Saturday, December 30, 2006

and soooo.... he's dead

Well.... today marks the end of Saddam Hussain. We found out before lunch today and, really, to be honest, I don't agree w/ the death penalty. Even for a man such as that, I don't agree w/ anyone being put to death. I'm sure a lot of it has to do w/ the way I was raised and in a church that is against the dealth penalty or maybe it's just that I have a real problem w/ anyone but God giving death to someone.... because when I look at it, I think, who are we, as humans, to kill another human being.

Some of you believe in an eye for an eye or say that he deserved it because of all that he did to the Shi'a's in Iraq, but even still, I don't agree w/ it. Do I believe he should have suffered in this life, yes... but that can easily be done in prison.

I was watching BBC News earlier and it showed him in the final minutes... walking into the area where they were to hang him - they were talking about the black coat he was wearing to keep from getting a chill and how he refused to put a cloth over his head... just to sit and watch this is something I couldn't do. He was a crazy man, he was a killer, he was a torturer, he was a lot of things... but I couldn't sit and watch what was about to happen to him.

Really, it all makes me feel really sad. I hate when ppl are put to death. Yes, call me crazy if you want and argue w/ me... tell me how wrong I am for my beliefs, how wrong I am to feel the way I feel about this - about a man such as this - but I do.

I know that many are happy, but what will his killing do for the world? Will it calm Iraq? Will it take away the violence in that country? Will it make the ppl happy there? Will it end all the daily killings and car bombings? No. Today, if I'm not mistaken - since his execution - there have been 3 more car bombs that have killed some 50 ppl. I truly believe that everything will escalate now. The U.S. is looking at sending in more troops... troops that aren't there. Will they start to draft ppl again in the States? I doubt it... but, where will these extra troops come from? How long will it be before the U.S. pulls out? How long will it be before the Iraqi forces can feel secure enough to take care of their country? Will it ever happen? Will peace ever come to that country?

There are so many questions, so many things that can't be solved w/ the killing of Saddam Hussain..... but it's too late now.

Well, just found out that hubby has found a clip of the execution online and he'll probably watch it. We are so different in these things.... I can't, I won't watch it. I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to.... but that's just me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

LATE Merry Christmas

Can't hardly believe that I totally forgot to leave a post on my blog yesterday about Christmas. Seems like blogging is the last thing on my mind as of late.... so for all of you out there, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!

The hubby worked yesterday, so he opened his presents late in the day... me, well, I opened my presents days ago, so I had nothing to open yesterday! But, even still, it was nice to watch him open everything.

I cooked yesterday and made some of my favorite dishes including the turkey, macaroni & cheese casserole, baked beans, candied sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and some delicious turkey gravy. It was yummy. I think Christmas dinner is one of my favorites. Growing up, my mom always fixed ham and turkey on Christmas (I love ham). I haven't had ham in I don't know how long... I think I've even forgotten how it tastes! I don't know if they sell it here, but I bet they do... I wonder how many ppl actually buy hams here in Bahrain.

We went to a wonderful dinner party the other evening. I met some really nice ppl and even met a blog friend that I've long talked to but never knew personally. I didn't know it was him until we were about to leave, so I didn't get the chance to chat, but it was really nice putting a face to the name. So... hey there Moclippa! It was nice meeting you!! I didn't have a chance to ask, but are you back here for a holiday break? Glad to hear that you like studying in the States... especially all the concerts! There are a lot of concerts in the States, huh?! I sometimes long to see some of my favorite artists... or at least know that the opportunity is there - if I wanted to see them - but living here, it's sorta tough. Good to know you're enjoying it though!

hmmm... oh yeah, there are a lot of friends that have changed their blogs to the new format, and since I didn't do it when I had the chance, I can't leave comments on your blogs now. I've tried over and over, but it won't allow me to post a comment and blogger won't allow me to upgrade at the moment. So... maybe once blogger allows those of us who were lazy and didn't change or upgrade immediately to Beta to post comments and such, then I'll be able to comment on your blogs... who knows. Until then, I'll keep reading.

You know, this holiday season I've met some of the nicest ppl. I've met several British women that are married to Bahrainis, some British couples, one German lady that's married to a Greek guy - she was so interesting and funny (I love the German accent) and he seemed very introspective, some Indian couples, a very charming and charismactic Bahraini woman who told the best stories and was so charming and charismactic, and even some really nice Bahraini guys... just some of the nicest people. It's been such a good time. I think since living in Bahrain, which has almost been 4 years now, this has been the first year that I've met so many nice and friendly ppl.

What I've noticed most, when meeting ppl from different backgrounds (or these particular ppl), is how honest and personable they are, and I must say, I really like the British. The women seem so honest and so willing to be open and friendly. I hadn't thought that before because we once wen't to the British Club and ppl weren't friendly, but I've had a total change of heart! American women can be the same (friendly and all), but sometimes you get a lot of fakeness w/them - even the men. Not all of them - it purely depends on the setting and who they are, their backgrounds and such, but so far... I really see a difference between the British and the American women - a good difference. Maybe it's just that us expats that are married to Bahrainis are of a different caliber! ;) Maybe we have some type of umphhhh that others don't have (kidding here), but really, so far I've met some of the nicest women that are so similar to me. They are so willing to be friends and it's not fake... I like that. When I moved to Bahrain, I lost a lot of my friends because they disagreed w/ my decision to move here. They also disagreed w/ my marrying my husband..... so it's really nice to meet other women who have done the same and to find their company so enjoyable. You know??

I will say though, I do think there's something to meeting an expat that's married to a Bahraini. They can identify w/ you and what you're feeling, things you've gone through... there's just some type of comfort level that's almost an immediate tie that binds you.... which may sound weird, but it's true. Or at least I feel it. Maybe I'm the only one. Altho, as soon as I say that, there was this Bahraini woman that I met the other night, and I loved listening to her. She was different than most I've met here... she had a freedom, an openness about her that was terribly attractive and you immediately wanted to be friends w/ her. She talked so fast in English and I felt myself engaging immediately. She told me about how she's been to Bloomington, Indiana, which isn't far from where I grew up, and about how much she loved it there. I think everyone around us thought we were crazy to talk about such a small town w/ such love and admiration.

With respect to my pregnany, my dr. put me on 3 weeks of medical leave yesterday. I'm allowed to walk about a little and do some things, but not too much. She thinks my body is trying to go into early labor and wants to avoid it at all costs. I do too. I don't want to have the baby early and would prefer to be safe rather than sorry. I'm feeling pretty good altho I have days where I'm either terribly grouchy and no one wants to be around me, or I have pain in my stomach and can't do anything.... or I'm the most lovable pregnant lady you've seen. Too bad I can't tap into those lovely days and put it into my veins intravenously... my husband would love that!! Because they seem to be few and far between!

So... I will either be writing a lot on my blog or not. Lately I've been bored of blogging or just focusing on other things, so I haven't blogged at all. My sister asked what happened and what's the matter, but it's not that... I think my mind is totally committed to other things right now and blogging hasn't been a priority. I'm not sure. I've thought about blogging... cuz I've seen a couple of pretty good movies including The Holiday w/ Cameran Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black and Kate Winslet. It was really nice. A chick flick, but a good click flick. I even teared up towards the end. I recommend it to anyone who wants a nice feel good movie. We also saw Little Miss Sunshine. I liked this movie. It was filled w/ all sorts of what I'd call "real" moments. Real in that it showed how some families interact w/ each other, the stress of family life, the stress of not getting what you want in life, but how not getting what you want doesn't make you a bad person. It was a sweet movie that filled me w/ laugher at times and made me think about life.

Oh yeah, we also watched that movie Borat. I laughed outloud a couple of times, but what got me more than anything was how the movie showed the racist behavior of Americans and how stupid some ppl are in some states in the U.S. I've known this and have had lots of ppl tell me how wrong I am about this when I've talked about it (racism in the States), but I've worked w/ some the most racist ppl over the years, so it was no surprise to me. The movie shows it clearly. Made me wonder what these ppl are thinking now... but some of them are probably so stupid that they didn't even realize they were in the movie... even tho he's being sued by many for making them look bad. But you know, how can you make someone look bad?? That quality is in your nature or it's not... plain and simple. I don't recommend paying full price at the theatre to see the movie, but it's a good rental.

Anyway... happy day everyone.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

War on Christmas

Yesterday I was watching some news program and they were talking about this religious Jewish leader that decided he was going to take this airport to court in Seattle, Washington, because they had 14 Christmas trees erected in their airport at each exit. He told them that if they didn't take the trees down, then he would file suit against them. So... what did the airport do?? They took the trees down.

They interviewed some travellers at the airport and asked their opinions, and everyone they talked to couldn't understand the logic behind someone, a Rabbi, complaining, and the fact that the airport actually took the trees down.

Really, I don't get this. This kind of crap has been going on for years now. All of a sudden, groups of ppl are getting their panties in a wad and wanting Christians to stop celebrating Christmas or at least, not show any signs of the holiday and Lord forbid, say the words "Merry Christmas". It's all a load of crap, I think. Now, because ppl are so afraid of being politically incorrect or of offending someone, you find that a lot of ppl have gone to saying "happy holidays" or "have a joyous holiday season", instead of the good ole "Merry Christmas".

It all makes me wonder what these Rabbis and such think when they walk into stores in the U.S. and there are Christmas trees everywhere. Makes me want to laugh. Who are they to tell an airport to stop a tradition that they've had for years?!! Who are they to tell them they'll sue them if they don't take the trees down!! Who are ppl to say that we can't use the words "Merry Christmas" any more or make ppl feel so bad about it, and that we, as a society, stop using such words so as to not make any particular group mad.

I once worked for this Jewish firm in the States and we weren't allowed to put up a Christmas tree.... I always hated that. Here the CFO's and such were in NY, but we, in Dallas, weren't allowed to put up a tree or even decorate the office. Lord forbid anyone celebrate the birth of Christ..... or even put up a tree just to have some holiday spirit. Because really, to look at the holiday closely, many will find that a lot of families don't put up trees or decorate for the religious reasons... it's a tradition and it brings out a feeling inside of you.... it brings back memories... it gives you a good feeling.... the kids love it.... it's just a way to celebrate the holidays. I can't say that I think it's good or bad really - not to do it for the religious reasons - but I know that I love to decorate for Christmas. Do I think about the birth of Christ? Did I think about this as a child? Yes and yes. But I don't put up my tree for that purpose, nor do I give gifts for that reason.... but I never forget, which I'm guessing, that most who celebrate Christmas, don't forget either. Here lies the problem w/ these other faiths... or is it just a way to cause a problem?

I was listening to 106.3 lastnight and they were talking about a 'war on Christmas', and how a lot of ppl have stopped saying the word "Christmas". Just recently, Billy Bush was giving some speech or was marking the lighting of the huge Christmas tree outside the White House or something (caught the tail end of this, so I'm not sure), and he used the words "Merry Christmas" over and over again, while others talking during this same event did the same, but when it came to signing off that evening, the news anchors said "have a joyous holiday season".

Personally, I believe we should be able to celebrate any holiday we want and say the words related to that holiday w/out the likes of other religious groups saying anything. I can't imagine it if we weren't allowed to put up a tree here in Bahrain. I'm happy because I get to see trees standing tall in stores here.... even some very Muslim stores, you will see Christmas trees decorated w/ lights blinking.... and even once, when I was shopping a few years back at Seef Mall, I was in a store and there was another person shopping and they asked, "are you Christmas shopping" and I said, "yes"... and then they said "Merry Christmas". It was really nice and it gave me a warm feeling inside - just to feel that bond w/ another person at Christmastime, especially when you're so far away from the U.S. I can't imagine a world where we're not allowed to have such joy.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hello hospital

The last week has been kinda weird in that last Tuesday night I started having contractions, which are called Braxton Hicks, but mine were a bit stronger and scared me a lot. I've been having these for the last few weeks, which is normal and the nurse from my antenatal class told me that it is to be expected. I hadn't worried so much about them until the other evening when I was at the grocery and my stomach started tightening up and letting go to the point that I thought I was going into labor. It had been doing this, at this level, for two days, so... I went to the hospital/drs. ofc. and was admitted that night so that they could monitor me, give me meds to stop the contractions and make sure everything was ok. I got a shot/injection that nearly knocked me out, meds to strengthen the baby's lungs and another med to stop the contractions, which it did... the meds to strengthen the baby's lungs were a precautionary measure - just in case I delivered. That way, the baby would be - hopefully - able to breathe on his own and such.

Thankfully, the baby is ok, I'm ok and the contractions have stopped - for the most part. I've been having a few today but nothing like last week. I'm on bedrest until Sat. I go back to the dr. then to make sure all is fine. If I had the baby now, he'd live, but the bad thing is that I wouldn't be able to bring him home immediately, and I wouldn't be able to have him in the hospital of my choice. The only hospital equipped to handle a premature baby is Salmaniya - the govt hospital here, and I DO NOT want to have the baby there! So... inshallah (God willing), the baby waits and will be ok until my 38th week.

I've decided to have a c-section. I was gonna try for natural birth, but because of my age and because I've been having some probs w/ gestational diabetes, it'll be easier to have a c-section. Plus, I can arrange for that to be done and don't have to worry about anything. Or at least I hope :) From what we've gathered, looks like I'll have the c-section around Feb. 5th... so that means we're having an Aquarias baby! I was first thinking we'd have a Picses, but not now. I've read all sorts of things about young Aquarians and it seems as though they can be pretty stubborn and such, which isn't anything new cuz both me and the hubby are stubborn as all get out. In the Chinese calendar, we're having a boar. So w/ the mix of each of these and the mix of our genes, I'm hoping that we have a creative little spirit that loves music, art, animals and life. But don't all parents want their children to love what they love?

I haven't been doing a lot except watching TV. We decorated, or rather the hubby decorated, the Christmas tree lastnight. It's beautiful. I'll take a pic and post it the next time. I haven't wrapped my family's presents, but will have to do that tomorrow or the next day so that we can get this stuff in the mail.

The meds I'm taking make me really tired, so I haven't been online at all or reading blogs - which I miss a lot. Really, I haven't been doing a lot of anything. I get rather paranoid any time I feel tightening in my stomach .... afraid that I'm going into labor. But, thankfully, it hasn't happened and hopefully wont until it's time.

Oh... when I went to the hospital last week, I sent a message to my director to let him know what had happened and that I wouldn't be at work the following day, well.... the hubby goes to work the next day and says that I was in the hospital and what does everyone say and start spreading around??? That I had the baby. I got I don't know how many msgs asking if I had the baby and what was the sex or that they had heard I had the baby and wanted to know the sex. For some reason, it really pissed me off. I guess w/ the stress of everything, I couldn't appreciate it for anything other than gossip, which I loathe. I don't understand ppl saying something for the sake of saying it when they have no solid evidence or information. Yeah, maybe it's that ppl are excited or such... but I don't see it as that. Again, I'm sure the stress of it all, combined w/ the fact that I have three more months left, combined w/ the fact that I do not want to have the baby YET.... combined w/ ... IF I had had the baby, they would have known.... well... you get the point.

anyway.... this has been the exciting news as of late. I wanted to post about "The Opera in the Park" we went to two Thursdays ago, but I haven't as of yet. Thought Olivia might be interested in that. It was wonderful. We took blankets, sat under the stars, and listened to some beautiful singers from the UK and a pianist turn out some of the best tunes.... so.. when I get a few minutes of wanting to write, then I'll post some of the info on that for any of you that might like it.

Take care... and I hope to get around to some blogs that I dearly love in the next day or so. I miss all of you! :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

when it rains, it pours

This is a picture of Muharraq at 8:45 a.m., yesterday, Nov. 26th. Muharraq is one of the biggest cities in Bahrain. (edit: hubby said that one of the license plates on a car is Saudi, so maybe this isn't Bahrain after all... apparently Saudi gets a lot of rain up north)

We had a major rain storm yesterday... hence the picture. I woke up to huge bangs that sounded like bombs dropping at about 4 a.m., with each one getting louder and louder - obviously as the thunder got closer - then all of a sudden at about 5:00 a.m., it started to down pour.

This is the first time, since living here, that I've experienced such heavy rain that lasted all day long. And... for that matter, I've NEVER heard thunder before in this country. It was quite different than thunder in Dallas and in the States... like I said, it sounded more like bombs dropping than anything. It was the weirdest sound and sort of frightening. When I heard it, I kept thinking... "what is that sound" - wondering if a construction crew had already started working that early (which isn't odd - it happens a LOT). I love heavy rain, the kind that lasts for days, but the rain here wrecks havoc on the streets and in the homes. I wonder how many of these ppl had insurance... and, if so, does the insurance cover such damage?

The streets in Bahrain aren't equipped to handle so much rain. You get massive flooding like you see here. So many streets were like small little lakes yesterday. It took us about 30 or so mins. to get to work yesterday, whereas it usually takes about 5 mins. I tried going down a street lastnight and it was totally flooded and blocked off. I wound up having to turn around and come back home. I can't imagine living in some of these areas that were heavily flooded. The open land next to our house has a small little lake in it now... but it's nothing in comparison.

Our house was leaking like crazy yesterday morning w/ little ponds forming in some of the bathrooms and in a couple of the rooms. Our garage had a steady stream of water coming down one of the walls. Any day now, I feel like something will happen and our garage will crumble. No, it's not that bad, but I can't get over how poorly things are built here. Our house isn't that old and it leaks like crazy. I can't imagine how it would be if it rained for several days w/out stopping. I think the whole country would collapse. Makes me wonder what ppl were thinking when they planned the streets and what type of ppl built these homes. There are no groups that come and check to be sure you're building properly.... no wonder houses are in such bad shape.

And the roads - they're crazy. Ppl act crazy... honking at you if you don't move fast enough. Lastnight when I was going down this flooded street, I stopped to allow a little tiny car to turn in front of me, and you'd think that I got out of my car and just left it there w/ the way ppl were honking. Plus, I don't take any risks when I'm driving and by myself. I try to be careful, especially in bad weather. Really, there were a few times that I felt like getting out of the truck and saying, "look, I'm pregnant... STOP honking at me and learn to have some patience." But, in all actuality, they wouldn't have cared. These ppl are like crazy idiots.... thank God you're not allowed to have guns here!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone... especially my family back home and all my American friends. Wow, it seems crazy that it's already Thanksgiving. This year has flown by and now the holiday season is upon us and Christmas will be here in no time. If you'll notice the pic, it has two little Indians standing behind the corn stalks. The significance of this is that when the pilgrims landed in America and started living there, it is said that they wanted to show their gratitude to the Indians for all that they had done for them, so they prepared a huge meal for everyone to give thanks. This is where Thanksgiving came from. Sad that the peace couldn't last w/ the Indians!

I've always really liked Thanksgiving. It's a time when you get together with family and friends for large celebrations with lots of food. My mom is such a good cook... I miss her cooking. She makes some of the best food for Thanksgiving. Some of my favorites are homemade cranberry sauce, her cornbread stuffing... ummm, I can imagine it as I sit here... it's just so good, she makes fantastic and interesting salads, the best macaroni casserole w/ lots of cheese and crackers on the top, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, choc. pie, pumpkin pie.... and don't forget the deviled eggs, altho my younger sister is the best at making these. I think I could sit and eat 4 or 5 of these at one time... they are that good. :) Ooooh... and she makes the best baked beans.. but now that I think about it, she makes those for Christmas dinner.

And let's not forget the turkey. My mom has always prided herself on her turkeys. They are always cooked to perfection. Nice and tender on the inside while being brown and toasty on the out. To smell one of these cooking in the oven on Thanksgiving is so wonderful... it brings back so many memories of spending time w/ my mom when I was a young girl. My sister has it so lucky in that my mom is there w/ her... I'm sure they'll have a big Thanksgiving dinner... and I'll call and get homesick, feel sad... and probably cry from a longing to be there.

I'm at work today. It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving, that's for sure. I think if I were home and cooking, I'd feel more festive. But... I plan to cook tomorrow. We'll run to the store today to get all the things to make for a late lunch.. including the turkey. I found out yesterday that I have gestational diabetes, so I won't be making the pumpkin and apple pies that I had planned for... or if I do, I won't be able to partake... which makes me mad coz I was really looking forward to it. I haven't had pumpkin pie in at least 4 years.... and isn't it my luck that now I can't have it!!! And... I'll have to be careful of the carbs I eat since they break down into sugar once they're consumed.... fun fun fun.

After lunch tomorrow, I want to bring out our Christmas tree and put it up. I'm also gonna go ahead and decorate the house. I can hardly wait. The hubby brought me back a set of 10 CDs from Dubai of old Christmas songs. The ones from Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole... all the good ones... so can't wait to listen to those. I'll have to dig around and find my Elvis CDs... he does some of the best Christmas music. I also have another good CD from the Carpenters... it's really good. I grew up listening to the old Christmas songs like I'll Be Home for Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus, White Christmas, The First Noel... all the old songs. I've never been a fan of the newer stuff.... I guess it depends on what you grew up on.

I'm gonna look thru Amazon today because I wanna order all the old Christmas movies/cartoons that I used to watch on TV. There's nothing like that here, and I just have to have them. I'm not even sure that they have this stuff available, but I hope. I think that it's really great for kids, and since we'll have a little baby of our own soon and also since I'm a kid at heart... well... we have to get them. Some of my favs are Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Night Before Christmas, and we can't forget Cristmas Carol w/ Scrooge. Have any of you seen the one w/ Harry Winkler? Aaaah, that is one of the best ones. I loved it. There's also another one that is really old... it's also one of my favorites, but I couldn't tell ya who the actor is that plays in it. He was really old in it, so I'm not even sure that he's still alive.

Anyway... I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Spending time w/ family for the holidays can also be rough on some, and I've had my fair share of times like that as well... and for others, the holidays bring on depression... which I've also experienced. I just hope that all of you have a good few days off work.... and get to rest, relax and enjoy the fall weather back in the States, and if you don't cook at home, then I hope you can go out and have someone cook for you! I guess what I'm saying is... I hope you have peace in your life and find happiness this holiday.... and may you have a good hearty meal that fills your belly. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Princess Anne is in da house!!

Royalty has arrived into Bahrain... not the first time and certainly not the last.... but the nice thing about today is that I got to have a peak at the likes of such just a little while ago. My office is situated right next to the front entrance of our main bldg., and it just so happens that all guests come thru the front door and pass right by my window and office door. So... I got a good lookies at the Princess as she made her way into our bldg. "Sooooo", some of you might be saying and I guess it's not that BIG of a deal, but I thought it was pretty exciting. I see dignitaries coming here all the time but none of them interest me... there's just something about English royalty that makes me take notice. I wonder why... but you know, it's been that way since Princess Diana. Did the whole world wake up and take notice then, or is it just me?! I never paid much attention to English royalty before then, but now... I still watch what's happening to her two sons and I even watched when Prince Charles married what's her face.... Camilla.

Surprisingly, she is very normal looking. Don't know what I expected, but she wasn't dressed up or anything. Had on a cream colored dress w/ pink something on it... maybe flowers or some type of small print. It wasn't a real fancy dress - just simple, but yet she looked elegant... maybe that's due to the fact that she's a Princess, you think? She had her hair up in a bun, which I think is the norm for her, and she came across as rather tall. She had on gloves yesterday when she arrived into the country, but I don't remember seeing gloves today.

Anyway... the hubby said I should run up and say hello... tell her that I'm a Princess from the West... I laughed... can you imagine?!! They're sitting in the formal room right next to me... I can hear someone in the hall clipping their nails w/ clippers!!!!! Now... why are they standing out in the hall cutting their nails at a time like this?? Some men... they have no class! I have to laugh though... I wonder if they realize how loud it sounds?!!

Well, she wasn't here for long. They were prob here for a total of 20 mins.... what's weird is when you walk past the meeting room, everyone will be sitting around on the sofas in a huge half circle... but NO ONE talks. What's up w/ that? Why do ppl just sit, smile and have their pictures taken, but have no real form of communication. Ok... maybe it's formality and there was some talking.... maybe, hopefully there was. There were women in there this time... so... you know there had to be talking! I know they're all gabbing and laughing rather loudly right now... only wish I understood it!

Monday, November 20, 2006

10 weird things about me

I've been tagged by Munther from Drivel of 2 Modern Bahrainis to list 10 weird things about myself... so here goes. Oh yeah, you can find his list on his site - which, after reading his list, aren't things I'd consider weird at all. :)

1. I don't like talking on the telephone, except to my family. If it's someone new that I don't really know, I'll usually try to send an email instead. And even after communicating thru email, I find it extremely difficult to talk to them on the telephone.

2. I'm very particular about the way toilet paper is put on the roll. I find it to be much easier if the paper is facing to the front instead of coming from the back. ;) So, if someone puts it on that way, I will always change it.

3. I live in my head all the time and ppl have called me weird for it. Meaning => I can sit and just stare into space w/ ppl thinking that I'm not concentrating or such, but in all actuality, my mind travels a mile a minute and I'm not only thinking, but I'm planning, organizing, daydreaming, imagining, going over things that have happened.... all sorts of things. Used to, ppl would snap their fingers in front of my face and I've even had a few ppl tell me, "wake up"... but what they don't know is that I'm concentrating more than they could imagine.

4. I can have 5 or more conversations going on at one time and tend to leave many ppl in the dark because of this. There are very few that can keep up... which I guess can be an annoyance.

5. I can also talk really fast, altho I really try not to in this part of the world, and used to be criticized for it.... now ppl just think I'm weird.

6. I used to drink Pepsi and milk together. It's actually not bad... but I haven't in ... I don't know how long. ;) It was a Laverne and Shirley thing.

7. I believe in aliens.

8. I believe in life after death.

9. I also somewhat believe that if we don't succeed in what we are meant to do on earth during our life here, we will be born again and have to keep repeating it until we get it right.

10. I strongly believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. You do something bad to someone and you'll get it back 10 fold.... one way or another. Perfect example => Anna Nicole Smith. Yeah, some of you may think me mean for saying it, but I truly believe she's getting what she deserves.

ok... this is my list. I tag Alfanan, Puppy, Olivia, One Wink and whoever else would like to play along... just let me know so that I can read your lists! :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

drip drip drop little April shower!!

Ok, It's not April but you'd think it was by the way it's raining in Bahrain!!!! The rains have finally come and I'm just thrilled. I LOVE THE RAIN!!! I wish I could go outside and run around in it, acting like the little girl that I am, but you know, everyone would think me a nut... ok, I am a nut, but don't tell anyone! ;)

Seriously, it's so dark outside and it's pouring down. It has been sooooo long since the rains have been here. The weather is cool, there's a nice breeze blowing that's makes me a rather chilly. I have my window open and can hear it... now, I wish it would thunder and lightening. They said on the weather report this morn. that it was going to rain and we'd have thunder, but I've heard nothing thus far.

Gosh, I wish I was home. I'd love to have a good book, a nice cup of decaf, while sitting on the porch listening to this beautiful rain. What is it about rain that makes me feel so happy inside? A lot of ppl get depressed w/ the rain. I know my mother hates it. She says it makes her feel depressed... but not me. I've never minded getting wet in the rain... while some ppl run into the store or into the house, I walk as slow as possible. I can remember being in London years back w/ the hubby and it was raining. We walked around outside for hours getting soaked... it was so wonderful.

My MIL loves the rain like I do. Last year, when the rains came, I went to her house and we went outside and ran around like school girls, laughing and getting wet. I sit and think about her now and wonder if she's loving it as much as me. She collects the rainfall in plastic things and keeps it... not every time it rains but the first rainfall of the season. If I'm not mistaken, I think she uses it for something in particular - some type of tradition - or even drinks it. Maybe she doesn't drink it... but I can't remember. It's all for good luck and such though. I like that tradition.

Well.. now it has slowed down quite a bit and it's only drizzling now... :( It sure was nice while it lasted. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get soaked when I get home... maybe it'll rain like crazy all day today.

Happy day everyone.

Oh yeah.. the hubby is in Dubai so he's missing this. I think it's hot there.... I'm sure he'd love to see the rain... hopefully, if we're lucky, it'll continue for the next week or so.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Casino Royale

We saw this pic lastnight. Wow... what a good movie. I'm a huge James Bond fan and although I was a little disappointed when they decided to go w/ the new guy - Daniel Craig - because I liked Pearce Brosnan as James Bond and I wasn't quite sure if I'd like the new movie or what, but decided to go in w/ an open mind and give it a chance, and, boy, was I pleased.

He's really good as James Bond! I'd say he reminds me of Sean Connery but he's much better. There's something about this Daniel Craig. Is it his ice blue eyes? Blonde hair? Bathing suit scenes?? hmmmmm... I'll let you be the judge because w/ all honesty, it wasn't that stuff that made him sooooo good in my opinion. Yeah, he isn't hard on the eyes, but he's also a good actor. I'm not sure that I've ever seen him before in a movie. Is he mainly a British actor? I don't know, but I can't wait for the next movie... that IS for sure.

There's something about this guy that makes him the perfect fit, and I would have NEVER thunk it!! He pulls you in.... his attitude is different from the others..... there's a seriousness about him that the others didn't pull off. So for all of you out there screaming and yelling cuz Pearce no longer has the role... well, take my word for it and see the movie! It's delicious!

I didn't see the first Casino Royale from years back, so can't say for sure how it compares to the new one, but this movie had a great story line. It had a lot of action but wasn't over the top like the last two movies. The last James Bond movie didn't really sit well w/ me, but this one.... well, it proved to me that Pearce wasn't the right man for the job. This one took you from the edge of your seat one minute to a relaxed story line the next. It was full of surprises and every time I thought it was about to end, it started moving so fast that I wasn't sure if being pregnant and sitting thru this movie was such a good idea.

All the other actors in the movie were also really good. The bad guy played by Mads Mikkelsen was cool and relaxed. He had a bad guy confidence that I like to see. I like actors that can carry off really good bad guys and he did it well, I think. I've never seen this guy before either, so not sure what film credits he has to his name. James' big love interest was played by Eva Green as Vesper Lynd. I liked her in the role. She wasn't over the top like some have been in the past.... and I'd love to give you more details about her character and such, but I won't. The other short-lived, one night stand love interest was played by Caterina Murino. Loved her accent and both women were absolutely gorgeous.... couldn't ask for better girls to go along w/ James Bond.

I won't give any spoilers for it but I'd love to hear if you've seen it and what you thought. If you haven't seen it and like these type of movies, by all means, SEE IT!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

what's up today and this past weekend

For the last week our office has been under construction. They're repairing bathrooms and the main hall for meetings and such. The fumes have been horrible. Yesterday I decided to stay home, day before I went home at about 10:30 a.m. and today I'm thinking of just taking some vacation until all the work is done. It's just not healthy to breathe this crap in, and since I don't have a choice when getting up to go to the bathroom and such, I'd rather just go home.

Tonight I start my exercise class... I'm excited. My back is killing me and I hope I get some great tips on how to stretch it out or even pop it.... that, I think, would feel just fabulous. My tail bone is also killing me... it's weird the things that hurt... things you wouldn't imagine. I know that the hips move and such, so I'm assuming that's why it's hurting the way it is... but let me tell ya, it's not pleasurable.

Friday night we went to a BBQ. It was the first time in meeting everyone at the party, except for the hosts. I so enjoyed it. Everyone there - except the hosts - were expats married to Bahrainis. There were three British women and one Indian woman. They were sooooo nice. I've never really talked to British women before. My hairdresser is British and I post on some blogs of British women, but I've never had one-on-one chats.... and I loved it. They were nice. Different and better than I expected. We've been to the British Club a few times and the Brits weren't very open and accepting - sorta clickish, so I imagined it to be the same, but it was nothing like that. And the hubby got along nicely w/ their husbands, so it was a nice time all around.

It was good to meet women that have the same issues as me (as an expat married to a Bahraini man), same or similar probs w/ in-laws, and all of them had children, so we were able to discuss so many topics relevant to that.... it was a little slice of heaven. They gave me great advice, told me some secrets on what to expect and such after having kids, as well as how differently ppl treat you after having children in this part of the world.

We also discussed the whole issue of what language to teach the child. I had been leaning towards only teaching English at first for the mere fact that it's my native tongue and since I'm the mother, but they all disagreed. One lady had done precisely that and regretted it. Now, her two sons were having major probs w/ Arabic in school and she's had to send them off for private lessons and whatnot so that they could catch up. So... now, I'm reconsidering all of it and we're thinking that I'll speak English and the hubby will teach the baby Arabic. Plus, what a great way for me to really pick up the language. I know some Arabic... or I should say that I know LOTS of words, but I can't really speak in full sentences... so this will be a great way for me to learn it as well. I had wondered if two languages would only confuse the child but all of them said no. One of the ladies there said that her little girl now uses Arabic as her first language, interestingly enough.

We also talked about schooling and how it can be for kids of American, British or Indian mothers that are married to Bahrainis. They are treated badly in school, depending on where they go, for the mere fact that their mothers are different and this is something that I don't want. Most agreed that it's the public school system that has this problem, altho some have had the problem in private schools. I think a lot of it depends on the name you give the child, what they look like and if they know Arabic. So teaching Arabic will be key, I realize this now. It was nice to see their kids... what they looked like. Sorta gave me a feeling of what our child will look like. Isn't it sad how mean/cruel kids can be. I had my own issues in school from bullies and such, but I can't imagine being picked on, teased and tormented over the fact that your mom is American, British or something different. It's hard enough in school w/ peer pressure and just wanting to be accepted but to add on this... well, I just hope when the time comes that we pick a good school that doesn't have all of these problems. But really, is there any way to escape it? I doubt it.

Gosh, it was just so nice to meet others like myself and to have ppl to talk to. We had a really good time. Oh yeah... and GREAT food. They fixed bbq kebabs, lamb chops, grilled chicken and beef sausages - which were heavenly, and some spicy rice w/ all sorts of things in it, green chilis stuffed w/ pineapple, grilled cheese, salads, garlic bread, and some of the best desserts. I had this divine choc. cake... and I ate every last drop of it! :) I love me some choc. cake, that's for sure. I crave sweets now that I'm pregnant... prob why I've gained so much weight... you think??! :)

But at least I have the exercise class tonight. I hope it'll stretch me out and help me to sleep better. I used to be the drill sergeant that would push my husband when we went out walking/running and such, but not any more. We walked the other night and I wound up laughing at myself. I guess we walked for about 20 mins or so and by the time we were on our way back, I was having to hold my back and wobble like the child was gonna pop out at any moment. Not that I had overdone anything because I now walk at a snail's pace... but it's just funny to see me like this - in seeing the way I use to be - so driven and everything w/ exercise. Now I get tired really fast, my hips start killing me and I can only last for prob 30 mins.... nothing longer. It's weird how your body changes.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Birthing 101

Lastnight we went to our second ante-natal class. There are two Indian couples in the class and one British woman that is having her 2nd child. Our first class covered the stages of pregnancy and we saw a slide show followed by a short lecture. We also had our first relaxation exercise that night (we get these every night), which was quite nice. It's nice in that I've done relaxtion/meditation before and am only hoping/praying that this helps during childbirth... but I laugh at the thought!

Our class lastnight covered labor. Boy, they don't waste any time in showing all the details, that's fer sure! ;) We watched a film that showed 5 or 6 ladies, and their husbands, before, during and after giving birth. Needless to say, I cried multiple times and felt totally freaked out a few times... and wondered, to myself, how the hubby was handling seeing all the graphics! What was funny is that the first couple in the film were British and right after she gave birth, the nurse fixed her a cup of tea. We all laughed afterwards. It was strange seeing her sitting up in the bed having a cup of tea.... as if she hadn't just pushed a huge baby out of a very small area... and she seemed perfectly fine. I will say, those British really know how to handle stress! ;)

There were a few women in the film that didn't handle the labor too well, but almost all of them were so quiet and hardly showed any real signs of agony. Only one in the film had pain meds during the process. One couple had a water birth, so it was nice to see this because I'm thinking of doing it. What was so sweet about it was when the baby's head and arms came out, he opened his eyes and looked at them while he was still under water and started moving his arms around. It was so touching. I found myself wondering if the couple were scientologists or something, or maybe hippies, because they were being so quiet and making everything so peaceful for the child. It was very touching. This woman had like 6 other ppl there during her labor and childbirth... not something I'd do, but... whatever floats your boat.

The hubby has decided to be w/ me in the delivery room. I can hardly believe it. He's the only one that I want to be around me, honestly. I don't want his family, my family or anyone because when I'm in pain, I like to be alone, not touched or bothered, so the last thing I want would be a bunch of ppl sitting around me while I'm going thru something like that. When his sister gave birth, the whole family was there... yeah, I know for moral support but I don't want it. What use is it to have them there? They're all talking, watching the TV and such... I'm not one for this. I want quiet and to go thru the pain on my own... not w/ ppl watching me. Am I the only one here or what?

His family has tried to turn him off on being w/ me in the delivery room, saying that it's not something that he should be doing, it's not good for a man to see this, and/or the hospital won't allow it. His older brother and mom have gone on and on about this. BUT.... the hospital very much wants the husband to be involved. They strongly encourage it. Not that I want him helping the dr. out, filming it or anything, but I would like for him to be there for moral support, altho he swears that I'll grab him and say "you did this to me!!!" and act like a she devil w/ my head spinning, while spitting venom and such! ;) hehehe Imagine. But you know, anything's possible!

His close friend's wife just had a baby. He's Bahraini and he was in the delivery room with her... he even cut the cord. This was a first for me in hearing of a Bahraini being in the delivery room. From what I gather, most men in this part of the world don't get involved in the birthing process. I'm really glad that his friend did this... now he sees he's not the only one. I think it's a good thing for the man to be involved... more men should be active in this and be there for their wives. It's not like they weren't involved in making it happen... so why not lend a hand or be there to encourage her or to give her strength... you know?

Lastnight, one of the guys was talking about how many men faint in the delivery room, and then the nurse started talking about how they can't take care of both the husband and wife... so if it looks like the husband can't handle it, they'll ask him to leave. My husband laughed, wiped his head and continued to sweat! ;) I wonder if he'll be able to take it. I've never really seen him in any type of emergency situation to know how he handles it. I've never seen him handle blood or anything.... so I wonder how he'd be. It makes me smile to think about it... I wonder if he'll freak out or if he'll be strong and try to talk me thru it. He told me that he'd bring a picture of our kitty Cedrick to help give support. And... he's really good at cracking jokes and making me smile when I'm upset or sad, so maybe he'll do just fine. Plus... it's not like he hasn't seen everything now and I mean everything... they showed it all lastnight in the film... so he knows what to expect and such. To think about it... I think he has helped me before when I cut myself... or maybe it was me helping him when he cut himself.

You should have seen all the men lastnight during the film. All their legs were jittery, expressions of fear on their faces and us women... we were covering our mouths, rocking back and forth, crying... KNOWING... and I mean knowing what is ahead of us and fearing it. We all asked about pain medicine - what's available, what is preferred, what helps, what doesn't help, does the water help... any and all questions were asked while we looked at each other, laughed sometimes and then came to the realization that we were next. :)

I worked w/ a girl a long time ago that filmed the whole process. She brought the film to the office when she returned and showed it to everyone. It was like they were all going to the movies... getting their popcorn, pulling up a chair and enjoying the show! (kidding, but seriously)... Who in the hell wants to watch a co-worker give birth??? I know I don't. I think it just changes something after that. I guess some women are into this... and if you are, well... hmmm... I guess I don't know what to say. I'm just not one for showing such a private moment to ppl that I work with, but some women figure that they've exposed themselves to so many ppl what's a few more... I guess that's the logic. Who knows. But... for all of you that have done it... I guess I could say, more power to ya!

Anyway... this was interesting, to say the least, lastnight and I will say, having him there w/ me brings a closeness to us. He can appreciate the baby more cuz I think it's hard for a man. Here the woman is pregnant and is feeling everything - the sickness, the weight gain, the baby kicking... everything and he feels nothing. So in watching these movies and getting involved... it allows him to have a special place in the whole process and I'm happy for this. I suggest it to all of you out there. :)

Happy day to you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's Almost That Time

Can you believe that in about a month 1/2, it will be Christmastime??? This year has flown by and I can't hardly believe it. It's just crazy how fast time flies, the older you get.

Last week, I stumbled upon some great buys at Home Center ... things to decorate your house for Christmas. They have some beautiful things for really great prices. And I'm talking BD3, BD4 and BD5 priced items. I love to decorate the house for Christmas and since most of the things I have, I've had for years and years and years, I decided to buy some new things to make the house more festive. I'm thinking of getting some garland to put along the banister on the stairs, but then if I do that, I'm gonna want lights to add to the mix, so not sure if that'll work since sockets are difficult to find in our house - meaning - we don't have a lot, so hooking lights up seems like it coud be a headache and turn into a play problem for the cats.

I've already started shopping for my family and will finish it up at the end of this month. I do it early so that I can get the box shipped to the States in time for Christmas. Shipping from Bahrain is soooooo dang expensive. To ship by regular mail is a joke, so we have to use either Fed Ex or the other service that's reliable or else the box won't make it. My mom once sent a box to me via mail and it took over 4 mths to get here. I've sent things via regular mail and some things never arrived... same w/ my mom. Once she sent me a whole envelope full of pictures and it never arrived. This is so aggravating, so I've opted for not using the postal service in this country... just too risky.

We have a really tall, fake Christmas tree that we put up every year. This year I want to put it up right after the American Thanksgiving, which is on November 24th, so that I can enjoy it for a good month before having to take it down. I LOVE to sit at night and watch the Christmas tree lights blink on and off.... twinkling to a rhythm all their own. It makes my heart happy and brings such a calm over me. There are a few other houses in our neighborhood that do Christmas trees.... it's a good feeling to share that w/ other ppl. A few of our Arab friends put up trees... and a few even celebrate Christmas, surprisingly. I wonder if they get the same joy from watching the lights?

Haven't started shopping for the hubby yet... will probably do that at the end of the month as well. In years past, I've been bad in that I wait until the last minute to get his presents bought and wrapped, and under the tree so that he can enjoy them. I wait until a week or so before Christmas to get it done, which isn't much fun, so this year I've made a pact w/ myself not to do this - I'll see if I can stick w/ it. But let me tell ya... if you think that's bad, that little bugger waits until the day before Christmas usually to do his shopping!! I wonder what he'll do when it's time to buy presents from Santa?? hehehe can't wait until the last minute then!

And since I'm on the topic of Christmas... it brings my thoughts to cooler weather. This month it's supposed to start getting colder in Bahrain. The rains will hopefully come this month, altho I don't see how it's possible since it's still hot outside, but I can dream, can't I?? :)

Last year, I wrote a poem about the New Year, the cold temps and such and it was published, surprisingly, in the States last year. So... for your reading enjoyment ;) here it is. Note: I wrote this one day while sitting at my desk at the office. It was freezing cold outside, the winds were blowing like crazy and the poem just sorta hit me w/ a gust...

New Year

A new year comes in on this crisp wind
that's charging off the Arabian Sea.
It sweeps across this desert oasis
like a windstorm filled with fury.
Each hair follicle stands erect and
salutes thy master for its crowning glory.
No one escapes as it rushes up to greet you
with a howling hello.
Your mind is carried away like
a gust of wind so fast
that you're frozen in time.
It caresses the soul with a chill
that's straight from Heaven.
"Hello New Year," the wind screams o'loud;
may the masses horde together,
warming themselves,
whilst wishing for a warmer day that will
allow us to play on the sandscapes
of yesteryear.

Happy day everyone :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

housemaid vs. nanny vs. babysitter vs. daycare

So many ppl here have housemaids raising their children. This is something that I've never agreed w/... not even once. Many ppl call these babysitters nannies, but they're not. They are housekeepers and some of them don't even do that well.

So in looking at this situation, and w/ the pressure I have on me to let these housemaid's take care of my child when that dreaded day comes to go back to work (meaning after I have the baby), I will have a big fight in front of me because I will IN NO WAY allow such a person to watch our child. No WAY. I know several who do this and see nothing wrong w/ it. My husband was raised w/ a so-called "nanny". I know she didn't clean house and her only function was to watch the children, which she even did at the childcare center, but .... was she really qualified, I ask myself. I know that he had no major issues as a child... other than not having his mom around as often as he would have liked... but I think a lot of children of parents who work could say the same. But... my big thing is....

Qualifications. That's what it all boils down to in my mind. Housemaids come here to clean house... but so many ppl have them clean house, fix the meals, watch the children, feed the children, play w/ the children, do the madam's hair, do the madam's nails (all salon work for all of the family including males), do outside labor, wash the cars.... and the list goes on and on and on. So... in looking at this, how can a person like this be able to watch a child and why would a parent allow such?

Many families have multiple housekeepers w/ one being assigned the duty of watching the child - or depending on the day - depends on the housekeeper watching the child. I see this all the time. We'll go out to eat and the family has a housemaid chasing after the kids, walking around w/ the baby in a stroller or you'll see a group of children out running around and a housemaid chasing after them. I always ask.... "where are the parents!??"

Makes me think that society is sorta lazy when it comes to raising children. Not only does the mother give the baby off to her mother immediately but then as soon as the child is old enough, the housemaid takes the baby. Why wouldn't a mother want to bond w/ her child? What mother or father wouldn't want the pleasure of watching their child's face light up when they're playing a game or laughing from something that is so special that at the next moment, that time is gone forever.

But... then I think about daycare. This is probably something I'll have to do. Don't know yet what will happen because who knows what time holds, but daycare is something I'm seriously looking at. Altho, some daycare facilities have housemaid type of ppl watching the children... don't think the good ones do, but I think some might opt for that. Daycares can be good for a child. They'll be able to be around other children to play and to socialize, but my only thing is that I want a place w/ good English speaking individuals that can teach my child and I don't want religion forced down their throats from such an early age. Many places here have big time religion-backed facilities... meaning that they have whole periods dedicated to religion based studies. I wonder... is this for all ages or just preschool and up or what. Personally, I don't want someone else teaching my child religion. I know it must happen in school, for all schools here have religion classes, but I don't want someone sending my child messages about religion that I don't necessarily agree with.

I think a lot of time is spent, in the schools here, brainwashing children. I know I'll prob get a lot of ppl criticizing this line of thinking that I have, but this is just how I feel. I saw it first hand at a daycare that my MIL runs. All the women there are highly religious and some believe things that I don't believe.... so, therefore, how could I feel good about having women like this raise my child? Not that they'd be raising my child, but when your child is spending 6 plus hours w/ someone... something has to sink in. The most significant years for a child are the first 6... basically everything that they'll take on into their adult life is learned during this timeframe, so, to me, this is the most important time and I don't want just any schmoooo out there taking care of my child. I'd rather do it myself and this is what I'm struggling with.

A ton of ppl in this part of the world don't agree w/ a mother being a stay-at-home mom. While this is looked at as a really good thing in the States, it isn't here. Or not by the large majority, including my in-laws. I know I'm going to face heavy criticism when this time comes and have already, matter of fact, but I don't care. How many chances do you have to raise your child? You get one chance and one chance only. Unless I find a qualified school/preschool and such, I don't know that I'd feel confident in allowing just anyone to raise our child. How could anyone feel good about such a thing? How could anyone leave their child w/ just anyone? Altho, many do it.

I have so many things facing me in the months ahead. Obstacles that could turn into nightmares.... but I am firm and have decided to stand strong no matter the odds and no matter what anyone thinks. I don't care if ppl talk behind my back... I don't care if they think badly of me for wanting to raise my child MYSELF, I don't care what they say. You have one chance to get it right... why play w/ that?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My BIGGGGGG secret :)

Over the last few months, actually months ago, I mentioned that I had a secret but couldn't tell it. Not sure if anyone picked up on it because I was somewhat coy about it, and then a few blogs ago, I talked about keeping secrets and how well ppl could keep secrets and such. My sister was dying to tell my secret and has been pressing me for months to tell my secret... but I didn't and now I will.

I didn't for many reasons, which I'll get to in a few. I guess the big thing now is to open up and spill the beans.

Well.... I am pregnant. :)

Six months to be exact. I started the first week of my 6th month this week.

Many may wonder why I kept it a secret for so long... probably thinking me a bit strange, but there are reasons behind it. Reasons that I don't really agree w/, but because I have respect for those around me and because you just never really know, I kept it a secret.

I think a lot of my blogging as of late is based on my pregnancy. I wrote about adoption and even had one blog friend ask me why I didn't want children... she didn't know about my pregnancy. That's why I chose that topic to write about. Yeah, a long time ago, I didn't want kids as I said in my post... never thought I'd have kids matter of fact, but low and behold... I'm gonna have a baby! :)

First off, it's a HUGE taboo here or there's so much superstition surrounding childbirth in this part of the world, that anyone and everyone will tell you not to tell a soul that you're expecting until you're well past your 3rd month. Then, after my third month, I had my MIL telling me not to tell anyone until after my 5th month... now I have her telling me not to buy anything for the baby until after my 6th month. It all causes me a headache and because I'm American and childbirth is a HUGE deal in the States, something that is celebrated w/ parties, lots of talk w/ girlfriends, and all that jazz, it was been so difficult for me not to tell anyone.

I've told my family... and have only now told a few close friends of mine. The reason behind this is that I was pregnant last Sept. and had a miscarriage which caused me a lot of emotional distress for many months and I think, on my part, there was a lot of fear surrounding this pregnancy and the fear that if I got too excited about it and told, I'd sure enough lose the baby. Plus, soon enough ppl will see that you're having a baby, so I figured when that time came, I'd then let my friends know. Well..... that time is here!! :)

It's weird because now I can sorta explain all the absense of memory that I've had over recent months (and some who have wondered w/ my blog comments that I've left on their sites can understand this - so many times I'd draw a complete blank w/ things) - which is a common occurance w/ pregnant women, my mood swings (which have been plenty, believe me) and pissy attitude at times, my cleaning freak attitude that has hit me over the last month (this is the nesting stage my sister tells me), my many blogs about things of the past and memories of childhood fun, all the things that I've found in my things at home that I've kept over the years, all my girlie posts... and so on and so on. This has all been because of my little hidden secret.

Here, in the ME, and even in other countries like India, Mexico and such, there is this thing called evil eyes. I was told that my last miscarriage was because of this (and many tried to say it was because of our cats!!), and for anyone who has experienced such a thing and is foreign to it like myself, it can come as quite a shock to the system and even frighten you to a point that you're afraid of your own shadow. Well... this has been a big part of not telling as well. I guess w/in the last month though, I've become quite impatient w/ the whole evil eyes thing and have pressed my husband for weeks to just get on w/ it and that I'm gonna let the news out. So, today, is the day... the day to put it out there.

So... Puppy... here are my happy thoughts! :) I'm pregnant. :) I'm going to have a baby and I'm really happy. So happy that my emotions get the best of me and my eyes are tearing up as I'm writing this.

That's the thing w/ pregnancy, you can cry at the drop of a hat and I do. ;) My emotions have been crazy. One minute you're happy, the next you're sad, the next you're mad. My husband has loved it, believe you me. ;)

Me... well, when I first found out, I was thrilled, elated and almost in a fantasy type of world w/ it, then reality set in and I got serious about it. I worry a lot.... about all sorts of things really, so you can imagine my life. It's getting better now, since months ago I decided to put my worries in God's hands and not flip out over the stupidest things (altho I still do)... but it's better.

My sister will be overjoyed that I'm finally saying something on my blog. She's so happy and we chat all the time about it. I'm so glad I have her in my life to talk about this w/... she has a 6 yr old and wrote everything down when she was pregnant, so she likes to whip out the 'ole baby book and tell me this and that whenever I have a question. Altho, sometimes this makes me very lonely and fills me w/ longing to be close to my family in the States. I've been having a lot of this lately... I think cuz it's getting close and I'm starting to panic a little about all the formal things and the needs of the baby. There are just so many things and you think you know everything and think "oh, how hard can this be".... UNTIL, it's your turn. :)

So... there's a lot that to write about and I'm sure I will now and again, but I'll try not to overload my blog w/ it... cuz I do love to write about all the demented stuff that comes into my mind! ;)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

trick or treat!!

Happy Halloween!!!

I love Halloween! It's one of my favorite holidays. This picture shows all the magic of Halloween so well. The sun is about to set (which is the time you go out to trick or treat), the glorious pumpkin (which I LOVE to cut out and only wish they sold pumpkins here in Bahrain!!!!) with its eyes and mouth lit up by candles, the cross from the graveyard and then the trick or treaters. :)

Aaaaahhh, the memories from my childhood. I so looked forward to dressing up and going out to all the neighborhoods to get candy and other treats. My mom used to make our costumes sometimes and I can remember how fun it was trying to decide what we'd be that year. I can remember dressing up as the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and going to a party w/ my sister and niece and nephew, who dressed up as the other characters of the movie - that was a lot of fun. I've been a witch, a hobo, a Raggety Ann doll w/ the red knit wig my mom made and everything, and just so many other things.

Trick or treating was always a blast. My step-dad would take us around to all the neighborhoods and you'd not only get to see your friends and all the great customes of the other children, but you'd also get to go to some scary houses that were decorated to the hilt. I can remember being afraid to go up to some houses because they'd have witches on their porch or zombies and such, and sometimes the adults would dress up and scare the children. This is something my mom LOVES to do. I find it funny now, but as a child, it scares you to death!!! ;)

My aunt had this huge Halloween party at her house when I was a young girl. All my cousins went, friends and such. There was food, cake, candy and ppl dressed up like goblins, ghosts, zombies, just all kinds of creatures. Well, during this party, they'd start playing scary music and when that happened, all of us kids would have to find a place to hide because that's when all the monsters came out from hiding and tried to get us. Yeah, they had a pretty warped sense of fun and it scared the hell out of us kids, but the memories from this will last me a life time. I can remember hiding w/ my cousins under the dining table and ghosts would come and lift it up and try to get us. We'd hide behind pieces of furniture and they'd always find us. Once I sat on my older sister's lap, trying to keep them from getting me and one ghost came up and started pulling me from her lap. Well, I went into hysterics... complete and utter hysterics. Come to find out, the ghost was my MOTHER!!!!!! Can you believe it. I laugh now but gosh, it really scared me then. All the ghosts and monsters that night were our parents and friends of theirs. They loved to scare us as children... no wonder I hate horror movies as an adult!! ;)

I also LOVED going to haunted houses. Ohhhhh, how I loved that -yeah, there was something wrong w/ me!! I can remember the first one I went to. I guess I was in about the 4th grade, I think. We went w/ my girl scout troop. My older sister was one of the leaders so I stood by her all the way through. I was terrified, let me tell ya. At one spot in the house, it was a VERY narrow passageway and when you started walking down it, the wall in front of you slid up and there was this werewolf behind this gate that would try to grab you w/ his long claws. I got so afraid at the sight of this that I started screaming and couldn't stop. I couldn't move past him either. I was dead in my tracks... so afraid that he'd grab me. Finally, they pushed me through and one guy took off his mask so that I wouldn't be afraid and so that they could get me outta there. ;) Yeah, I was a scaredy cat... but I couldn't help it. It was the scariest thing... and... looking back, I loved it!!! I've gone to lots of haunted houses since then but nothing compares to that one.

Altho, once as an adult, I went w/ some friends to a huge haunted houses in Dallas and once you got inside, everything was black, except for lights that would come on and lead the way. So most of the time you spent behind the person in front of you trying to find your way thru the maze inside. At one point, I entered this huge room that had strobe lights. They were going on and off and you couldn't really see anything, but I remember this mummy or a dracula coming up from behind me and I started screaming and trying to run from it. That was pretty crazy.... and it was great in that it got my blood pumping fast that night which is always a fun thing when you're in these places. I miss this so much.

This is the hard thing about being away from the States. Times like these. I miss all the holidays so much. In Bahrain and maybe the other countries around here, they don't really celebrate much except for Eid. Young children get excited about Eid because they're getting money, but that's about it. Most of the things that ppl celebrate here is death. Not like Halloween but the death of certain ppl, so there's a lot of mourning going on... which can be rather depressing. To me, ppl like to be depressed here. I don't like it.

I wonder what it would be like if they started celebrating holidays like in the States. I know the children would love it and maybe even the adults. Adults don't do much here in terms of celebrations... except for weddings. Once you reach adulthood, there isn't much for you. You don't get presents usually for your birthday, you don't get presents or money at Eid.... there is no Halloween, no Easter, no tooth fairy, no Thanksgiving, no Christmas... so no candy and no presents. :(

But I have the memories that will forever live on inside of me. I can think about it and remember it like it was yesterday. Don't get me wrong, there are Halloween parties here. Certain clubs throw adult oriented parties, and last weekend the Ritz Carlton had a big shabang for children and adults where ppl dressed up. A friend of mine told me that in certain areas here in Bahrain you can even take your child trick or treating. I haven't seen this but I'm assuming it's in the American or British areas. I know that stores sell Halloween costumes. Last weekend I was at Geant and I saw lots of Bahraini kids at the area where the costumes were. I felt sad somewhat in that they don't have the joy of truly experiencing the joys of Halloween. Yeah, maybe some of their parents take them out... maybe that's why they were getting the things... but I had the feeling that they were just excited to see the masks, the swords, the fake vampire teeth and such.

Anyway.... Happy Halloween everyone. For all of you in the States and in the UK, I hope you guys have a glorious time, and if you have children, I hope they have a blast going out and trick or treating!!!!


Monday, October 30, 2006

don't ignore this

edit: as of 12:45 p.m. today (new edit: actually it happened much earlier - around 9:00), Mahmood's blog has been blocked by the MOI. I have no idea when and if it'll get back online (he has a mirror up, check out the link below)... but hopefully it will. He's tapped into some serious stuff, btw... this is why it's no longer viewable. This is serious... make note and keep checking. Ppl need to know what's happening in the world today.

edit to my edit: 3:42 p.m. - for all of you outside of bahrain, you'll have no probs in accessing his site. so... go there... take a look at what's happening in this country.

My friend Mahmood who is the Godfather of blogging (Mahmood's Den) had his site blocked yesterday from the Ministry of Information here in Bahrain. The MOI has blocked a good number of sites already and just announced the blocking of 7 more, including his.... but luckily it is back up and running this morning. There's also an article in today's GDN about this by Tariq Khonji... check it out if you're interested.

Mahmood's blog gets over 4 million hits a month... yeah, it's that good! You'll find all types of different topics of interest over there... anything from gardening (and he's a fantastic gardener btw... meaning => I'm terribly envious), and he knows his stuff when it comes to Bahraini politics, and all the ppl that are involved w/ making this tiny island of Bahrain go round and round. He's also a great photographer and has a wicked sense of humor.

So.... this is my shout out to him and for any of you that might be interested, check out his site. It'll give you a GOOD look at what's happening in this far away land... things that a lot of higher ups don't want you to see.... hence the reason his site was blocked by order of the Minister of disInformation.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

pet peeves

do you have any pet peeves? i do. and in saying that, i sit and wonder... does it make me difficult to live w/???? i know a few ppl that could chime in at any moment and give you a whole list of reasons for that answer to be yes, but when i look at it, honestly, i think it makes me more organized or structured in some areas, but w/ some pet peeves, it's just that some ppl don't have the same concerns or desires that i have to keep things a certain way.

i like things a certain way. am i anal retentive because of it?? i wouldn't say that. am i a Type A personality? i wouldn't say that either, but i do like things nice and orderly. now, don't get me wrong, i can let things go and not be a fantatic about cleaning or organization but it isn't a pretty sight! ;) i'm the worst at organizing little things or keeping pictures straight and whatnot. so.... i'm not a freak.... or am i??!!! i'm weird, that's for sure, but i chalk that up to being on the artsy fartsy side.

i'll tell ya some of my pet peeves if you'll tell me yours. :)

1) for some reason, i really dislike it when ppl leave ice trays half empty w/out emptying them and refilling them. i really don't like it when i go to get an ice cube and there's one left in the tray.... now, that really bothers me.

2) i can't stand that the girl that is helping me in the house refuses to keep my cupboard w/ the pots and pans organized the way i do it. i've shown her but she still just keeps throwing them in there w/out any rhyme or reason and i can't stand it. i find that i'm consantly going behind her and redoing the whole thing.

3) it really miffs me when someone uses the last of the toilet paper and doesn't put another roll on. this happens a lot in our house and i find that i'm constantly refilling the toilet paper rolls.

4) i don't like things left or kept in a messy state. in the laundry room for instance.... i like things to be in their rightful place. i have shelves in there and like certain things on certain shelves. i know where things are and it allows me to get to the detergent, bleach, etc. easily. lately, things keep getting put back where ever and it drives me insane. not only are laundry supplies being put on these shelves but also household cleaning supplies, which i keep in the kitchen. i find that i'm constantly searching for items and then putting it back where it belongs.

5) another thing that bugs me is when you show someone how to do something, they say they understand and have no questions but when they start to do it, it's nothing like the way you explained it. what is up w/ this??

6) i also don't like ppl coming and taking things off of my desk w/out asking or coming into my office and opening my drawers or using my computer w/out asking. this really bugs me. one thing in particular is the use of my pens. some of my pens are not from the ofc. and some ppl only want to use those. once i remember this dr. using a pen i got at a christmas fair. it's a beautiful pen and i love it. well, what did he do but started twisting it and playing w/ it and it fell apart. i got mad. i think he was shocked. i took the pen from him, laughed in a devilish way - so he'd know it wasn't funny - and told him he couldn't use the pen any more.

yeah... i have a few peeves.... but i know i'm not the only one. i could prob list several more but i'll spare you all and not put myself into total freakdom. ;)


The Devil Wears Prada

Been waiting and waiting for this movie to hit the Bahrain theatres and, FINALLY, it arrived.

We went the first day of Eid to see it and I was so glad that it was as good as I had hoped. For one, I LOVE Meryl Streep's acting in it and hope she wins an Oscar for her performance - she was THAT good. This woman really knows how to play bitchy.... but you know, there was something about her that touched my heart. Maybe because I've worked w/ women like this and even a guy, so I find the personality a little bit endearing. Yeah, call me crazy... but I understand it.

All the characters were great. I really liked the asst. Emily. I think her attitude combined w/ her British accent and way of behaving made her acting great and she made me laugh. Anne Hathaway was great in her role and it makes me wonder what will happen w/ her career. She's a good actress, so I'm hoping she'll get some substantial roles from this.... altho, her work was nothing in comparison to Meryl Streep, but who can compare to this woman!

It all made me think about my past jobs w/ ppl like this. Women who were super in their jobs and expected nothing less than perfection. They demanded everything from you, but gave very little. You were expected to remember everything, go 100 mph w/out a break, be on call at all hours of the day and night, and be totally dedicated to your job. Oh yeah... your personal life was unimportant, unless it was in direct relation to what you were doing on the job or for the job after working hours.

Funny how women can be called bitches and worse when they are powerful and have a bit of an attitude, and are looked at negatively for what they strive for and obtain, but when it's a man in the same type of position or in any position for that matter, they are looked at in a positive way and are admired for their determination and abilities to do well on the job. But you know... w/ so many obstacles in our way, it's no wonder that we've had to take on bitchy attitudes to get what we want out of life. No man will hand anything to you, so, in order to succeed, we have to work harder and push the envelope in a way that many men can not understand.... just so that we can make a difference, be heard, have a voice and rise above that glass ceiling.

Many think that it's easier for women nowadays, but is it? Do we all have to take on attitudes like Meryl Streep's character in this movie in order to succeed? Will men take us seriously if we don't? Sometimes I think it's a no-win situation. We are damned if we do and damned if we don't. I, for one, applaud women like this, women with an attitude, women who aren't afraid to grab the job by the balls and run w/ it!!!! :)

Happy day to you.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

faraway thoughts

been on vacation for the last week - during the Eid holiday and it's been quite nice. haven't touched the computer until today.... been keeping my days busy w/ things around the house. i've been doing a late spring cleaning of sorts... yeah, ok, i know it's oct., but it's like spring here! ;) why is it that i always have so much more energy to do this stuff when i'm not working during the day??? not that working wears me out by any means but there's just something about being at home that energizes me.

our flowers outside are in bloom, some things i planted last year have spread and sprouted so many flowers... it's just so lovely, and the weather is getting cooler ... soooo... what better way to celebrate than to clean! yeah, i can think of better ways to celebrate too, but the cleaning bug has hit me in a big way and i'm glad for it. today, i went thru the cupboards downstairs and there were sooooooo many things that had expired and needed to be thrown away. believe it or not, i still had things that i brought over from the u.s. three years ago. i thought that a lot of things had been thrown away already but after sitting there this morn. and pulling it all out onto the floor, i realized how much hadn't been done.

now, after organizing and throwing away everything, the cupboards look so much better and are finally organized. i'm sorta a freak about organizing and such - it's that virgo side of me - so you can only imagine how i feel having it all neat and tidy. ;)

before ramadan was up, we went to break the fast at one of the novatel restaurants and me and the hubby found ourselves talking non-stop about how undisciplined the children were that night. honestly, i don't know why parents get chairs for their kids - they aren't made to sit and eat. i would say that over 50% of the parents there that night were allowing their kids to have full run of the place... basically, all the kids were acting like little yard apes. this is something i've never understood. i wasn't allowed to do this as a child and won't allow my child to do this, and know if i were working at one of these places, i WOULD NOT want to watch someone else's kid as they tried their best to tear the place up, all the while the parents are sitting and chatting at their tables - not noticing or pretending not to notice a damn thing that their child/children are doing. not once did i see a parent get up and tend to their child... it was all the wait staff running around trying to make the kids behave themselves, which is an impossible task w/ some kids.

one family even allowed their two boys to go outside and since the pool was right in front of the restaurant, i wondered, when we were leaving, how that family would feel if something happened and one of those boys fell into the pool or something. i wondered how long it would take for one of the adults to get outside and possibly help save that child's life if need be, and i even said something to the children as they were shoving each other next to the pool (when we were leaving), but it went unnoticed.

another little boy even took it upon himself to rearrange all the stemware on some of the unoccupied tables while his parents, who were sitting behind us, looked on and said not a word. some little girls were even playing tag - running up and down the steps, and round and round the tables. FINALLY, their parents made them sit down and behave, but since we left not shortly after that, i wondered how long it would be until they were up and at it again.

the society here is one that has a hard time saying "no" to their children. my SIL has already taught her son this. he gets whatever he wants and he's learned rather quickly that if he screams enough, he'll get whatever he so chooses and he's only one 1/2 yrs old. i notice this all the time w/ ppl. even today i saw a little boy having a fit when his father took something away from him... he sat there and screamed until his father gave it back to him and when the father did, the little boy stopped screaming.

i don't know... but this is something i won't allow. i fully believe in setting limits and
not allowing a child to control the house. too many ppl allow their children to rule them. they do whatever it takes to please the child, but i sit and wonder what happened to the way things used to be?! why are so many kids totally outta control nowadays?? is it because of this instant gratification type of socity that sets endless boundaries for their kids? as i sit here and think about this, i wonder what it'll be like when these kids get older. they'll expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter but life just doesn't work like that... or it didn't for me. maybe we'll just have large corporations filled w/ adult babies who get down on the floor and have temper tantrums until they get what they want.... hahahahah .... imagine!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

make-up and perfume

yeah, this is a bit of a girly post (and rather pissy)... but, really, in looking at what i'm about to write, i think a lot of guys can relate to it.

first... let's talk about make-up. i love buying make-up, especially eye shadows. when i lived in the States, i'd be one of the first ones at the counters when they were having their free gift w/ purchase, and usually i'd buy eye shadows to get this precious little gift bag. to me, eye shadow says more about a girl than anything else... other than lipstick. i also love lipstick and think a girl can never have too many shades and different varieties of these sweet lil jewels.

guys get into eye shadows too.... or maybe it's just the movie stars, not sure. can't say that i've seen too many arab males walking the streets in eye liner and eye shadow as of late! ;) except for the few from kuwait... and you know who you are! ok ok.. maybe there are a few from bahrain as well, but i think they like to keep it a secret. personally, i think eye liner and shadow on guys looks hot. not too much or anything, but just enough to highlight the eye. in saying this though, i think most in this part of the world think it a very big negative to see a man w/ any sort of make-up on and dismiss it immediately as him being gay, when in all actuality, it doesn't mean that a man is gay if he chooses to wear a little eye liner or shadow now and again, but then again, he could be! and so what if he is. many rockers are sportin' it and most movie stars do too. so to all you arab males and men out there who think it's a bad thing... loosen up!

girls in this part of the world are REALLY into make-up... a little too much for my taste, honestly. i think my first real introduction to this was a few years back when i attended an arab wedding. boy oh boy.... the bride was not to be outdone, that is for sure. i wonder how long it takes to apply so much make-up? i think some girls stay at the salon for hours getting their hair done and make-up applied before attending weddings and for what, i wonder? anyway... another topic for another day.

sometimes when i look at different girls w/ so much make-up on (and i'm talking on an average day, not for a wedding or anything in particular), i wonder why w/ such natural beauty that most arab women have.... why they choose to cover it up w/ so much crap. i guess many think they're highlighting the beauty or something... or i guess they see these arab singers and actresses and such wearing it this way and, just like in the States, they copy it.... altho, i will say that many stars in the U.S. take on a "natural beauty" way of applying make-up instead of applying as much as possible. i don't know - there's a big difference between here and there, i will say that. and another thing... do guys like the arab girls wearing all this make-up?? when do the girls take this stuff off? right before going to bed or do some sleep in it? and it's not just the young girls either.... phew... the older women i see wearing this crap... it amazes me. if my mom wore make-up like that, oh gosh... i can't imagine it. but then... no wonder the daugthers are wearing it like that.

but don't get me wrong, i do like make-up... but not to the degree that i see so many ppl wearing it here. i think a little goes a long way... which brings me to my next point - perfume.

i do love myself some good smellin' perfume. yeah, i like the expensive stuff and the bigger variety the better... altho, i have limited myself as of late and only have about 4 bottles. :(

my mom always taught me that when putting on cologne/perfume, if you can smell yourself, then you're wearing too much. which, honestly, is true. some days, i will have on perfume and not even notice it, but will be some place, near someone and they'll comment on how good i smell. which is always a nice compliment - when someone likes your perfume. BUT.... i don't swim in the stuff before leaving the house and, even still, another person can smell it. the key is **where** you spray it, i think.

it's best to spray it on your pulse points and where you sweat. that way, it will last all day long (if it's a good perfume/cologne) and when you get excited, busy or stressed, then your perfume will do its job.

but you know, ppl don't do this here. both men and women swim or bathe in perfume every chance they get and i don't understand it. the other day, i got some papers from this guy at work and i could smell his cologne on the papers. yeah, it smelled nice, but i wondered what he smelled like if i could smell it all over the papers. when i walk out in the hall, all i smell is cologne and sometimes it's gagging.

ppl spray it all over themselves - from head to toe. and some don't use just one cologne, which is something i don't like to practice. i've seen ppl spray 3 different kinds on themselves.... the thought makes me cringe. maybe the reason is because sometimes cologne makes me sick, especially if it's cheap or these knock off brands, altho some higher priced brands do the same to me if i smell too much of it. when i go shopping, i've never been one to spray one cologne after another onto my wrist because i usually wind up getting a headache or getting sick to my stomach. i find the same happens when i'm out and about w/ my husband or such... i can be standing behind someone in line or walking behind them and will immediately start getting sick to my stomach because of their cologne and even if i don't get sick... there's just something inside of me that doesn't want to smell every joe on the street. smelling someone every now and again is ok but gosh... when does it end???? sometimes i can even smell someone after they've passed me or i'll walk into an area and smell someone after they've gone. now... that's some powerful cologne!

you can't run and you can't hide from it. it's everywhere and i don't get it. why do ppl bathe in cologne??? is it a tradition or the culture? i'm assuming it's the culture, but i also wonder if it's to get attention from the opposite sex. isn't that what cologne is for? attracting someone to you? i know that i like my husband to like my cologne. there's nothing like sweet kisses and the purring sound of "ooooohhhh, you smell good".... to put a smile on my face! :) but how far does one go to get that? why do some ppl want the world to smell them? this is the eye burning question!

one day i was at chili's. i had to make a quick run to the girlie room and when i walked in, i had to take a step back. you could see it in the air. there were prob 4 girls at the counter spraying cologne, doing their make-up and whatnot. after finishing and heading back to my table to sit down, it wasn't any time until i was reminded of the smell because once the girls left their 10 min. make-shift beauty salon and made their way back to their table, which was just a few yards from where we were sitting, i sat there, smelling them. you could smell it everywhere. it was sickening.

i don't know... maybe it's just me and i'm a grinch or something but i really have a problem w/ this. i worked w/ a girl, a while back, that brought her bottles of cologne to the office and sat them next to her. all day, every time the bossy poo would make his appearance, she'd bathe herself in that stuff. we had a small, closed-in office and, on some days, it was more than i could take. i'm not this kind... i spray or dab myself in the mornings and freshen up if going out at night or some place during the day, but i don't spray myself all day long at the office. what's the point? i take baths and i don't stink, so why do it?

i even know ppl who spray it on their hands... maybe that's what that guy did before sending me those papers and that's why they smelled like that. ooohhh... perfume tastes terrible so why put it on your hands. doesn't it get on your food?

smiles and back to that happy place! :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


One of my friends, The Moody Minstrel, has been telling some great stories on his blog about his experiences w/ tarot cards, ouija boards and the likes. If you like this sort of stuff, check out his blog.

It got me to thinking about this stuff and my experience in such... when I was a child as an adult.

First, how many of you have ever had your cards read, tea leaves read, done the whole coffee reading thing that they do here? I had my SIL read the grounds from the turkish coffee, but it was all nonsense, and she thinks she's good at it... made me laugh really... but you wouldn't believe how many ppl sit around her while she pretends to say things that any tom, dick or harry could say.... myself included.

I worked w/ a girl that had her fortune read by some woman that read stuff from the Quran.. which seemed really weird to me. I've also heard all the stories about evil eyes (have some of my own experiences w/ this as well - which I'll talk about later), the spells that the Moroccan girls put on their husbands or boyfriends and such, and the spells that Persians do. Altho, I think some Bahraini's do the same spells but they pretend that they don't... or maybe some do. Anyway... all of this and Moody's blog got me to thinking about my belief in such things.

I believe in tarot cards, the ouija board and having your fortune read - if done by the right person. I've done all of this. Not that I'm a believer in the occult or practice black magic or anything, because I don't, but I have gone to tarot readers, had my palms read in Jamaica and have played w/ the ouija board.... but so have many members of my family.

My mom and aunt used to play the ouija board when my aunt was married to this man that was a mean person. It would tell her how he was cheating on her and it would call her bad names and tell her how stupid she was. My mom said that many times the slider would move by itself. So, after hearing about all the spoooooky stories, me and my cousin, L, decided to play it and see for ourselves. We played that thing for days.... asked it all kinds of questions and watched to see what the answers were. I don't know how much of it was my cousin moving the slider or what, but it did answer everything and it got to a point to where I was terrified of the thing.

We put it in the closet and I got so afraid of it that I would run past the closet and never dare look in that direction. Yeah... but... I had some freaky things happen when I was young and I did, w/ all my heart, believe in spirits and still do.

I had a lady do tarot cards for me once. Me and my girlfriend, Y, went to see her. She let us tape record the session. Back then, which was probably 15 yrs ago, a lot of what she told me didn't make sense... but, EVERYTHING, she told my friend, happened. Later, after meeting my husband, I called my friend, Y, to tell her about him and she started reminding me of what that lady had said w/ the tarot cards. So much of what she said came true for me as well. She told me that I'd meet someone, like my husband, and even described him. I laughed at the time and even later, but now I see how right she was. She also told me that I would move to a far away place..... and indeed, it happened. My friend, Y, well, the lady told her that one of her friends was pregnant and didn't know it but would lose the baby. She told her the sign of this girl, her hair color and color of eyes... and, again, it happened. She also told her that someone very close in her family, that lived far away, was about to pass away. Her great grandmother passed away not long after this.

She also told us about relationships.... about travel, about kids... about so much. I've lost that tape and I'm really mad that I did.

The guy in Jamaica... well, he terrified me. I'll never forget. I signed up for a palm reading... thinking it was innocent enough. Well, I went into the place for my reading and there was this huge man there, dressed in clothes that made me think he was a witch dr. from the hills. He was spooooky looking... but it intrigued me... yes... I'm weird. ;)

He instructed me to sit down and I did. He then told me to hold out my hands as he started making signs over the tops of my palms. As he did this, he started telling me my life's story. It TOTALLY freaked me out because how in the world did this man know all of this stuff about me?!! I hadn't filled out any forms... hadn't talked to anyone on this vacation... nothing. But... he knew it and he just kept going and going... until I guess I finally became frightened and stopped it. He also told me about my endometriosis... which I do have and gave me some liquid stuff in a plastic bottle to rub on my stomach. He said it would go away.... and I'm assuming it did. For I haven't had any major probs w/ it for years and years. Anyway... that could be chalked up to just less stress of worry or something... but still.

Getting back to the ouija board... my ex SIL played w/ it non-stop. She told me how they'd put on music, after it would ask for a particular song and such, then it would slide around on the board, by itself, like it was dancing to the music. It would tell them secrets about other ppl... just all sorts of things.

It makes me wonder where this comes from. I started believing it was the devil and that's why I stopped playing w/ it, but I now wonder if it wasn't spirits. I don't know really ... because I was obsessed w/ the devil and evil powers for a long time in my youth and truly believed that lying or disbelief could send you straight to hell.... so when the ouija moved on its own w/ me, and I had the strange things happen when playing w/ my girlfriend that day in the house and when I thought my bed was moving on its own... well, it scared me into not picking up the ouija board ever again. I've seen it though.. they used to sell it at Toys R Us in the U.S. I looked here to see if they had it, but they didn't. I wonder if I would buy it now???

I remember a few years back when lots of ppl were writing into the GDN about devil worshippers here in Bahrain. I think a lot of the religious types thought that these young kids listening to rock music were worshipping the evil one.... and some guy even wrote into the paper saying that he saw ppl having some type of an occult mtg in the desert. I laughed at this... wondering how he knew.... was he right there.. did he attend!?

So... what are your stories? I know Moody has a LOT.... and a few of you Bahrainis prob have some of your very own stories as well that I'd love to hear about... even if it's about the dreaded evil eyes. My in-laws believe in these. We have some things hanging in our house for this and in our car.... and I had my own incident at work relating to this. Some guy heard me walking down the hall and asked "who is that horse walking down the hall". Maybe I've blogged about this before... if so, sorry. Anyway... I didn't know about this man, his so-called "skills" and only found out about it after I fell down the stairs at our house that weekend. Ppl at work said it was because of him and told me what he said and such. After this, I was pretty freaked out and decided to have nothing to do w/ this guy. But... I guess after a few months, this man stops by my office one day and asks me not to believe what ppl say about him. I decided not to believe ppl and to be friends w/ this man.

I've heard all sorts of stories about evil eyes... but I believe that if you let yourself believe in it, be afraid of it, it will affect your life. That's why I don't. Anyway....

tell me your stories!! It's getting close to Halloween and I'm anxious for some spooooky stuff!!!