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: (Junebug: Diggin' life)
...or ten. :P

When I saw these oblong stones at the lake this summer, I thought of you, [livejournal.com profile] pjthompson, and those cute feet you posted, so this is for you:

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: christmas quail)

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. We got hit with crud over the holidays, and I haven't felt like doing much apart from the day to day getting by.  Poor Junebug spent his first Christmas sick and feverish and even went to the clinic on Christmas Day. He had either a throat infection or pharyngitis. I got some bit of it on Christmas and was so achy and wiped out that I was in bed by 7:30.  Sprout had lots of bronchial ick going on, and J got periodic bouts of sorethroat and headache but came through mostly unscathed.

Everyone is on the mend now, so we are planning a trip to Wadi el Hitan again (Valley of the Whales) with some friends. It will be much colder than during our last visit, but we are hoping it won't be as windy so that we can spend a bit longer exploring.

I don't have it in me to do a recap of the last year, but this year, I (and J) am striving to learn as much as I can about homesteading, growing a forest garden, and beekeeing. We are also working on being more self-disciplined in how we spend our time, i.e. lots of dreaming but even more doing.

And speaking of do, I have much to take care of before our trip (we'll be gone three days).

Blessed New Year to you all.



Thanks for all the sweet comments on Junebug and his ornament.

wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
...leftovers. Otherwise today would have been harder than it was.

...candles. We have 3 power cuts per day these days, usually one in the mid-afternoon and two after the sun has gone down. Fun times ahead when summer temps get here and we need the aircon*.

...running water. It is a blessing that while we have more frequent power cuts here than we did in Mayotte** we rarely have water cuts.  I needed that water today to wash all Junebug's vomit off him and me. *sigh*

So, yeah.  I know I need to respond to comments left on my recent entries, but right now, I'm too tired out of my mind. I feel like sporking myself for not being more on the ball with all of you.  ::spork, spork, spork:: Alas, J is at work, so I'll be doing all the baby stuff solo again tonight and need to get to bed.

* Only 11 weeks (give or take a couple of days) until we head to France for summer vacation. I. cannot. wait!  The kids and I will stay on until the end of August, thereby avoiding the worst of the summer here in Cairo, but poor J will have to come back mid-July and will be the one suffering from the heat. I guess I should add "Thank the Lord for my mother-in-law" here because we'll be staying with her. I pray we don't drive her batty and vice versa. Will have to look into short getaways while there.

** Also, the cuts here are pretty predictable and the electricity is only off for an hour at a time. In Mayotte they were willy-nilly and could last in the 12-hour range. Not so good for food, etc.
wayfaringwordhack: (web)
Junebug is a little over three weeks old now, and we are slowly but surely working our way into a new rhythm that accommodates the newest* arrival into our family.  The beginning was a little bit rough because he had jaundice, which made him lethargic. He slept too much, didn't eat enough, which made him want to sleep more, and so on and so forth. And I did not know!  I was sure he was sleeping too much, but for once I didn't give in to my paranoia and turn to the Internet to try to find out why.  So, I wasn't aware of the downward spiral he was on until we took him for his 8-day check-up.  Thankfully, waking him to breast feed at regular intervals and giving him daily stints in the sunshine helped get him back on track. It was rough going for a while because we had to set alarms throughout the night to wake him and make him eat.**  He is waking on his own now, and that is a lot more restful for this momma's mind and body.

To make things more interesting, J got the flu and was out of commission for a little while. On the upside, Sprout only had a brief "ill spell" with a couple of days of fever, and I got a minor achy throat, followed by a cough and phlegmy chest. Nothing too bad. Junebug, however, seemed to get the worst of it in that he is pretty stopped up and it has lasted more than a week.  The poor guy really doesn't appreciate having his sinuses rinsed, but that is the only thing to do at this point, says his pediatrician.

Sprout loves her baby brother and has a plethora of nicknames for him that she came up with herself, among them Juney, June Buggy, Juicy, JB... It isn't all roses and pet names, though.  Her shapeshifting (now more identity shifting) includes being Junebug, an obvious desire for more attention.

And because I did say this was a hodgepodge post, please read this entry by [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume and sign the mentioned petition if you feel so inclined.

Speaking of news and true reporting, this weekend promises to be exciting in terms of protests.  Expats are being advised to limit their movements and stay at home if possible so as not to be caught in riots, etc.  Looks like the upcoming elections are going to bring a return of "excitement" to our lives. ::sigh::
* newest and last, I want to write, but Sprout informed me that we are not yet finished making babies because we failed to deliver the asked for sister. :P Not that my 3 year old gets the last word on this topic.

** Despite these problems, Junebug is nowhere near being labeled as failing to thrive, like Sprout was. Breast feeding is going much more smoothly this time, and he is quite the chubby baby.


2 Dec 2013 09:40 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art: christmas quail)
LJ is being tedious (not letting me comment and not loading pages) and I don't feel like fighting it, so I'm going to do weekly "advent roundup" posts instead of the day-by-day ones that I was planning.  For now, I'll just say that we are off to a good start, and tomorrow is going to be a busy day: Ornament-making is on the agenda. :)
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
A post of this and that:

--> Found out who was messaging me on Yahoo! Turns out it was someone I know, which is a relief.

--> We are going to the Cantal for a couple of days, starting tomorrow. It is an area of France that we really liked when we visited a couple several years back for one of our anniversaries. We might like to settle there, so we're going back to see if the second impression is as good as the first.

--> Our time in France is almost up. I can't believe we have to fly back to Cairo in less than a week. All of us are trying to put that fact out of our minds. Which is sad. Very sad.

--> I didn't forget Snippet Sunday yesterday, but I was feeling a bit ill (I think lunch at the restaurant for my fil's birthday was a bit heavy; something didn't agree with me, in any case).  If I had posted, I would have talk about progress made on the blanket and the lovely time I had attending a fabric-dyeing workshop at a textile museum in a nearby village. A post about that will be forthcoming, I hope.  But first, off to the Cantal...
wayfaringwordhack: (new leaf)
Or rather: how things don't work out to plan, to intention.

I went on an Internet hiatus to find a bit of balance in my daily life, and instead of finding some happy middle ground--or being wildly productive in terms of creative endeavors, as I had hoped--I did a pendulum swing to the other side of the divide.  I went from being a near-housebound hermit to a social butterfly caught in a swirl of constant engagement.

Going outside (sometimes in search of the Internet, yet that never seemed to work out) instead of sitting at home in front of my computer led to me meeting scads of new people. Phone numbers were exchanged, play dates were had, eating out with Others was done.  So much so that it was (is) a bit scary, to be honest. I like my hermithood, but I do like meeting people and chatting (provided the people are interesting and not the types that make me cringe. Yes, I've met a couple of those). I've yet to find the sweet spot between the two.

So, we have the net at the house once again, and I'm going to take the next month easy and try not to get sucked back into the "pointless," timesucking aspects of being online.

We shall see if this time things go to plan...
wayfaringwordhack: (neener)
I tossed my sourdough starter out!  I had put it into a different jar so I could clean the one I normally keep it in, and when I came across this "different" jar of starter in the fridge, I thought it was some extra that had been forgotten.  I just poured it down the drain.  Then today, when I went to feed it...no more starter. >.<

It had just reached a stage where I was finally getting good, consistent results with my bread. Now I have to start all over.

wayfaringwordhack: (Brio)
First, brekkie by the sea.  Then J lovingly and obliging took S to run some errands so I could stay and write.  Got lots of scene cards written before someone mistakenly told me the wrong time and sent me home in a rush, fearing J was stuck at home with a starving baby.

Second, a delicious lunch of fresh mackerel, common whelks, homemade mayo, sauteed aubergines (eggplant), and mashed sweet potatoes, most of it prepared by the aforementioned loving, obliging man.

I then read a charming little book called Oracle Gretel,* sent to me by the generous [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume.**

After which, I did a couple of sketches. I've now sketched consistently for a week. Don't want to jinx myself, but the habit feels like it is back. :)

When S woke up from her nap, we went for a walk in Saint Jean de Luz and had supper together before J had to catch his train back to Bordeaux.

S went to sleep of-so-easily, and I shall now do the same. Who knows, I might actually make it to bed before 11 if I hurry off now. 

Bonne nuit, LJ!

* by Julia Rios, aka [livejournal.com profile] skogkatt, illustrated by Erik Amundsen, aka [livejournal.com profile] cucumberseed.

** Thank you, thank you, thank you for sending this little gem to me. J and S haven't read it, one being busy with Egypt stuff and the other too young, but they both greatly appreciated the pictures. :D
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
- Had a productive writing morning; was able to plot out Bax's arc/scenes across the trilogy, give or take a few scenes that will either become redundant or be added as/if needed.  I am doing this plotting on index cards for all the POVs, just jotting down the basic scene ideas, sometimes no more than a couple of words. I'm OK with this part of the plotting process, but every time I expand the ideas into actual scenes with scene-essential ingredients like goal, conflict, disaster, I get stumped. I think I don't need to know these key bits of info just yet and I can write on, trusting the point of the scene to magically metamorphose into something plot-relevant. Only, I ended up writing pointless scenes at worst, low-impact scenes at best. So this time, I'm realllllly trying to stay focused.

- Gathered some crithmum (rock samphire) at my special writing spot and ate it for supper. Very tasty raw (and steamed, which is how I served it to Sprout).  Can't wait to experiment with it some more. I also gathered a new-to-me mint.  There were two types: the one I picked, which was tasty; and the other, with small, deep red flowers. The second did not have a distinctive smell and the small nibble I took seemed OK, but I'd like to be sure of it before gathering a lot more.

- Napped for almost two hours.

- Biked down to the beach with Sprout and J this arvy. Had ice cream and played in the sand. Sketched a bit while J pretended to be a zombie in pursuit of of Sprout for supper. We get such a kick out of hearing her exclaim, "Encore 'ombies! Encore!"

- Kim chee is my friend. Finally got around to tasting the batch I made, and it is yummy.  J thought it was good, too, but said, "I don't know what you would eat it on, though."  Eat it on? I thought. Just eat it out of the jar! :P 
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: paper flames)
When I'm at the mil's house, I just can't write. There is something about this place that eats my writing brain.

I have been busy, however. I smocked a too-big tank-top that I made in....oh, 2009, before leaving Mayotte. Remember the one I wore in Paris while pregnant, [livejournal.com profile] frigg?  That one.

I made a pillowcase for Soëlie.

I made a cushion for a chair that I'm renovating for S and painted the chair as well. I could have finished reassembling the chair today, but I need to buy some hardware.  Tomorrow, I hope. I want to show before and after photos.

I also painted a flower for J's gram's birthday, which we will be attending Saturday. Don't feel like uploading a photo now, so I'll share that later, too, if I think about it.

Oh, and we sorted stuff for Egypt.  

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we are going to Millau to camp, and Julien will go paragliding. Then Saturday, birthday party, drive to Bordeaux, pick up friends from airport, and a week of holiday fun will begin. Who knows, maybe I'll even write a little...
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: maki2)
On Sunday, while sitting above the waves, these (unedited) lines occurred to me:

She no longer had a heart; it lay deep beneath the ocean waves. She had not forgotten her heart, but she would no longer recognize it, now encrusted with white coral, its atria home to ribbonfish.

Then, on Monday, I had a cyst removed from my inner thigh, a cyst I always called my "egg" for the size and shape it had beneath my flesh. But when the surgeon cut it out and held it up to show me (yes, I asked to see it), "A heart!" I exclaimed to myself. "It looks just like a monkey heart."[2]

The one thing has nothing to do with the other, but it is odd how our minds work and give us ideas, images, or snippets that  resound with us across days or weeks in totally different contexts.

[1] Yes, I know that is not a monkey in my icon; it's a maki (lemur) from Mayotte, but it is the closet thing I have. :P
[2] I actually don't know what a monkey heart looks like.
[3] Yes, I know there is no 3 above, but [livejournal.com profile] frigg, you are not getting a picture of the incision. Just because J shared his doesn't mean I have to. :P
[4] [livejournal.com profile] khiemtran the prostetic spit testicles will be another operation. :P

wayfaringwordhack: (droplets)
One week and one day later, we have hot water.

There will be a bath for moi this afternoon!

In other watery news, having grown up in a desert climate, I've always said I would never tire of rain. If we settle permanently in Basque country, I may have to revise that statement.  It rains. all. the. time.  Since moving here in mid-March, we have probably had a total of three weeks of good weather, and not on consecutive days.  It isn't raining at the moment, but it looks like it will start pouring down any minute.

I can definitely use my "rainy season" tag again.  Though I don't expect to see any refrigerators floating by any time soon...
wayfaringwordhack: (new leaf)
The [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90 round I was participating in came to an end yesterday.  The goal was 69,000; I finished with 69,001. That's with packing, moving house, six weeks living/vacationing in Albania, sickness, and a baby.  Let's just say I'm mighty proud of myself. I am, as [livejournal.com profile] clarentine likes to say, a determined individual.

I learned a lot about my process during this round.  I've done Ni90 before, but this time it really struck me that I am not a writer who needs--or rather should--adhere to the "a writer writes everyday" maxim.  My brain just doesn't function that way; I need time to process, to mull. Writing everyday makes me unhappy and stressed.  I feel I'm suffocating my creativity. I realized this about halfway through, I guess, but (see above about being determined) I didn't have anything of overwhelming proportions keeping me from respecting the commitment to the round and so stuck with it. Another lesson learned being that if ever I need to sustain a "write everyday" pace, I can do so.  Even though, yes, some days I didn't get my words, I always made them up.  If ever I participate in Ni90 again, it will be on my own terms; I'll probably have a word goal, but will plan to have one or two days of simply thinking or filling the well. 

I'm declaring February "Writing Respite Month" for myself. I may write this month--I hope I do--but I will not once think I have to.  

Instead of writing, I will:  Spend time with my loved ones; go on holiday; househunt; renovate a chair for Soëlie; crochet myself a slouchy beanie; and paint/draw.  I will also do some catching up on LJ posts and get around to tying some fabric to my mil's cherry tree (want it to be dyed by nature).  

Short month. One day gone. Only 28 to go... 
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Made it back to France and my mil's house late last night. Today was a day of catching up with her. Tomorrow, I hope to catch up a bit on Albania posts and LJ comments.

It was a great experience, and it is great to be back "home."

Night night for now, LJ.
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
I'm sitting in a bookstore café, with a few hours of me time on the horizon, so it is time to play catch up with LJ and hopefully write and sketch a little.  Good music on café sound system (and when they let me down with George Michael or Celine Dion, I put on J's fancy earphones and escape into my own iTunes), flowering tea in a tall glass beside me, surrounded by books and no smokers (in Albania, no one respects the no smoking signs :( ), sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon.

The light in the café leaves a lot to be desired but I took a pic with my laptop anyhow. Accessing Photo Booth, I found the other, rare photos I've taken.  How fun to see the other places my Mac has been. I should remember to use the laptop camera more often (and I might if the quality was better...)

Top to bottom, L-R:  view of the mountains in Coroico, Bolivia, after our bike ride down Death Road; San Pedro d'Atacama, Chile on Christmas Eve; on a boat cruise on Ha Long Bay, Vietnam;  The Friends Bookstore, Tirana, Albania.
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: paper flames)
Thanks to a comment by [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, I remembered some more of what I wanted to post.  My brain disappointed me by not forking over the info without an external prompt.

3.  I have a very morbid mind. Every time I'm walking or riding my bike in a wooded area and come across bits of clothing or shoes, I always imagine there is a murder victim nearby. The worst is when the articles belong to children.  I try to stop myself--and have gotten better the past couple of weeks because there are a lot of lost/discarded clothes*--but I always have to do a quick search to make sure there really isn't an undiscovered corpse in the bushes or beneath the ferns. I don't want to find a dead body, but I always think it would be better to find it and alert the authorities, who can contact the family and end their agonizing over the Unknown.

4. Some people name packrat** tendencies "having a magpie mind." A magpie mind is poetic and evokes lovely images for me, but I can't claim to have one because I don't just collect the shiny. No, I'm more like the rat, packing things--any and everything--away for its someday potential. That is why I've decided to collect the dryer lint that no one else can be bothered to take from the machine.***  There are lots of things you can do with dryer lint.  I may end up giving it to the birds, but at least I'll feel like I'm doing something useful with it, transforming my irritation at people's sloth into positive action.

* To date, I've seen not only expected things like gloves, hats, scarves, but a rubber boot, jackets, sweaters, socks, button-down shirt, pants, a skirt...

* Actually, packrats collect shiny stuff, too. :P

***I'm still appalled at how beastly people act when they are living in a community. I'm not the world's neatest person, but you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as I'm part of a collective, I make an effort!  Not so for a lot of the others residing here. I can't believe they are so thoughtless with their own property in their own homes; yet here, they feel free to leave things a mess and disregard anyone else's needs, comfort, or safety. Very bizarre.

Re: the music I was listening to while making this post, Soëlie started doing her bobbing baby dance when the Pearl Jam song came on.  It took me back to the days when I was a little girl, sitting with my mom, grandmother, and eldest sister in said sister's room, listening to the version of  Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.  I loved to cry to that song.  In looking up a YouTube link, I found a Spanish version that reminded me of my first trip to Jaurez on a mission trip to an orphanage when I heard some then-popular USA song on the radio playing in Spanish. It opened my teenage mind to the way things cross borders--not just food!--and cultures appropriate and transform them for their own.  And it is not just USA entertainment exported elsewhere. Did you know the Schwarzenegger film True Lies was a French film first?  One without all the over-the-top effects. :P 

wayfaringwordhack: (art: thé)
1.  The other day, driving alongside the landscaped parking lot of a supermarket, I thought to myself: They've changed the trees!  (as in took out the old, grown ones and planted new, grown ones) D'oh.  It was just that the leaves had changed color and someone had lopped off the tops.  Sometimes my brain is a scary place.

However, so are other people's brains:

2. Stupidest thing I've seen recently?  Leg warmers for sale, singly. 6 euros ($8.30). For one. At the risk of sounding highly un-PC, are there really that many one-legged people out there for this sales tactic to be considered thoughtful and not just downright greedy and stupid? And before anyone suggests that mixing and matching was behind the scheme, there was only one color available.

3. ...

Er, well, I gave you bit and I gave you bob, but I can't, for the life of me, remember what else I wanted to write about. [livejournal.com profile] frigg helpfully laid this lapse at the foot of my aging brain.* I fully expect that I shall wake up tomorrow knowing what else I wanted to blab about.

*How's that for mixed imagery?


wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

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