Thursday, December 06, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
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?
Friday, August 17, 2007
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
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
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
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
Thursday, February 22, 2007
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
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
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 www.ionizers.org/distilled_water.html
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
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: http://www.myspace.com/aestheticargentina