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: (Default)
As the mother of three small children, I often find myself wondering where my days and time go. Unsurprisingly, I have a definite answer to where all my energy goes.

These past two months have been crazy busy, though, what with dealing with the whole family being sick with one thing after another. We are coasting along with mild coughs and some eye discharge for the boys. As lon as its doesn't et any worse, l can cope. Ok, from that sentence, uess what key is screwing up on my kelybolarld now.l LWelll, besides the llinsane lllllllll that just inserts itself where elvesl.l...olr clever ...ollr ever it lwanlltls. Does charming things with my auto-correct, let me tell you. And makes it very hard to type. Sigh.

All this because there are no ground wires here in Egypt, at least not in the flats we've had. So every time there is a surge, my keyboard flips out. :( My laptop will also be glad to be back in France.)

And speaking of France...

We learned that despite setting aside vacation days into a special account for the past four years so he could insure having some time to settle the family on our return to France, J's employer insists he come straight to work. This is the craziness that they subject him to in order to not have his pay docked: remain at work until the end of his shift on 31 July, fly out on 31 July so that he can land IN FRANCE no later than 11:59 p.m., and report to work at 8 a.m. on 1 August. The answer to his request to have one day off from his vacation time (not a freebie) was, "Absolutely not."

Fine, we thought, and proceeded to plan out an alternative. J decided to take more vacation time before his termination date to accompany the family back to France, settle us in, fly back to Cairo on the 29th, sign some papers on the 30th, and fly back the 31st in order to be at work on August 1. We even asked the current owners of the house we are buying to move the hand-off date from 2 Aug to July 22. They agreed.

Then we had to look like idiots and ask them to move the date up even more when one of J's colleagues told him to be careful about the dates he was taking off. Apparently, he has to be in Egypt for the two weeks prior to his termination date. So nice of his boss to tell him.

The family we are buying from is super nice and understanding, so we'll leave Egypt 4 July, move into our new place 8 July, and J will spend a few days with us before flying back to Cairo. When he returns to France, he'll head straight to work and will work until the company releases him for time off.

For those who don't know or remember, he is with the riot police in France and is regularly sent on deployment for 3 weeks at a time. This means that we could potentially go for 5 weeks without seeing him. This is going to be a trying time for the kids. First an international move--for the boys from the only country they've ever known, but one could argue that Sprout doesn't remember much of living in France--and then not seeing their father for such an extended period of time.

BUT! We will be back in France. We will have a gorgeous home in a lovely, clean! rural setting. We'll have awesome adventures getting to know a new place. It will be peaceful; we will be in our element.  So good things on the horizon despite the bumps.

I'm to that stage of change where I'm getting antsy, with physical pangs, yearning for this transition to either get more squarely under way or to pass altogether. We should get the boxes from the moving company within a couple of weeks; that will help. As will a more solid move into hotter temps so I can put away all mid-season clothing and bedding.

In other news, I was also been busy painting a lot to raise money for Egyptian charities. I'll try to remember to take some photos and do a Sunday snippet...


wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
After a blessedly uneventful trip, we are back in Egypt for the final stretch.  It is a weird feeling this time, knowing we are set to experience so many "lasts." Last time to do this, that, and the other here in Egypt. I've been doing that, more or less, since end of July, but this time it has kicked up a notch.

I've started mentally sorting our possessions, deciding what will go back with us and what won't. I'm so eager for things to move that I want to start giving away those won't things right now. It is too soon, though, and that would be just silly.  Still the ansty-ness is distracting as I'm trying to settle back in.

There are so many things to get done:

- Get N'Djema vaccinated, etc. in prep for our trip
- Get Junebug and Ti'Loup their American nationality (yes, I am lousy about taking care of admin stuff)
- Decide whether or not I want to do pottery and/or jewelry-making workshops before we leave here, and if so, Get on with it!
and lots of other things that my tired mind can't think of right now... Things which aren't the usual, "make progress on my art/books/etc."

Also, despite many attempts on J's part, we're still no closer to knowing what is going on with our car. Today he contacted someone who may be able to help. Fingers crossed. Because if it can run, or isn't in too bad of shape, we have to decide if we want to take it back to France and look into the cost and procedure of that.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: shroom sweet shroom)
Last night, we signed the papers blocking in the sale for the house.

I will spend many hours fetching books from this little library and reading on that sofa in front of the fire. :D



I spent many an hour going through our boxes (many, many, many book boxes) in order to get ready for the move.*  Today I have to pack our suitcases. Back to Egypt tomorrow.

____________
* When we sold our house in 2006 and moved to Mayotte, we put our belongings into storage at my MIL's place. We've continued to add to that stock over the last 10 years. She has had enough, to say the least. We'll soon be out of you hair, MIL; soon! :D
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
I fully intended to post a snippet on Sunday; I had photos taken and everything.  But then Junebug got sick (fever and vomiting), and all plans went out the window. He got better yesterday, but we had a guest over for dinner, which took up my time. (And now I just got back from cleaning up after Sprout, who is suddenly sick. :( )

So, quickly then, I finally decided on what kind of style I want to use for the illustrations, so I played around a bit with different media.  One experiment was doing suminagashi with materials on hand a cheap paper, so not the most stunning results:



The super bright spot on the right is a sun dapple. :P

Then I practiced drawing rats and did more sketches in the two poses I'll need in the book:




For fun, I did some symmetrical drawings, using both my right and left hands simultaneously.


No snippet next week because we are taking a trip to the Red Sea. 
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
Forgot to post yesterday.

I mostly spent last week making some belated Christmas gifts that will be given when we go to France this weekend.  I did sketch a few animals, notably dogs and cows, but haven't touched my larger storyboard as intended.  It is foldable, so I'll stick it in my sketchbook and take it on the trip.

it is going to be a busy two weeks, what with visiting family, scouting out houses, and simply taking time to enjoy nature, so I'm not going to be hard on myself if I don't make any progress on the story.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)

We got home almost a day late due to missing our connecting flight because of a plane needing to make emergency repairs. Kainam had a fever the first day we were traveling.

We got back safely, and he's well now; that is the good news.

We are still waiting on one of our bags. Not so good news. And the delivery guy is supposed to come at 11 p.m*....this after saying he would be here at midnight and J saying it was out of the question. Who wants to bet he'll be here closer to midnight than 11?

I'm so tired. I just want to collapse in bed. But we are home and safe. That's the important thing.

G'night and see you soon, LJ.


_________

*The airline called at 11:30 a.m. to say it was on its way. Then at 7:00, when J called, they said was already on its way and it would be here in an hour. The airport is 45 min-1 hour away.

wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)

Time to head to the shower then bed, for lo, the alarm will sound at 3:30 a.m.  J and I will have to lug two kids and all the bags down four flights of stairs because the elevator has been out of commission for almost a week.  Going to refuel for a day (hopefully half a day) of traveling.

But this time tomorrow, I'll be in France, listening to a chorus of night-loving insects instead of incessant car horns.  Can't wait.

Catch you from the other continent...

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: (wayfaring wordhack)
I'm back, but I bet you didn't even know I was gone. It has been a busy week, and I'd like to just crash into a puddle for a couple of days. The chances of that happening are slim, though, seeing as how I have a ton of stuff to keep me busy until we leave for France for the summer.

What we've been up to the last week, illustrated with photos )
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Some friends of ours went to Wadi el Hitan yesterday and filled us in on their visit.  Apparentlly, now is not the moment to go.  Not because of the weather but because of security measures put into effect following terrorist threats. We already put off another trip to Fayoum at Thanksgiving because of scheduled protests.

While our friends didn't feel targeted or unsafe, they were obliged to have a police* escort everywhere they went.  Not exactly a restful way to spend a couple of days, so we are planning to go to Alexandria instead. Been here two years now and have yet to visit that famed delta city. With two young'uns in tow, now might not be the time either, but carpe diem...

_______________
* Since police and military are usually the targets of terrorists here in Egypt, it seems pretty illogical--and even more dangerous, of course--to have them as an escort.
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.

______

p.S.

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

wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Low oil in engine number two. Everyone had to debark. Trying to find connecting flights. And it all started off so smoothly...

At least we got off before the plane had trouble. Silver lining.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
We had a geat time in the great outdoors, but our time is up.  just a few minutes before we board the first of our 3 planes to get back to Cairo.  Catch up with you on the other side, meaning in about two days.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Well, that is almost true.  Still have to finish the carry-ons and pack our toiletries, but we are pretty much ready for our trip to Oklahoma.  Sprout wants to leave NOW!

15hrs to go.

I'll take my laptop, but since my guardians don't have wireless and their pc is as old as the hills, I doubt I'll be around much.

See you in a few weeks. Be well.
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
We're going away for a few days, to the monastery I mentioned at the beginning of the year.  Will be back this weekend, and hopefully, this time I'll do a write up about the place.

Be well, friends.
wayfaringwordhack: (Egypt: Sphinx)
The kids and I made it back to Cairo last night.  The travels were full of ups and downs.

Ups:

- The kids were absolutely fantastic. Sprout was calm and helpful. Junebug was smiley and only cried once from utter fatigue, and that wouldn't have been much of a problem if it hadn't happened right during the meal service.

- Both on the ground and in the air, I met with very friendly staff who helped with problems. And one of J's colleagues was on the same flight, so he was able to help me with my carry-ons.

- I was a tad concerned that I would meet with problems since the person who booked our tickets used my maiden instead of married name, but the person who treated with me at the passport control point was none other than a colleague of J's from when we lived in Mayotte. So, not only did I have no problems, I got to catch up with an old friend.  Talk about good fortune smiling upon us.

Downs:

- I got to bed way too late Friday night Saturday morning and then had insomnia.  Traveling alone with a small child and infant is not the easiest thing to do after a night of good sleep and much less easy only only four hours shut-eye.  I woke at 5 a.m. feeling a bit queasy and knew I was in for it. I was able to stave off the worst of it until 2hrs out from Cairo. Then the nausea got bad enough that I had to sit with the sick bag in one hand, while holding Junebug with the other. Once we landed, I thought I had made it without throwing up, but it was not to be. I had to use the bag in front of everyone until I could get a flight attendant to hold Junebug so I could be sick in private in the lavatory.

- When J left France mid-July, the agent at the check-in counter asked where Junebug was. J said the baby was flying out with me in August, and that created a big mess because for some reason, even though Junebug's ticket was for 30 Aug, he was somehow on J's ticket.  The agent changed it, BUT! s/he also changed Junebug's last name to my maiden name!  What the frack. So that created a mess first thing in the morning. Good thing I believe in going early to the airport...even if it means getting up too early.

Best:

- Hugging my husband, however briefly because of the sick, after being apart for a month and a half.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
A snippet!  I haven't had taken much time for creativity since we've been on vacation, but necessity is the mother of invention handiwork, meaning: Tuesday we are going to the French Pyrenees for a few days and are in need of a baby carrier for Junebug. Since I couldn't find the one we made for Sprout, I whipped up a new for Junebug using the same pattern. No pics tonight because it is ten to midnight and I just finished. Maybe I'll have some to share after our trip.

In other news the vacation is going well despite (the "despite" not being my sentiment) lots of cool weather and rain.  How are all of you doing?
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Our Internet service was suspended (at our request) earlier than planned, last Sunday, so I wasn't able to post before we left Egypt. Due to our airline engaging in gambling, yesterday's travels could have been hell.* But we overcame. Once the initial anger engendered by the "oops, we overbooked and you are screwed" faded, we kept our calm and did our best to stay in a good mood despite having to travel for 14 hours instead of 7 with a baby and small child.

Now we are in France and life is good.  Last night and this morning, I could literally feel tension melting out of me. Even the muscles in my hands loosened. Amazing feeling. This morning we had breakfast by a lake, and Sprout fed wild ducks and cavorted in the water. We took a nap in the grass under the trees. We listened to silence and birdsong, and even Sprout remarked several times, "there aren't any klaxons here!"

Oh yes, life is good. Will be here and there for the rest of the summer.  Be well, my friends.

__________
* I'm busy relaxing, so I really don't feel like ranting so I'm not going into details.
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)
...that I was back to my absenteeism at the end of last week, not commenting on entries or posting a snippet. One reason was that we were having Internet difficulties and didn't get them straightened up until Monday.  The other was that we went out of town for the weekend. If there is anything that I need to be in the know about, please leave me a comment because I don't think I'll make it back through my flist.

I don't have any "late" snippets to post, my previous week being devoid of any creativity besides cooking and packing.

But I will share a bit about our trip.

Pics and things this way )
________________
* I wish they would have played something by Xavier Rudd (link to YouTube video). Every time I listen to Rudd, I am transported to an intimate beach concert, sun setting, fire crackling, cool sand under my feet, waves lapping. And if I'm listening to an album and not just a single song, that beach concert continues, dark deepening while stars whirl overhead and I, by turns, dance or sit clasping my knees to my chest, watching the waves.

** Only J and I got burned; we had enough sense to protect the kids.

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