit anyone, nor do they visit, a friend who is one of my dearests is my only outlet to the world beyond my house. My car has yet to be repaired and he seemed to not care that it needed to be. So I began to play the "arab wife" card on my husband in an attempt to get him to straighten up. I refused to do anything that a normal woman of the ME would never do. Like unplug a kitchen sink or fix something that had broken. Sorry to offend any sister out there but I have seen how you live and I cannot do it. Not here. In the ME you have people who visit, family who can be called upon and your life may be bland but it can be tolerated. Here if you are secluded from people spending your day with cleaning a house that never seems to stay that way or is so clean that you dust daily just to have something to do, is dangerous to my health. I have friends who live like that and they are miserable. But they remain the quiet and obedient loving arab wife. But remember he didn't marry an arab wife.
So in a final desperate attempt I left my home and went to a friends home for the weekend. The following Monday I called him and told him I wanted a seperation. He was devastated and begged to talk it out. I finally agreed and we spent many hours going over what I felt was wrong with our life. What had happened to the man I had married and the goals we had set in our long talks in the mosque some 20 years ago. Like never teaching our kids his native tongue how just that may have made our trip that much more tolerable alone. How he had begun to work so much that we never saw him and if we did it was to say goodnight. As he said I hit him with a ton of bricks and even though we just scratched the surface he realized that so much had gone wrong in our life that if we didn't act now all the money in the world would not save the most important thing we had....our family.
I agreed to give our marriage another try and to work at undoing all the things that have led us to where we are. This week we are checking into Karate classes for the kids as they had done it when they were smaller and it was a girl friendly activity that everyone could feel good about. Aieysha wanted to try out for girls wrestling but the issue of how to keep from losing her hijab came up and she finally agreed to try Karate with the rest of the kids. Tomorrow we have a private lesson to see where the kids could be placed and Dad amazingly is going with us! Its his day off and he told me he was going with us. Boy I sure hope this lasts.
I looked at our life and saw how my children have no connection to our community even though it is huge. They never pray unless he is in a nasty mood and orders the kids to pray thus causing resentment with them. It to them was why do we pray yet when a holiday is here we do nothing but sit at home? I told him again that it was his duty as the oldest son to be caring for his parents in their elderly years and how can we not take care of them, and when we are old expect our sons to do the same when he has ignored them and their daily lives for so long. I told him that he was needed to talk to his sons about growing up and someday looking for wives. Did he want his sons to marry christian women? How about his daughters when we have no contact with the community how are they to find good husbands? He didn't want them spending their days with kids from school but he never made it possible for them to spend time with others of our faith. We were failing as parents and I could no longer do it alone.
Finally, I told him returning to his homeland may not be perfect but at the end of the day when no one else cares your family is all you have. We were alone here as he had alienated me from my two daughters and my remaining family aside from a brother was not worth our efforts. So to take the kids and be near his family was the only logical path to take. I know it would not be easy starting over but what we had to lose was far greater.
Some may say I am crazy for even trying. Stay here in the states where I have a greater say over our lives as some people feel that I would loose that in a ME country. But as I look to the TV and the papers I see how more and more we are viewed as a threat to the US and how this plays on the minds of me and my family. I have lately seen families who have been here for years suddenly be torn apart by new immigration laws and sudden interest in people who were no threat before removed at the whim of local government. My husband is not a citizen so he is just as vulnerable as they are. If diplomacy with Libya were to suddenly change how will people here be affected by those changes? So as the hairs on my neck are rising I am planning for possible changes. The internet is full of people with radical ideas on how to deal with "Muslims". Look to the senator Barak Obama who is running now for president. He was a muslim as a child but his mother raised him later as another faith. Senator Hillary Clinton took a cheap shot and brought up the "muslim" card in recent debates. How bad would the US be if a former muslim was president? By the way he is also black. Most people feel the US is in need of change and a woman or a black person is high on the list as possible changes. Since Oprah Winfrey will not run and solve the problem with one shot we may see many attempts made to devalue the abilities of Obama. Are americans so afraid of us? I spend alot of time on the myspace religion forum and it seems that people fear that we will one day take over the US and establish a Sharia law here. That would be nice but with all our secular fighting even if we did get a muslim to run for office we would back bite him till he was no better a choice than any other.
But back to my family. I am still sitting at home but the idea of Karate class is at least a start. I need something to do. He offered to let me go back to school but I don't know what to study. Real Estate is slow so that is not a good option at the time. The house needs many repairs that he just began to fail to give me the money to fix and now we need hundreds to fix the house. The market is slow and without the repairs we would not get a good price. If we wanted to leave the house for the chance that we would return then we need to make that plan too.
For the first time in many years we sat on the same couch and sat with a few of the kids and watched a TV program together. It was nice to sit and laugh together. This is how it is supposed to be. Quality family time is so important and since Aieysha was born he had forgotten that. He had stopped spending time with us and in the end he almost lost me and the kids. I'm willing to give it another try. In Islam you just don't divorce rashly but he has been given a severe warning. I didn't have the luxury of my brother or family stepping in to help me or to give me a place to go but he knows that I can make it without him. I know I have some things to work on myself I know I am far from perfect to but I am willing to do that for my family. Regardless of what we decide to do it will be a joint decision and we will begin to do it now, not next week but today. We lost to many days already. And just as the spring always comes, things will hopefully get better and our relationship will bloom again. With Valentines Day a few weeks away a few fresh flowers would not hurt either. But he knows I prefer to plant a bush rather than have a bunch of cut flowers that last a few days and with all the snow I guess I could be happy with some seed packages that we can plant in the yard.
Finally you may wonder why I discuss this here? Well as you can tell by most of my blog I am pretty straight forward. I try to show it like it is. We all write about how we wish it was. I know many good friends who are sitting in my same seat but their circumstances keep them where they are just as mine kept me where I was for so long. I know they will do what they feel best. Maybe they will tell their husband about what I wrote and he may think twice. And if you are a man you will look to what I wrote and hope that none of what I said rings true in your own life.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Drinking Ice Water can cause Death? Mythbuster Idea!

Here's the answer to a funny problem I had to deal with while I was in Libya. I don't know how many days I had a family member throw a fit over me and my kids drinking water that was ice cold or had ice in it. I was told it could kill you and my logical brain said "I have never heard such a big bunch of baloney". Once I came back to the US I decided to talk to some people about the possibility of that actually occurring and in what circumstance could it actually happen. I remember even reading it in the Tripoli Post a article written by an Imam saying that it could cause instant death and people should refrain from it. I thought oh my even the Imams are crazy!
I posted the question to WebMD and here is what they said and some other information I read the same day may pose some greater health risks than drinking ice cold water.
WebMD said that unless the person was in a state of hypothermia (low body temperature) or severe dehydration they saw no reason that drinking cold water could harm a person. One interesting subject I did find was drinking too much distilled water was now found to be hazardous to your health! Seems as the all important mineral sodium is removed from the water and drinking large amounts can cause the brain to swell. This was found in athletes who drank bottled water in excess of actual water loss after exercise. It thinned the blood and caused the brain to swell. The study went on to say that drinking safe water full of the natural minerals was better and actually connected to longevity! Our bodies need many of the minerals that bottled water removes. As long as it is free of bacterias that can cause illness we are better off drinking our tap water. Here is one site for more info on this subject
I have searched the internet looking for articles relating to death by drinking cold water and yet to see any. If anyone has a link I would love to run it by these medical professionals. Seeing as most people of Middle Eastern countries are buried quite rapidly an autopsy is not likely to have been done and had the person just happened to be drinking cold water when it happened I can see how the link could be associated with the water. But I fear that it is not likely the culprit of someones demise. Finally as one doctor said, "You don't see too many resturaunts wheeling out dead bodies from drinking the cold water they were served". Myth busted. So to my fellow friends drink and enjoy!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Spreading Good Works

How often around the holidays do we see charities asking for donations. Most of us are hammered with requests and many are wary about the companies that ask for donations. I have a good friend on the MySpace Religion Forum that is in need of help. Donations are welcome but there are other ways you can help her organization. Call a friend or write a note maybe you know someone who knows someone and that can go a long way to helping her.
Her organization matches children living in Argentina with deformaties such as clef palate to get needed surgeries to save their lives. These children are the most neediest as if they did not receive this surgery they will die.... Plain and simple.
She has been able to network and get doctors and nurses and people of all medical professions to donate time and services to her organization. This year a building has been donated that can become the first Operating Theater for these children allowing them to get services that they may otherwise not get. Before they had to rely on local hospitals to provide surgery rooms and with the new building if it is made ready would free up additional funds that could serve even more kids.
Don't have money now, most of us are getting by but as she says we surely have more than some of these kids do. How can you help? Visit her site and see if you can help in any way. Least of all make a link to her site. Spread the word. Someone reading your blog could know someone who knows someone, get it!
Spread a Good Work will you. Thanks I hope everyone does that visits my page.

Here is the link to her site: