Sunday, February 27, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Idea courtesy of Soulemama. I found it at Jen’s blog, The Dinoia Family. Thanks Jen!

It’s supposed to be a Friday ritual, but Fridays tend to have very little connection to routine or ritual for me, so I changed it to weekly.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things that go thwhump!

This week’s State Department Round Up is being hosted by Shannon over at Cyberbones… an awesome blogger and proud mom of a recent graduate of Great Lakes Naval Boot camp. Her theme for the round-up this week is news. There has been a lot of news, but this is the one that I feel like sharing today.

Booming Sounds Caused By Israel – Jordan Times

I was in the kitchen yesterday, doing some cleaning up and waiting for the kids to get home. It was a nice day, so I had the windows and patio door open, enjoying the warmth, fresh air, and birdsong. Suddenly there was a pressure wave that shook the windows. Not really a noise, other than the house/door/window rattles, just a ‘fwump’ that dropped in on us from out of nowhere. A couple minutes later, there was another. Quite strong.

It didn’t feel or sound like an earthquake. Cats weren’t freaking out. It didn’t sound like an explosion, because there wasn’t a boom or bang or anything else… I’ve lived and served on military bases, I know what explosions and ordinance sounds like, although Amman is located on rolling hills and noise travels in very odd ways, so I also knew an explosion was very possible, but it was very odd! Fwump! … but… where was the bang? Odd! Anyway, I was at the window. No sirens. Birds didn’t stop singing.  I thought the noises might be distant sonic booms.

The local paper says this: “The thunder-like sounds emanated from explosions carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities, the reasons for which are still unknown, Odwan was quoted as saying by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, yesterday.”

Oh..kaay… I sort of wish I had more news on this as this article is quite short. Many folk here never even noticed the noise, so I guess, for this region, it’s almost non-news, but I thought it was interesting.

Anyway, if this isn’t exciting enough for you, you can go back to my last post and read about the feline crime spree I blogged about yesterday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

20 Minutes Later…

First of all, Brian made it through a whole day of school yesterday. He’s doing much better! He was very tired by bedtime, but had a good day at school. He admitted to playing soccer, even though I’d suggested that he sit out a day and take it easy, but qualified his ‘transgression’ by saying that he hadn’t run around like crazy! He had good energy when he got home, and even did pretty good through piano lessons. He was tired by evening though. He slept well, and didn’t require as much meds. I think he’s managed to beat this thing. 

Today started off normally enough. The morning starts when my 1st alarm rings at 6am. The cats wake up and wander over to cuddle. Fortunately, they don’t bug me. They know I want my 15 minute snooze. Actually, Pixie seems to be quite proud of herself for figuring out my routine. Ever since she was a tiny thing she’s made it her life mission to learn my life and take on the role of guiding me through it. She takes this calling very seriously.

I get up after the snooze, and accompanied by a galloping herd of felines, make my way to the kids’ rooms, turn on lights and radio, and let them know that it’s time to ‘start thinking about’ getting up. Often, Ninja and Pumpkin will each choose a kid to hang out with, then Pixie and I go off and get my shower.

Friends were talking about their toddlers the other day and mentioned that they never get to go to the bathroom alone. I know the feeling. If I should happen to get to the bathroom and close the door before Pixie arrives (rare event), she will bash against the door and bawl me out. How can she supervise me from the WRONG side of the door?

Pixie will not get into the water of the shower, but she will walk along the window sill and try to lick my face as I lather my hair. She’s always believed in keeping everyone clean. At least she no longer feels the need to wash our ears before bed.. apparently that was a lesson her mama kitty taught her well and she was determined to pass on the knowledge to her human family, but our ears must pass inspection now as she no longer insists on additional washing. Also, I’ve learned to never put the lid of my toothpaste down on the counter, or it’s gone, and the q-tip jar now holds nail care items because the swabs must forever be hidden up in the cabinet. She uses too many of them. I have to hide my cosmetics too.

Anyway, after showering, I go back and wake the kids. That’s Ninja’s favorite job. She LOVES to pounce on toes under blankets as the kids start slowly moving. She also likes to ‘catch’ the clothes I toss on the beds. She’ll still run off with socks, but is usually more helpful, than not, when it comes to getting the kids going. As I go off to pack lunches and whatnot, the cats keep the kids entertained/distracted.  It’s good to start the day playing and giggling.

Ninja demonstrates one typical example of how to wake up a kid – kitty karate to the head…


By the time the kids leave, the cats are tired. Pixie will head off for her nap first, Pumpkin will often be in the back room bugging Brad as he gets ready for work, and Ninja will ALWAYS wait for me to come back in the house after seeing the kids off. She’ll greet me at the door as if I’ve been gone for hours. I don’t even need to bend down to pet her as she’ll be up on her hind legs like a meercat, yelling for love and pets. Then, as Brad is pouring his coffee and getting ready to leave, all the cats find their nap spots and shut down for the first nap of the day.



Sometimes, belly rubs are needed for the proper napping experience. Pumpkin appreciates a good belly rub.. how can we resist??  He looks rather chubby here, but he is, as he always has been, mostly fluff not fat. He is a big cat though, as in, tall/big. His paws are almost 2” across (and very furry!). The only danger in rubbing this soft belly is that he’ll grab your arm and hug. You aren’t going to get away until sufficient snuggles have been exchanged.



The cats had an extra distraction this morning, delaying their nap by about 15 minutes. The sun has reached a good angle in the morning for lighting up crystals we have hanging over the sink. We picked up a couple of faceted crystal ornaments in Cairo, possibly seconds from a local factory as it was normal to see them for sale, really cheap, in ‘junk’ bins in stores. The kids liked them for the ‘rainbows’… so do the cats.


After the sun moved on, the cats collapsed into flat furry lumps, and slept. They were sleeping when I left to drive Brad to work, innocently and peacefully. They’ll usually stay that way for hours. When I got back, 20 minutes later, they greeted me, stretching and yawning like they’d been sleeping like angels the whole time… yet  somebody had nabbed bread off of the counter and shredded it all over the kitchen, then, perhaps in an effort to clean up the mess, knocked down the paper towel roll, assaulted and filleted it, and spread that evidence all over the place too. And they greeted me at the door all guilt-free and blinky-eyed. Good thing I love them so much…

PS. Just as I was going to hit ‘publish’ Pixie came into the room and gave away one of her secrets. I just wish I’d had the camera. I saw how she opens drawers!! She hooked her front paws on the top, hung on and dangled, and pushed with her back feet until the drawer opened! That sneaky girl! I KNOW I’ve been closing the pen/junk drawer. I KNOW it. And yet she was still managing to get in there and dig out paint brushes and other treasures. Now I know.  ;D

Monday, February 21, 2011


Pneumonia – something that should be illegal in children, especially kids who get asthma as a symptom with respiratory illnesses. Brian has been ill since last Tuesday, and although he’s gone through a course of antibiotics, has been fever free for 48 hours, and seems to be feeling better, in general, the poor kid is still having a hard time fighting this nasty junk. With a long weekend, he’s only missed 3 days of school, but this is day 6 of being ill… he’s definitely not his perky and energetic self. We’re keeping him in, medicated, and rested. Definitely a good day to stay in as it’s been wet, cold, and windy. I just want my guy to get better soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hope you had a lovely day of love with your sweeties.

Brad and I gave the kids some chocolates, and they gave us pretty hand-made valentine cards.


We didn’t think that cats  would even want valentine goods, but we were wrong. Ninja decided to paw through the cards that Honor got from her classmates, to see if anything had her name on it.


She found one that she liked and ran off with her treasure.


Honor eventually got her card and candy back, but Ninja kept the green pipe cleaner that decorated her paper flower.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه

Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه

The Voice/Sound of Freedom

I can’t understand everything, but the images are so positive! I am praying for Egypt and hope things are settled and peaceful soon!

In every street our country, the voice of freedom is calling.

UPDATE: Link to copy with subtitles:

Sout Alhoureya
Amir Eid Feat. Hany Adel, Hawary on guitars & Sherif Mostafa on keyboards video by Moustafa Fahmy, Mohamed Khalifa and Mohamed Shaker.

Hany Adel – an Egyptian popstar

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Preoccupied With Cairo

I am very preoccupied with events in Cairo, my former home. I am worried about the people there, foreigners, yes, but they have somewhere else to go. Mostly I worry about the locals – I worry about the lack of food, cash, order and security. I am also very proud of them – every article I read, every photo I see. They are standing tall for the freedoms and reform that they want. They are protecting those who need protecting. I am proud of my former neighbors and hosts as if they were my own family. I am also very scared for the people, and for the near future. I shouldn’t be, because they are a strong people, but I am. I don’t want anyone hurt. Most of all though, I am filled with hope.  When I see the people angry, but smiling, caring for one another, safeguarding property, sweeping the mess, Christian and Muslim side by side, soldiers embraced, etc.… I see hope.

Politically, I don’t know what I should say or what I hope the outcome to be. I have discussed with friends, IRL and on facebook, but really, it’s none of my business. This is the Egyptians’ business, and while I have my opinions, I think I need to just keep out of the way and send prayers for peace and security. That’s of more real use than my 2 cents anyway. I am also praying that the whole situation is settled soon, for the good of the people.

I’ve had folks share photos with me in FB and email, you know how things get passed around. There are a lot of stunning photos coming out of Egypt, and elsewhere. Sad, touching, and inspiring. Here are a few of my most favorite. They may not be the ‘best’ ones out these, but they’re the ones that I like. (I don’t know who to credit these photos to, they are not mine. I have seen some floating around the different news agencies, some only on facebook, some only via forwarded emails. Who owns what? I don’t know. I’m sharing to share, not to profit.) A good friend also shared a poem with me via facebook, written in a memorial tribute to a lady I’d never heard of before, Ms. Virgina Jones, by the Mayor of Newark, NJ, Mr. Cory Booker, someone else I do not know. I think it fits here very well. From his FB page: (CAB 1/25/11 inspired by Ms. Virginia Jones, may she rest in peace.)  Very powerful words.

When the world comes crashing down


(bloggers in Egypt, silenced)

And the cold truth of now, trumps any future fear


(Cambridge, Mass)


Perhaps true courage is found



When you can still shout unto the world, “I am still here!”

arms up

Battered and bruised our spirits may be



As savage circumstance brings the dark night


Perhaps true faith is found, when you realize and see


That within you is an in-exhaustible light


So you have fallen hard into fate’s grim grip


And it seems that you are at the end of your rope.


We'll tie a knot right there so you don’t slip


(Seattle, WA)


And let the world see that as long as you breathe, you remain a prisoner of hope.