Done Deal

13 May 2017 03:06 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art - guitton housework)
As of yesterday, we are homeowners. For Real. First time in ... 11 years. I'm excited in more ways than I am going to take the time to express. :P

A guy from the moving company came by this morning to estimate how much stuff we want to ship back to France. His estimate: 12-13 cubic meters. J's and my estimate: 4-5 cubic meters.

Comment and say who you think is closer to the truth. :P In any case, we pay on the real cubage, not any estimates. I. just.want. my. boxes.  Ms Antsy? That's me.

As soon as he left, I got online and booked a moving van to haul all our stuff that is in storage at my mil's up to our new abode. Hoarders Extraordinaire? That's us.

Seriously though, we have all sorts of stuff that we always knew we would need once we settled down again.

So our coming weeks look like this:

This week - Get boxes and start packing
May 20th - Celebrate Ti'Loup's 1st Birthday!!!
More weeks - pack some more
July 4th - Finally "Bye Bye, Egypt" for four of the Faures
July 8th - move into new home
unpack moving van stuff and wait for maritime shipment to arrive, probably mid-August - September.

Which means we have to be super careful how we pack from here. Cast iron skillets weigh a lot, but I will have put mine in my suitcase. Can't live without them for months. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
So, things:

Got my laptop back from the shop.  It works. Not perfectly, but certainly functional and probably for many years. No thanks to Apple.

I have some crud that really resembles strep throat.* I am self-medicating with homemade remedies and feeling better. J seems to have something similar (he has congestion; I had none. My fever lasted 2 days; his is going on four...), but the doc said J probably has something viral. A pediatrician came to the house today and said the three kids have strep. Didn't do a swab test or send anything to the lab, though.

I am not going to miss Egypt, but here are a few things that I will be sad to have no more of:

- Access to Egypt's mad love affair with all things DELIVERY! Seriously awesome when you are sick and can't muster the energy to cook for the sick family.

- Awesomely exotic blooming trees. (Note to self: take some pics when you feel better)

- The smell of citrus trees in bloom. Heady.

- The network of lovely people we've met here


And now time for bed.  Oh, I'm going to miss that, too. Our mattress here is terrific. Not so the one waiting on us back in France. :P

____________
* I spent almost all day yesterday lying in bed, watching this guy paint with his baby in his arms:


So relaxing. :D
wayfaringwordhack: (art: shroom sweet shroom)
Hello and Happy New Year.

2016 was a busy year, full of good and bad. Too much to sum up, even. A few things in no particular order because how can one classify things like this:

We gave birth to Ti'Loup, who is now 7.5 months old.
My mother was diagnosed with esphogal cancer.
My grandmother died.
I wrote a Middle Grade fantasy novel.
We found a house to buy in France (our offer was accepted on New Year's Eve; we have yet to sign the papers).

2017 is the year we leave Egypt and come home, the year we have to declare that we are unschooling Sprout, the year I need to get my picture book finished...

__________
We're in France now, and everyone is sick, so I don't have much energy. I looked back through LJ, but I don't have the energy to comment on everything. Sending good vibes and get well wishes to those of you who need them.
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
Or shall we just call it, "The State of Things." Forgive me, LJ, for it has been awhile since my last post.

_________
I've never tried to put a cut under a cut, so be warned that when I say something vile happened, there should be an additional cut there to keep it out of public view unless you want to read it. If there is not a cut, don't read on, there's nothing more to see. :)
________

In which you can read about the State of Things )Vile Thing )

Anyhow. Did not mean to end on a tirade.SaveSaveSaveSave
wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
*cue Europe's song* (Oh 80's, what hilarious fashion you witnessed!)

In one year, we will be returning to Europe. This time, excepting any strange and totally unpredictable happening, we'll really be going back to France on 31 July 2017, give or take a day.

This coming year is going to zoom by. O.O

And these wee ones won't be so wee in another year's time.


Ti'Loup will probably even be walking by then, or swimming :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: my loves)
Both Junebug and Sprout are pleased with their brother, wanting to hold and caress him at every opportunity. They are both really gentle with him.

And snuggled around the cute babyness, you can see the blanket I made. I'll try to get around to taking a photo of it laid flat.

Baby pics )
I don't know if anyone remembers, but before Sprout was born, we referred to her as "Little Bean." Since "coquille" implies the outer shell to hold something, now that our little one has emerged, I'm going to start calling him Ti'Loup* here, which means "Little Wolf." Just because.

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* "Ti" as in petit, pronounced "tee", and the P in loup is silent: tee-lou. If we would have gone with a different first name, we were considering Loup for a middle name.
wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)

I guess I can close the link on what to do if birthing one's baby happens unexpectedly at home or in the car. :P

I started having contractions on Thursday afternoon, after a busy couple of hours on my feet. But they were nothing to call the doctor about, coming, as they were, at least 30 min apart and very manageable on the pain level. At two minutes to midnight, a more serious bout of them woke me, keeping me from from dozing off until 6 a.m., after which point they went back to every 30 minutes or so, allowing me to sleep 20 min at a time until 9 a.m.

At a little past 2 p.m., the contractions started coming quicker, if not harder, so my doc suggested going to the hospital to be checked out by the doctor on-call. We arrived at there at 4, with Sprout in tow, leaving Junebug in the care of our housekeeper.

Two hours later, after another swift and hard dilation,* I barely made it into the pool, as my doctor barely made it back from Alexandria to assist in the birth, in time to deliver our son. Sprout was so proud to be part of it and see her new baby brother come into the world.

So Boaz Kaelig** Faure, came to us as befits his name (Boaz = quickness, swiftness; Kaelig = Generous lord). He weighed 3.485 kgs (7.68 lbs) and measured 52cm (20 inches).

I was released from the hospital at midnight and should be in bed, but the adrenline is stll running high. Still, better try to sleep some more. I need it. :P

____________

* Similar to Sprout's arrival in the world, only with much less vomiting.
** Briton/Celtic name prounced "Kay-lig", "lig" rhyming with fig. I wonder, since part of the name is French and Boaz is easy to pronounce, if my mother-in-law will approve. Or will she declare that we gave this baby a "weird name," which is her verdict for her other two grandchildren. :P

wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: chocolate - animated)
[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume has some lovely painted cookies, and she shared the recipe with me in the comments of this post (do click through, even if you don't plan on making any cookies, to admire hers.  And here are some lovely example of stars and more angels).  I made a batch to take to a Christmas party today* (um, many cookies did not make it because we had to, um, well, eat them.  For research purposes, you understand. Oh, and I gave a few to my housekeeper in her Christmas gift bag).

I wanted to experiment with natural dye and a red-and-white color scheme so used lingonberry (similiar to cranberries but smaller) juice. I think two things went "wrong."

First off, I perhaps made the icing a bit too thin. Not from a taste standpoint because, being made from powdered sugar, the icing was already sweet enough, but maybe the icing would have held up better to the juice? I dunno know.

The second problem, then, was the juice was too acidic and ate through the icing, making it hard for me to do detail. Instead of painting smoothly *on* the icing, I found that the colors pooled a bit under the surface. You can't tell in the photos, but looking across the cookies, you can see where the glossy surface of the icing has been disolved. Maybe beet juice next time?

Still they are pretty, I think, and I had a lot of fun doing them.



Sprout helped, but she ate all of her creations (except the unfrosted tree you can barely glimpse with the brightest red touches). My favorite was when she painted big swatches of red across a hedgehog, adopted a squeaky voice, and said, "Oh, I'm bleeding!" before she gobbled it up. :P

_________
*It isn't late for Christmas parties because here in Egypt we get the fun of having celebrations from the Western-assigned 25 December Christmas day until the Coptic Christmas on January 7.

Coquille

31 Dec 2015 12:05 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)
So before the old year is out, I guess I should tell you our old(ish) news.

We're 19 weeks pregnant and will welcome Baby Three, aka Coquille, into the world in May.

The four Faures will soon be five.

Thanks to Sprout for the tummy art. :D



wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: Soëlie eating)

Can you guess which one?

I made a Thai-influenced soup for lunch:

Junebug took his spoon, dug in, and proclaimed, "Tasty!"*

Sprout looks in her bowl and without tasting it, wails, "I like shrimp, I like calamari, I like chicken; what a bad surprise this is, having them all together! And rice! I didn't want my rice mixed in!"

o.O


_________

* Yes, I made the soup, so I might be biased, but it was very tasty.

wayfaringwordhack: (critters: just ducky)
Last year, my mother-in-law started toying with the idea of getting a couple of egg-laying chickens. This summer, we helped her make that a reality.

First there was much cleaning of the site, a bit of land under some pine trees that was overrun by brambles, ivy, and pokeweed. The MIL and I were alone for this bit:



Look at those mounds of ivy runners. I had to use a weedwhacker to cut them because had we continued pulling, we would still be trying to get them all and would likely have uprooted the yard all the way to the house:



Future hen yard all cleaned up and staked out:



MIL and I then did a lot of research and planning and taking apart transport pallets. In the end, we didn't use the pallets. J's brother was able to get a lot of the wood for free.  We took the work-in-progress photos with his camera, so I don't have any of that to show.

Putting in a stone path in hopes of keeping MIL's boots more or less muck free when she goes to inside the hen yard. She can collect the eggs without entering the enclosure:



Remember those 4.5 tons of gravel I talked about shifting? We used the extra to try to keep the perimeter of the enclosure from being overrun again by ivy:



The two ladies, Lily and Cerise (Cherry), named by Sprout because "Lily has a pointy comb like a lily and Cerise's comb is round."




All the workers:



I can take most of the credit for the building design. J's bro did the plans, all fancy like on his computer, and then built the coop. :P  J did the fencing and gate (he went up the mountain and fetched wood for all the posts, etc, more money saved!).

Good practice for the Someday Farm...only our coop will be much bigger!
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
It is the final stretch of our summer in France. We leave Thursday, and as usual, there is a massive flurry of "must-get-done" stuff going on: visits, camping, loooooooong drives, yard work that includes cutting and prepping wood, stocking a cord of firewood, shifting 4.5 tons of gravel (still haven't finished that one), and putting finishing touches on the big project this year of building my MIL a chicken coop (photos to come soon)...and many other things I'm forgetting.

Tomorrow there will be lots and lots to do, so I probably won't check back in until this weekend, when we are once more settled in Cairo. And then the fun of looking for another apartment will begin.

How are all of you doing? News, please. :)
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I know we (well, the kids and I) have a long break ahead of us, but it seems like time has caught us up and is flinging us madly about since we got back to France. This is going to sound like a list of complaints, but it really isn't. It's just busyness and things.

the particulars )
All this to say that I had (have!) grand plans for getting some writing and art done this summer, but I haven't found the time or breath or centeredness to do it...yet.  I'll get there, though.  
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)
I'm just popping on to say that J and I (and the kids, of course) are back from Anafora, where we went to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary.

A good time was had by all.

I'm on monastery hours now, and it is waaaaaay past my bedtime.  Will try to check in a bit more in the coming days, but we are entering a really busy time right now:

- J is doing an 8-day blacksmithing workshop;
- several get-togethers with friends before leaving for the summer;
- a retreat next weekend;
- packing;
- leaving for the summer on the 14th, so a ton of bits and bobs to get accomplished before then...
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
At last, a full week on the creative front.  I finally finised the "Project of the Week" that I've had on my agenda since we got back from our holiday by the sea:  Make Junebug a bucket hat.

I used fabric from my stash, which means one side of the reversible hat is exactly like the last hat I made him, and the other is from one of the hooded towels I made from Sprout before she was born. Nothing like getting mileage out of one's purchase.

The model was not too pleased with having to wear the hat. Naturally.

Photographic proof of productivity this way... )

I also did a lot of research about illustrating children's books--watching videos, tutorials, browsing sites for inspiration--and now I need to get back to finishing up the text.
____________
* Sticky tack is the greatest thing for paper dolls, infinitely re-stickable yet mess-free. Way better than paper tabs that get weak and tear from overuse.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I keep saying I'll take photos of what I'm doing so that I can make a decent snippet post, but we've taken other pictures of late, which I'll include under a cut.

On the creative front, I've been crocheting a sweater for Junebug.  Given the shortness and mildness of Egyptian winters, I'm making for 18-24 mo, but I don't know if it will be big enough next year. I've also been doing some sketches, working on a suitable style for a picture book idea I have. And baking: galettes, pizzas, bread. Baking counts, right?

So photos:
family time )
____________
* Sprout was 14 mo in the photos in the link; Junebug is 10 mo. :)
wayfaringwordhack: (art: christmas quail)
'Tis Tuesday, I know, and I posted no snippet. It was not that I forgot, but I had a lot going on.  The week was mostly taken up with Christmas stuff, like making decorations and an advent calendar and wreath, and putting up and decorating the tree.

The subject line comes from an exchange between Sprout and her pops on the subject of holiday preparations:

Sprout, to her father, who was walking to the front door with the bagged tree in hand: What are you doing with the tree?

J: Putting it outside. We're going to throw away all the Christmas things; we don't want to celebrate anymore.

Sprout looked at me with an incredulous, yet half-believing look, before blurting: Pops, that's the meanest joke ever!

In addition to all the activities, I was hit with two nasties. The first was Internet-related, and I was attacked by some kind of p*rn pop-up thing that opened pages with horrible photos every time I tried to access LJ and a couple of other sites I frequent.  The second was crud brought to us by a family we invited to our church's Christmas pageant.  And we are all--well, not J for the moment--coming down with lovely coughs and clogged sinuses. /sarcasm

'Tis the season...

Speaking of seasons, I can't believe this will be our third Christmas here. One more to go.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
To paraphrase from The Princess Bride, There is too much; I'll sum up...about our trip to Oklahoma, that is.

For three weeks:

We rested, following the sun's rhythms pretty closely, not bothered at all by the yapping of coyotes, which is so much more melodious as it rolls down hills and creeks, echoing off oaks than is the barking and snarling of the wild dogs that run the concrete labyrinth of this city.

sunrise

(the photos are clickable)

Rest of the trip, this way... )

_________________________

* Has anyone else been in proximity to an armadillo? There was one funky smell in its wake, and we don't know if it was the creature itself or something it had come in contact with. It smelled like skunk and wild garlic/onions.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
With a big sis like Sprout, Junebug has to learn fast; he has to get mobile!

To that end, this has been a very busy month for him.  The day before we left France (Aug 29), he pushed up onto all fours.  He was moving about then, but only backwards, not having figured out how to advance.

Our first day back in Egyt, he pushed up onto hands and toes. He can take wee "steps" like that, but prefers "the wave." He has mastered an inchworm or seal-flop type motion and gets about really well, following me around the house.

On September 24th, our first day at Anafora, he pushed himself into a sitting position. The 25th he pulled himself onto his feet. He's been practicing every day. Sprout walked at 1 year and 10 days; I think her bro will beat to that milestone by several months if he keeps this up.

In other milestone news, he cut his first tooth today.

IMG_1683
IMG_1673
IMG_1566

He'll be 7 months old in two days.
wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
We've sadly been unable to explore much of the Egyptian desert due to instability in the country and safety restrictions imposed by J's work. On a trip to Fayoum, however, we went to Wadi Al-Hitan (Valley of the Whales), a World Heritage Site, and spent a night camping surrounded by fennec foxes.

Junebug was only 7weeks old at the time, so it was a speedy visit. Camping with a 3-yr old and a newborn in a 2-person tent = interesting, but not worth repeating unless strictly necessary. :P

IMG_5601

Whale fossils in Wadi Al-Hitan
Tis but a glimpse, tis true. Gander-takers, this way... )
Oh, and what the heck, why not a camping pic and one of a fox:

Naturiste is the term, I believe )

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