Ten weeks

26 Apr 2017 01:24 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art - guitton housework)
For some weeks now, I've been feeling really puffy and moonfaced. Just the other day (no points for observation for me) I noticed that this puffiness is in my legs, too. I'm feeling stiff and sore for no reason.  So, I've decided that I'm going to go off gluten for the remainder of the time we are here. Not because i have a proven sensitivity to it, I just want to see what my body does without it. I'm also cutting down on carbs* overall, especially those in a processed form. I'll still eat veggies and fruits that contain them. I haven't decided on brown rice, etc. yet. Of course thinking about what I put in my body makes me more aware of the lack of exercise I get. I'm going to change that as well. To get rid of the edema, I'm drinking lemongrass infusions; juices with celery, parsley, ginger, lemon...; cutting back on salt; elevating my legs; and giving myself massages to move the fluid. I'm going to do some yoga for lymphatic flow.  If it doesn't go away or comes back again, I'll have to go to the doc to figure out why I have it and try to get it under control before flying out.

I hope to be a lighter in body and spirit when we get to our new place.

Speaking of weeks, the kids and I are without J as he spends two weeks working at the French consulate in Alexandria. We had planned to go see him this weekend, but some unexpected work on his end and the fact that Alex is even louder, apparently, than Cairo and is not kid-friendly to navigate, we've cancelled that.

This separation is a foretaste of what our lives will be like in France, and so far the kids are sort of OK. Junebug, however, seems to be a bit needier than usual and is more set on persecuting Sprout. "It's the age and the stage," she stoically tells me. This comes from me telling her that she also went through this when she was younger. Junebug's issues are exacerbated by Ti'Loup's presence in his life. He loves his baby brother and is often affectionate towards him, but boy does he dislike Ti'Loup being near me when he, Junebug, is tired or in need. Ti'Loup just turned 11 months old, but he already senses the rivalry and is starting to glare at Junebug. :-/

Now back to my cleaning and packing...

* Carbs are a no-no of sorts for me because of my PCOS.

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 - 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: (art - pondering)
So, it wasn't an April Fool's joke that the repair shop would be open on April 1st, but it did not come to pass. Color me Not Surprised. Turns out they are still awaiting their acreditation from Apple, so who knows when they will be open for business. In the meantime, there is no alternative because the Doki shop was transfered here. The wait continues. To make matters more interesting, J's laptop has been on the fritz for at least a year now, and it seems to be getting even more fickle about turning on and staying on.

Healthwise, we are all doing better, even if this infernal cough is still making me miserable. Oh for a good night's sleep of no wheezing lungs and racking coughs.  Someday...

My bruises have greatly faded, and I feel no more aches from the scooter accident. I've started driving it again but not with Sprout. She has gone out with J, though, and yesterday, she declared she is no longer afraid of it.

On the creativity front, I've been making watercolor mixing charts and experimenting in general with my new paints. I don't have the energy for storyboarding work right now, so this sort of play is the perfect way for me to learn about my supplies without the stress of "producing something."

I began my 8th month on Thursday and have started going through baby clothes to see what we have for Coquille. Verdict: Not much in the newborn department. Only found two onesies for that age. But after the first few weeks Coquille won't be wearing much as temperatures soar.

I have other newborn stuff. But where? I thought I knew where we put it after the move but have yet to lay hands on it. Must continue looking. And I have a couple of things I want to sew. Those projects may be the focus for the next snippet.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Last week, Sprout and I were in an accident on the scooter.

It was my fault; for some reason, unknown and completely unrecallable, I accelerated when I was trying to brake to avoid hitting two cars who were closing the gap I was driving in.

I flipped over the front of the scooter, landing on my back, a mercy for a woman who is 7 months pregnant.  My right side was banged up from flying over--and breaking--the mirror, but I had no other big injuries. Sprout's bottom lip and chin were cut by the visor of her helment, and her left wrist was abraded, but the sweet love's first words were, "Momma, are you OK? Are you all right, Momma!?"

Many Egyptians came to our aid, offering help, water, comfort...even returning the two coins that had fallen from my pocket.

When Sprout finally calmed down enough, she told me that she is not used to crash landings. To which I fervently replied, neither am I and I hope we never have to get used to them. The baby was moving normally that night, and since I had no abnormal pains or anything suspicious, the doctor said all was well. I was a little nervous upon discovering a bruise just above my navel, but Coquille has been unfazed.

The next day, I was pretty sore, but Sprout seemed fine. She and Kainam got the full-fledged flu, though, and I got a nasty cough that insured this was one tiring week.  The kids still have fever today, but I hope we are all on the mend...
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
A bit of a mixed bag today. Lots of emotions, not all good.

This morning we all went to the store and bought food to give to those in need, then J went this afternoon and bought lots kids clothes, blankets, socks, and hats. We went to a roundabout where we know some families sleep and handed out the stuff. After everything but two bags of food had been given, another lady came running and tried to make someone share with her. The sharing did not happen, so I gave her the remaining two bags. She wanted us to give her more, but we had nothing else. Then two other men showed up, and J tried to explain that we had given everything out and they should divide it amongst themselves. We drove off with some still begging and others sitting on their goods. Don't know what they decided, how it was settled, but it left us feeling bad.* :(

Sprout was asking hard questions today, like: How do you make yourself die when your family dies so you don't have to live lonely? :-/

On a brighter side, I bought a new sketchbook to motivate me to finally get some work done on the kids book I started last year and to organize my thoughts/ideas better since my doodles were scattered all over the place in my other drawing pad. I did two studies this afternoon and hoped to do a third, but I feel a bit beat up and am carrying stress in my lower back. I think the wiser thing to do is to go to bed.

* I've been repeating to myself that the giving is not about me and was never meant to make me feel good about myself or what-have-you. I believe one should give a gift without any kind of strings or expectations projected onto the receiver. But I do feel that we weren't responsible givers in that we didn't try to spread things out a bit make to make sure more people got help. Knowing that people live in such desperation that they will fight to get or keep anything makes me feel totally hopeless to help in a meaningful way.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I lost track of the days. That happens rather frequently to me, but I had not a single oh-it's-Sunday thought yesterday.

Last week, I started crocheting a pair of legwarmers for Sprout.  She can wear them out when it turns cooler here, but I'm mostly making them for her ballet class. With days in the mid-20s (70F) and nights dipping down to 20 (68F) or so, I'm able to handle yarn again without having it clinging to me.

One more week and we can starting moving. But we'll have to deal with some WH--!? business first.  The electric bill collector showed up tonight and handed me a bill for 1007 LE.  Our normal monthly bill runs 110-140 LE.  They are trying to tell me that without using the A/C or anything like that, we have to pay 10 times more than normal? My neighbor, who was paying at the same time, said that his bill looked perfectly normal.  The collector lied to neighbor and said that he hadn't checked our meter in a long time and now we had to pay our "true" consumption rate rather than an assumed total.  He checks the meter every couple of months; and now, after we've been here for 3 years, he's going to tell us all the sudden we've changed our habits and need to make good.  Funnily enough (/sarcasm), two people told me that our landlady probably called the electric company and told them we are about to move so to make sure we're all paid up (because otherwise it will fall on her to pay.  As if we would have left the bill hanging. ARGH. I know other people do it, though; we were presented with the bill from the last tenant). But how did they get from 100 to 1000?  We have to get to the bottom of it. :-< I don't want to pay something we truly don't owe, but I don't want to leave someone else holding the bag, either.

And this shall be a lesson to us: Never trust the meter man again. Always write down the meter number ourselves and verify what he writes down.
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
...for "Deep Fry Your Life Away!"

From the smell of things, it would seem everyone in the building has fried food on the menu for today.

I feel like my home has been beamed into the middle of the greasiest of greasy spoons.


FWIW, in general, the smell of fried food is not really that bad, but when the smell is so tenacious and nauseatingly profuse...yeah.

I'm coming down with some crud passed along from J, but unfortunately (?), blocked sinuses is not one of the symptoms.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I didn't forget my snippet yesterday, but we had dinner guests. I cooked all day and went to bed immediately after they left.  I had plans to post today, but Mondays are very busy here.  I'm just basically posting to reference, for posterity, that I've been diligent with my sketching and searching out reference material.

And now I must go for I have a sick baby to nurse. To top it off, he is teething. Always seems to happen in conjunction, that teething and the ick.

G'night, LJ.
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: 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: (art: thé)
Given the lack of green space here in Cairo, we decided to return to Dahshour Pyramids (mentioned in this post) for a picnic and Easter egg hunt. We woke to a brown sky. Not a good sign any time but certainly not when you live in a city surrounded by a desert because it means, yes, you guessed it: sandstorm.

But a few minutes later, blue had returned to the sky and J chided Sprout and me for our pessimism. After a fairly uneventful drive out,  we arrived at the spot where we had such a nice walk during our last visit. This time we decided to drive a bit farther into the brush to see if we could find another equally picturesque spot. We happened across these ruins and would have liked to hide Sprout's eggs there. With the pyramids as a backdrop, she would have had some lovely, memorable photos to look through in coming years.


Alas, as you can see, the brown sky was back, and sand does not rise without wind to carry it. It was downright unpleasant atop those exposed ruins, facing the desert, so we headed back to the caprinae-grazed plain and took shelter behind a small thicket of salt cedars. The spot was far from perfect, trash caught here and there in the dried stalks of reeds, sheep- and goat droppings studding the grass, but the splashing and laughter of children swimming in the canals and the lovely variety of birdlife made it all right. (We spotted our first European bee-eaters--they migrate through here--some egrets, swallows, a pied kingfisher, a hooppoe, and some type of quail.)

J hid the eggs while I nursed Junebug. Sprout hunted eggs, and then we picnicked. Sprout ate 3 eggs, this time without the shell, and wanted more (she did end up having another for supper, at her request, as well as one this morning). And here I thought I would have enough leftover to make egg salad...


I didn't take any close up photos of the waistband portion, so this is a zoomed-in shot to show the chicken scratch embroidery that I decorated it with:
chicken scratch embroidery

You may remember the Easter bunny basket I crocheted for her last year:

Before we had finished eating, word spread of our presence in the environs and two young men from the village came to "visit" us, carrying bouquets of roses. Roses for sale, but they gave one to J and one to Sprout. They made themselves at home on the grass, lit up their cigarettes and began conversing with J in his limited Arabic, conversing that is when they weren't receiving or making constant calls on their cell phones. Very much not the kind of outing/company we had in mind. We like visiting with natives, but these circumstances were not ideal. To make matters worse, the pollution (from the drive over) and sand were giving me a monster headache.

While our two visitors were making themselves even more comfortable (in other words, one of them taking Sprout's chair uninvited when she got up to hide her eggs again), a shepherdess and her father (?) drove their flock of goats and sheep over to graze.

If you've ever seen How to Train Your Dragon, then you will recognize Sprout's pose here as mimicking Hiccup when he turns his head, closes his eyes, and holds out his hand in an attempt to touch Toothless:


We had planned to set up J's slackline and have some fun on it, but what with the wind and my achy head, we decided to return home.  In true Murphy's Law fashion, we got stuck in a traffic jam caused by the typical Egyptian mode of driving*, and my headache escalated into full-blown migraine. We were thankfully out of the jam when the inevitable urge to vomit struck. Julien pulled over to the side of the road and I just had time to hang my head out the window before losing my lunch. A very nice Egyptian man, in front of whose shop/home, I had just threw up, kindly let me use his bathroom to clean myself up. While I was inside, another gentleman brought me some limes.  I don't know if I've said it before or not since I have never blogged much about our life here, but Egyptians are so hospitable and kind when you meet them on the street...as long as by "on the street" you are not talking about drivers. They have a real Jekyll and Hyde syndrome going in regards to their personality shifts when they get behind the wheel.

Back home, it was straight to shower and bed for me, and J valiantly took care of putting everything away and getting Sprout to bed. This morning I felt a lot better, praise be.

You might be wondering why there are no photos of Junebug. I did intend to take some, but the weather conditions were not conducive to a photo shoot with a newborn. Once again I say: forthcoming post for baby pictures.

* It is a dog-eat-dog free-for-all on the roads here. There might be rules, but no one follows them. Curses and snarling and hate-filled looks abound, and scrapes and fist fights are not rare. What are rare in the extreme are smiles and acts of politeness.
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
This post is mostly for my "records." It is easier for me to keep track of things on LJ.

So, health whinge below cut.
cough, cough, hack, hack )

I have entries to comment on and emails to reply to, but friends, please bear with me. It ain't going to happen tonight (8:15 p.m. and I'm headed to bed). It might happen tomorrow. Maybe.
wayfaringwordhack: (web)
Went to see the doctor today, both Sprout and I. They could find nothing wrong with Sprout but want to see her again on Sunday to make sure that all is well.  This morning she woke up at 8:00 a.m. with 41.4°C /106°F (the numbers we've been struggling with for the past three days), but she was fine all day until 5:30 p.m., when she started complaining about being cold. We put her to bed with a slight fever of 38.4°C/101°F. I say slight because after those other temperatures 38-something-degrees feels quite manageable.

As for me, I'm coughing a bit and have a throat that is not exactly sore, more irritated.  I'm tired, tired, tired. From my own gunk, for sure, but mostly from caring for a sick kid around the clock.* Anyhow, I'm not as "lucky" as Sprout, for the doctor said I likely have a bacterial infection. I asked for a throat swab before being prescribed something. I'll get the results on Sunday. I hope to be feeling better by then.

Just so you know, I've kept up with my flist, but guys and gals, I just don't have the energy to respond.  My brain feels like mush.  This makes me especially sorry in regards to [livejournal.com profile] cafenowhere's excellent posts on Writing Latin@ Characters Well, the latest of which is here. I want to converse--I really do--but all I would be able to manage is muffledy mumbledy garble.

Soon, I hope to have more brain cells at my disposal...

*That is not to say that I've been doing it all alone--J is a great help, except when he is working since his shifts are 24 hrs long, as was the case yesty and last night--but when Sprout is sick, like many kids, I think, she just wants her momma.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: my loves)
I failed to mention that along with an earache, Sprout had a fever. We don't generally give her meds for a fever, in hopes that the body will take care of what is attacking it; however, we gave her some painkillers for the ear, and that helped the fever a bit the first night.  The second night, not so much. She even started hallucinating, seeing water running across her artwork on her walls, complete with fish swimming in it. Then she saw a lion on her ceiling and dinosaurs and turtles on her pillow.  We called a doctor. They still make house calls here in Egypt, but he wasn't able to come by until 1 a.m.  His verdict: Wait and see. Which is what we had planned to do, but when your toddler starts seeing things, you get a bit scared. At least we did. We'll know Thursday if she needs to have antibiotics or not.

The doc looked at my throat and said I should be on antibiotics, but I'm a bit leery of that, being pregnant and all. I know paracetamol is supposed to be OK for pregnant women, but I don't even like taking that while pregnant.  I'm downing every natural remedy, high-in-antibacterial and/or antioxidant property foods and drinks I can think of. If I don't feel better by Thursday, I'll have the doc look at me when he takes a look at Sprout.

OK, that's about all I have the energy for now. Off to bed. It promises to be another sleep-broken night... 
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
We hired a cleaning lady, and she started today.  My house is mostly clean now, and I had very little to do with it! It is only "mostly" clean because for the past four months, at least, I have been doing the bare minimum to keep the place livable. Z, as I shall refer to her from now on, really had her work cut out for her.  She didn't get around to scrubbing down the kitchen and bathroom, but she'll come back on Saturday.

I don't know what she makes of me and all the odd homemade cleaners I sprang on her, seeing as how we can't understand each other. No, I haven't gotten motivated to learn Arabic. Fie for shame upon me. I had a doozy of a time trying to explain what to use where, so I'm going to try to have everything labeled in Arabic for Saturday. Don't let me down, Google Translator!

I had grand plans of relaxing but sadly, yet again, Sprout and I are coming down with some kind of crud. Sprout's started yesterday with stopped up sinuses and sick-toddler behavior. Mine started today with a mighty sore throat. Unless the odd headache I had yesterday presaged this ick.  Anyhow, I did get to take a nap* and wake up to a house that was looking better by the minute, but I still feel like something that has been dragged down the road a fair piece.  We'll see what it morphs into.  I don't remember catching so much crud when I was pregnant with Sprout, but then I was living in a tiny French village, not in the midst of a noisy, polluted metropolis. C'est la vie. And I'm hoping all these germ assaults are translating into a formidable immune system for Junebug.

* a sorely needed nap, for I had been awake since 4:45 a.m., unable to fall back asleep.
wayfaringwordhack: (hellville)
...we have all come down with the crud.  I hope it is a quickly-passing cold.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.  Why, why, why?

OK, no more whining. Going to bed in hopes that some sleep will go a long way towards righting me.

Instead I

8 Apr 2013 11:16 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
Today I had a list of stuff to do, you know, get-things-back-together stuff.

I wanted to clean the floors. Instead I lay on the unvacuumed rug and put puzzles together with S.
I wanted to dust. Instead I danced around the kitchen with S and watched cartoons with her.
I wanted to do some art. Instead I had fun with homemade, scented, glittery play-dough, when S would share. :P
I wanted to fold and put away all the clean clothes. Instead I pushed them to the side of the bed and took a nap.

Some times the first thing you need to do when recovering from the ick is reconnect with your kid.

I wanted to get my 750 goal for the day. That I did do.
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: paper flames)
I've been writing when mind and stomach allow this past week. Some days that means I got the 750 goal for [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90; some days I got zilch.

But what I did get is a new start to Baxente's chapter. Since I decided to rewrite a lot of my character openings in order to create a status quo before topsy-turvying their worlds,* I have been hard-pressed to determine the best scene for Baxente, one that still has the necessary parts of good (genre) fiction like a scene/character goal, conflict, and so forth.

Perhaps I have one this time!

Baxente doubted the intelligence of his plan as soon as the panel slid closed behind him. A near cripple had no business setting off alone in the middle of the night, especially not through prowl ways, the full secrets of which only he knew. Long before he neared the exit that would let him from the palace, his legs were ready to give out, abandoning him in the tight corridors. Stupid to leave the comfort of his sleeping couch. And fresh air, added his lungs, craving the deliciously cool breeze that had been ruffling the curtains of his balcony doors when he rose to go on such a misguided adventure.**


* I personally find Big Events a lot more meaningful if I care, or at least am curious about, the characters they happen to first, so, duh, this should be a component of my own stories. The "Open with a BANG" advice has never sat well with me.

** I don't know if everyone's browser displays the font (Papyrus) I use for Baxente. Does anyone else do this, use a different font for each POV? I have five POVs in this story, and I find just seeing a different font helps switch my brain from one persona to another. 
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
I hoped to make this post early this morning, chuckling about the run of ick that I've been facing, but the Nasty had a hold of me until well into the afternoon.

Herein lies (WAY) Too Much Information... )

I have a couple of entries I wanted to write for people, but I hope you'll forgive me for postponing it, yet again, especially, [livejournal.com profile] xjenavivex, the ones concerning recipes. I just don't want to think that deeply about food right now.


wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

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