Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just what ARE you feeding your head with?

Here you see a row of books upon my mantle. I decided to list out what the egyptian and I prefer to read.

(I actually got a question from this pic.. this person asked... I quote, "What in the hell do you read?"

Well, dear sir... here you go - from left to right:

Victor Hugo - Three Novel collections

DH Lawrence - Three Novel collections

Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina

Dante's Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso

John Milton's Paradise Lost

Jefferon's Letters

Bio of Hitler

A General History of Pirates

Margaret George - Helen of Troy

Sena Jeter Naslund - Abundance

John Berendt - Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Coffey - Savannah Lore and More

Philosophy text book

Anne Rice - Out of Egypt andChrist the Lord

Literature text Book (fiction, poetry, drama and essay)

La ta'che du petit pierre

The Idylls of the King

Darwin's Origin of Species

The Best Known Works of Nathanial Hawthorne

Selected Writings of Thomas Paine

Italian grammar

Thomas Bailey Aldrich - The Sister's Tragedy

The Little Book of Great Lines From Shakespeare

Bio of Ignatius of Loyola

Bio of St Francis of Assisi

Gone With The Wind

Growing Up In the South - and anthology of southern writers

Arabian Nights

The Literature of England (textbook)

Collection of Jane Austen

Amen - Prayers and Blessings Around the World

Johnathon Livingston Seagull

Collection of Short Stories by William Faulkner

Collection of Poems by William Bulter Yeats

Journey into Darkness - New Orleans Ghosts and Vampires

A Book of Classic Love Poetry

Spiritual Classics (collection of essay's by top Christian writers of all time)

Shel Silverstein's - Where the Sidewalk Ends

The Literary Life (trivia about literature)

Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Qu'ran

4 other books written in arabic (sorry, Yass is asleep.)

These are the books sandwiched between an eiffel tower clock and a wood-carved King Tut.

Yes, there are several more bookshelves in the house, but this one holds just a few of our favorite books. ;-)

Making Plans

I feel a bit like Alice over there. Sometimes the world is upside down and confusing.

Sometimes I make the wrong decisions and I find myself spiraling out of control.

But my plan is to end all of the confusion and bad decisions.

2010 holds new promises. New plans. New hopes and dreams. I think we all agree, we like a new start. Since most of us do not get to experience a new day at school, we cling to January 1st like we used to cling to our little back backs and pencil cases.

Look at the newborn baby. Innocent, clean slate. We want to be re-born into a better life.

Even redecorating, rearranging - anything that starts with "re" - means fresh, new, a different path.

I think we all need a little inspiration to get this new year going. This year I have mantra - I hope it provides some inspiration for you also!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference...

~Robert Frost

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No more camels in your future!

What a fabulous vacation this is turning out to be. Yes - I am still sporting a little cold. Yes - my make up and meds are somewhere on a UPS truck as we speak. Yes - it is freezing cold outside.
But it is QUIET. Our home is peaceful. My egyptian and I are perfectly content with one another. THIS is what we were waiting for. That moment, in every new marriage - where you can just sit still and know - you are settled.
The pièce de résistance - last night as the egyptian and I were checking the mail, we discovered a letter from the United States Immigration Department (Department of State.) ***drum roll please**** The battle was won - my little arab is officially a United States Permanent Resident!!!!! Yes, yes, yes.. we reached that moment. He and I were laughing, it was just this time last year we were in the administrative processing with the Department of Homeland security - 9 different security clearances he had to pass. I am thrilled to say we made it!!
You can almost feel the weight of stress lift. Now my egyptian can get a good job, drive, get items in his name - his life can begin now.
Yes, .. it is done. :-)
PS - I did not use an attorney this time - I did the paperwork. LOL Perhaps I should have entered immigration law. ahhahaaha.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Finding our happy place

2010 is fast approaching. As many of you out there, I have BIG hopes for this year. I want to believe in my heart of hearts this will be "our year." The egyptian and I have been thru so much the past three years to get to this more settled point.

If I am perfectly honest with my self - it has been a tough 10 years.

To an outsider - all is good and truly I am whining more than I should. I am beyond blessed with successes and friendships, travels and accolades than most people I know.

But for each person their trials and tribulations are their own and their burdens heavy.

Ten years ago I was married to a completely different person. I had just left television working in my original "chosen" field. I left not because I was finished with the business (though this is what I kept telling myself) - I left because I wanted to get married and I needed to make more money to create the life that I had envisioned for myself. If I had been honest with myself at the time, I would have seen that the man I was about to marry would never hold down a job - and giving up my dreams to make a better life for us would only pull me further away from my dreams.

I entered into a world of loneliness and distress. I was married to a man with chemical dependencies that I was not aware of before we got married. He had a wandering eye and a co-dependent/enabling mother. I had to make the best of my situation - so I threw myself into other activities: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Exchange Student hosting, and get this - gardening.

Some positives come out of that situation - I forced myself to create a life designed to protect me. I surrounded myself with fascinating people from all around the world. I hosted 14 exchange students and learned what a peaceful home and family should look like. I came to terms with my own short comings, and battled one scary issue with my health after another. I made hard decisions and dealt with people at work who only saw a young girl - not a professional woman directing their volunteer efforts. I taught myself Public Relations - since I was originally a broadcast journalism major. I worked hard for my new non-profit and succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.

As I approached 30, my weight reached it highest and I ended up having to make a very hard decision - I had to have a hysterectomy. In the end - this decision saved my life. A year or two later, and my husbands inability to hold down his 10th job in 7 0r so years, pushed him to search outside of the state for a job. I still remember him calling me from Birmingham- giving me an ultimatum - either come or divorce. Not that he really wanted me with him, but the thought of failing publicly-alone-in my hometown was too much. I went. I dragged my two exchange students with me. I left my career, my friends, my family, everything familiar. My beautiful home and garden. I left my dogs, one of my cats, and I tried - oh how I tried to make the best of it.

One week after arrival - I ended up in the hospital with meningitis. Stayed there for a very long time, poked and prodded. I did not have a job. Could not find one in my field. I sat alone, in a city with no friends, very sick, away from all things familiar with a man who did not love me.

Eventually - for whatever reason - I ended up taking the first "job" that was offered. Sad little retail job that hardly paid 300$ a week. It was something to do, and I did get free cosmetics! (I worked for Clinique.) While there I had to suffer through one more round of treatment for some issues - had to use a topical chemo treatment for my previous condition. One of my exchange students left our home - no surprise there. I tried my best to build a life in Bham - it was just too much. All I could think was how could I get out of this hell.

Finally - on vacation (July), my husband and I had a talk. I got the strength to tell him I was done. But I would stick it out for one year to see if anything changed. Needless to say - nothing did, it even got worse.

By November I made a wonderful friend from Egypt. We had so much in common and talked daily. Another miracle happened - I got a job back in my field. I was establishing REAL friendships at work. It seemed my life was maybe.. just maybe turning around.

On New Year's Eve - my husband asked for a divorce.

By Feb I was living on my own. Again. My friendship developed with my friend from Egypt - and by that November, I was madly in love with my egyptian and I traveled to Alexandria and we got engaged. Yes, it was fast - but it was RIGHT. I knew it in my bones. My job felt right. I stopped hosting students, so I could work on me. It was my time.

I battled immigration and K-1 Visa's and long distance calls. I tried to pick up the financial pieces after being left with a hail-storm of bills my ex created. I ended up with meningitis one more time. My blood pressure reached new heights. My job reached a critical low. My finances reached a critical low (with paying for international immigration.)

Finally in May of 09 - there seemed to be some sort of a light at the end of the tunnel. My egyptian arrived. We got married. We had an amazing party. We are slowly building. Finances are slowly returning to normal - health is improving - job is improving - friendships are strong - most importantly we have each other.

We have been going through an adjustment period - and I think we both feel like we have a plan. That is good. That is necessary.

With that being said - I hope in my heart of hearts, that 2010 is our year.

Only God knows what the future holds.. and as Yasser says - Inshallah - we will move to the next chapter with ease and grace.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I know, I know.. it's been awhile.

The appropriate beginning to this blog would be to apologize for my abscense. With that, I will begin with a feeble attempt. I am sorry for my abscense.

It is Christmas Day - technically the biggest holiday in my religious calendar. (Custom & Tradition wise.)

I am sitting at my parent's home with a keyboard that apparently sticks. I find myself hitting the back space just to put a letter in here and there.

I have absolutely no inspiration for writing today. I do have many reasons why:

1. I have a cold that my niece picked up off a nasty playground last week. She then tranferred the germs to my egyptian who apparently passed it on to my sister, and now I have my second cold of cooler months. Blah. I keep popping my off brand benadryl and sleeping the days away/

2. I am worried about all of the work I have waiting for me in another week. BIG time - BIG stuff.

3. I have to drive 4 hours to get home tomorrow. I am sure the whole way my signifigant other will nit-pick how much money we spent.. blah. blah.. blah

4. Christmas has not been the same since 1989 or so. That's when my Granny died.

5. Went to midnight mass with an unbeliever - and somehow they can just suck the joy out of life.

6. Recently discovered that a majority of my friends are all agnostic. Not sure how I feel about that.

7. I am not thrilled with my new hair cut.

8. I am definitely not thrilled about my weight.

9. I need some freaking hobbies.

10. Maybe I need xanax.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The one thing that can truly put you in the Christmas spirit is a GREAT Christmas song.

I am listing my absolute favorite songs!!

What are yours?

These are in order of my favorite!!











Finally -

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My plea to Santa

Dear Santa,

*scratching of throat*

Uh.. hey there! Yep, It's me. Nicole.
I guess this is where I am supposed to tell you what a really good girl I have been this year. *blush* The truth is - I think I have definitely improved over the year.

This time last year I was begging for you to deliver my egyptian to me. But, alas - I spent Christmas without the love of my life - separated by the big blue ocean.

Patience. Patience is what you delivered. I have grown to become a very patient person - except when driving. I promise I am working on that.

Last year I was worried about so many things. Waiting... Wishing.. Hoping. I was just walking along and trying to make ends meet (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.)

Luckily, this year is a little different! I have a few more "simple" wants and needs.

If you think I have earned these items, I will be "patiently" (my new skill) awaiting by the Christmas Tree.

1. Positive Attitude. Seriously - new personality trait I am desperately trying to maintain.

2. I need a new straightener. Seriously.

3. Could you send me a new bottle of Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel? It is necessary for my good mood.

4. Movers. I am going to need movers in January - could you just supply them free of charge?

5. I would like a purple scarf.

6. Coffee. Lots and Lots of coffee.

7. A new couch. My dear Vampire Cat (no longer lives here) ripped my beautiful leather couch. I need something JUST AS COMFORTABLE.. and nice.

8. New HDTV. DVD player. Bose home entertainment sound system.

9. Sims 3. Yeah - it's time to graduate to a new game.

10. Finally - let's get me back into Dance classes.

Thank you Santa. You're the best.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Each of us encounters many disappointments in our lives. We experience it head-on, then we some how pick ourselves back up. We ride this wave of discontent over and over, like a vicious roller coaster.

What is your number one disappointment?

I think for me - people. In general.

I realize that's a little harsh, but it is true. I am sure I have greatly disappointed someone in my life. I can name a few people on one hand that I am sure I have let down in one way or another.

One of my biggest disappointments has been the inability to motivate myself when it comes to exercise. Here's the catch - I LOVE to exercise. I think there is some little demon just sitting on my shoulder and it induces a lazy haze over my day.

Another great disappointment is the inability to make someone happy. That's a hard one. You can try everything, but in the end you will wear yourself out and no one is happy in the end.

I thought I would make a small list of little items that disappoint me:

1. Rain at the beach
2. Car trouble
3. People with a bad attitude .. when you feel good.
4. Nothing good on tv
5. sickness
6. Insomnia
7. Toothaches
8. Discrepancies in the bank account balance
9. When some takes credit for something you did
10. A bad meal at a restaurant.

Or even worse - paying for a play or movie... and it was horrible!

Enough of that...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This or That - Would you agree?

Want to get to know me better? Want to know what I would choose? Here you go:

chicken or steak? Steak - though I am saying no to meat these days. But the smell of a juicy steak grilling is amazing.

cream cheese or cottage cheese? cream cheese is yummy

lima beans or kidney beans? Lima beans with a dash of pepper and a splash of vinegar

rice or potatoes? Potatoes!!

tomatoes or green peppers? Green Peppers - but not so much.

salt or pepper? pepper - I like a little spice.

zesty cheese dorittos or nacho cheese dorittos? Zesty!!!

white bread or wheat bread? White - without the crust. But no, it is not good for me, I know.

spahgetti or lasagna? Spaghetti

gum or lollipops? Lollipops

ice cream or frozen yogurt? Ice cream

popsicles or ice cream? ice cream

wings or ribs? WINGS

beer or wine? Wine

beer or cocktails? Cocktails

wine or champagne? champagne

spahgetti or angel hair? angel hair

sausages or bacon? bacon - but I have given up meat - and pork.

scrambled eggs or fried eggs? scrambled

swiss cheese or cheddar cheese? cheddar

regular yogurt or frozen yogurt? regular- plain - greek style

Trident or Excel? Trident

hot cereal or cold cereal? hot cereal

grapes or cherries? grapes - frozen

apples or oranges? apples

bananas or apples? bananas

lemons or limes? limes

carrots or celery? celery

regular cheerios or honey nut cheerios? honey nut

frosted flakes or corn flakes? frosted

coke or pepsi? hmmm... tight competition

7up or sprite? 7up

root beer or dr.pepper? dr. pepper

dairy queen or baskin robbins? dairy queen - I am old school

pig meat or cow meat? neither.. got to let it go.. got to let it go.. (my new mantra)

potatoes or sweet potatoes? regular

Mars bars or Snickers bars? neither.. yuck

watermelon or cantalope? watermelon

cantalope or honeydew? cantalope

mangoes or starfruit? neither

white milk or chocolate milk? neither

coffee or tea? coffee

milk in your coffee or cream in your coffee? cream

cappucino or coffee? cappuncino

alcoholic drinks or non-alcoholic drinks? either or.

honeycomb or alphabits? honeycomb.. wow.. miss that stuff

popsicles or freezies? popsicles

chips ahoy or oreo? chips ahoy

oreo or fudgeeo? oreo

turkey or chicken? chicken - but not a lot.. again.. saying goodbye

romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce? romaine

broccoli or brussel sprouts? neither

stuffing or cranberry sauce? sauce

egg nog or cider? egg nog

cake or pie? pie

cheesecake or chocolate cake? cheese cake

pizza or garlic fingers? pizza

pizza pockets or pizza? pizza

regular pizza or dessert pizza? regular

sundae or blizzard? sundae

mcdonalds or burger king? mickey d's

kfc or wendys? NEITHER.

mcdonalds or taco bell? Taco bell

sweet n sour sauce or barbeque sauce? BBQ

subs or tacos? tacos

fruit loops or fruity cheerios? fruit loops

juice or kool-aid? juice

mild cheddar or old cheddar? old

water or milk? water

pop or juice? pop

pomegranate or papaya? pomegranate

soup or stew? stew

white rice or brown rice? neither

granola bars or chocolate bars? granola

fruit by the foot or dunkaroos? neither

peas or carrots? peas

peppermint or spearmint? peppermint

milkshakes or smoothies? milkshakes

pink popsicles or purple popsicles? purple

barq's root beer or a&w root beer? NONE

apple pie or pumpkin pie? Punkin

cherry pie or blueberry pie? blueberry

coconut cream pie or banana cream pie? banana cream

jello or pudding? pudding

chocolate pudding or vanilla pudding? oh no... umm.. vanilla

plain chips or salt n vinegar chips? salt n vinegar

onion chip dip or dill pickle chip dip? dill pickle

chocolate sauce or butterscotch sauce? butterscotch

fruity flavors or chocolate flavors? chocolate

brocolli or cauliflower? cauliflower

fruits or veggies? veggies

pancakes or waffles? pancakes

regular toast or french toast? feench toast

jam or peanut butter? PB

honey or maple syrup? honey

chicken noodle or vegetable soup? veggie

cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup? neither

pop tarts or toaster strudels? strudel

grape kool aid or orange kool aid? grape

ketchup or mustard? mustard

mustard or relish? mustard

mayonnaise or miracle whip? NEITHER

hamburger or cheeseburger? cheese

hamburger or hot dog? hot dog

skittles or m&m's? m & Ms


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