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Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Photo Challenge - Day 30

Day 30 - Family

This was a lot of fun. I would do this again, but maybe not until August as while being on vacation, getting to the computer isn't all that easy. Since Ethan and I are missing Scott, here's a reminder of our little family.






Safe Harbor - Christine Feehan

Oh how I loved this one!

Safe Harbor is the fifth book in the Drake Sisters series. It's all about the fifth child, Hannah. Hannah is a supermodel, but painfully shy. She often gets panic attacks.

Jonas, the town sheriff, is always on Hannah's case. They are constantly bickering, and Hannah is always threatening to turn him into a toad. From the very first book in the series, you can't help but love these two and get excited for their turn to come.

Jonas has loved Hannah all his life, but never thought he was good enough for her. Hannah has loved him for all her life, but thinks he hates her. Sounds childish, I know, but it so works.

Safe Harbor starts with excitement. Jonas has been asked to help a former colleague with what seems to be an easy task. Video tape some Russian mobsters up to no good. But it goes all haywire. Their driver is killed, Jonas is shot, Hannah uses the elements to help him since she can feel he's in trouble.

Once in the hospital, the Russians once again come looking for Jonas. He promises Hannah to come see her in the evening, but because his life may be in danger he doesn't show up. Or call. For three weeks.

Hannah heads off to a fashion show in New York, where she is brutally attacked. If not for her sisters she would have died.

Tragic.

Yet I gobbled it all up!

I love Jonas. Not sure why since he's an absolute controlling chauvinist, but it so works for him! He's a chauvinist with a heart of gold.

This one even made me cry a little. Hannah's sisters all make her a scrapbook and write her a letter to tell her how much they love her. So sweet. And this one even ends with a wedding, and not just an engagement.

Did I mention that I loved this one????









Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

I read The Red Tent years ago
when I was living in Korea.
One of my colleagues had just finished reading it,
and said it was the best book she'd read in years.

So I borrowed it.
And loved it.
And have never stopped thinking about it.

So when I noticed in my 11/11 Book Challenge
there was a re-read of a book
I decided to go back, and read this again.
It's been a decade since the last time I read it,
and it was still as powerful.

The Red Tent is the story of Jacob's daughter, Dinah,
and his four wives,
all of whom are a mother to Dinah.
Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah,
all bring their own gifts to Dinah.

Anita Diamant says it was the relationship between Leah and Rachel
that got her thinking about The Red Tent.
In the bible,
the two sisters are against each other, and that never sat right with her.
The traditional view of Leah
as the ugly/spiteful sister
and that Jacob was indifferent to her,
didn't sit right with Anita,
as they had 9 children together.
She chose to create a story for Dinah,
after re-reading Genesis
and noticing her silence.

The book is split into 3 stories;
The story of the mothers,
Dinah's story,
and
Dinah in Egypt.

I have to admit,
the only thing I know about Jacob
and his sons,
is the story of Joseph.
And that's thanks to
Donny Osmond
and
Joseph and the Amazing Technocolour Dreamcoat.

I loved this book as much as I did
the first time around.







52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 17

Ethan and I met with my cousin Karim, his wife, Minaz and their son, Kahzmir, on Sunday.
I felt guilty, as we're car-less here, as they are, and they borrowed my aunt's car, drove out to Mississauga, back into the city, then back out here to drop us off. 

We had a wonderful evening at the circus.

They were giving the kids rides on the elephants.
Kahzmir was all about that.
Ethan would have none of that. 

There were some gorgeous horses.
While they were beautiful, I couldn't help feel a little sad,
they didn't look naturally white,
but they were graceful.

The aerial was spectacular.

Ethan is normally scared of clowns,
but this one was too funny to be scared of.

There were adorable puppies.

I loved the guy on the motorcycle.
Not only was he flipping around,
on a motorcycle,
high in the air,
but the pole was on his father's shoulders.



Ethan's favourite, 
was the man and the pool.
He was very clumsy.
He kept falling.
Ethan was getting worried, 
and even scared.
But when the pool turned out to be a trampoline,
Ethan thought it was brilliant!


The elephants were fantastic.


My favourite had to be
our ringmaster
and dare devil extraordinaire
who walked on the outside of a "hamster cage"
suspended high in the air
juggling fire!


Happiness is a wonderful afternoon with friends and family at the circus.



June Photo Challenge - Day 28

Day 28 - Transportation




Monday, June 27, 2011

June Photo Challenge - Day 27

Day 27 - Your weakness

We all know my weakness is Ethan. I just can't seem to say no to him. But since this blog is full of pictures of him, I thought I'd share something else. 

Ethan just asked me if I'd like to go to Starbucks. I guess that is also an obvious weakness of mine.

But, did you know that ice cream sandwiches are also my weakness? I could eat them all day!




Sunday, June 26, 2011

June Photo Challenge - Day 26

Day 26 - Favourite Colour


I was thinking of sharing my favourite red lipstick, but then came across these.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound is the second installment in the Mercy Thompson series. Just like the first, I had a hard time getting into it. 

Mercy is a changeling. She can turn into a coyote. I'm not sure, but that may be a reason I had a hard time. There are a lot of weres in it. And a few vampires. Maybe I need vampires as the focus instead of werewolves to really get into it?

At the end of the first book, Mercy hit it off with the Alpha male. They shared a kiss. Yeah, a kiss! That's all. Well here, nothing has progressed with them. They almost kiss. She kisses another were. But really, nothing too exciting.

This installment had more vampires in it than the last. A sorcerer has turned into a vampire and is causing havoc. Mercy helps to find him, and eventually kills him. And while it was great to get a new perspective on sorcerers and vampires, it was slow moving.

Then there was a rogue were, that Mercy assists to in finding a pack. What was that for? It was thrown in there. Maybe it continues in the third? I'm not sure. 



 

June Photo Challenge - Day 25

Day 25 - Citrus




Friday, June 24, 2011

Time Difference

For some reason, I feel like I'm behind in my blog posts.
Then it occurred to me,
I'm not use to the time difference.
I'm use to blogging in the afternoons, 
where it is morning here.

So, there are three pictures I want to share,
And to make life easier for me, 
I've got them all on the same post.

June Photo Challenge
Day 24 - Love
Foto Friday - Broken
Ethan found this at Grandpa's.
Even though it's broken, 
he still insists it works.


A Family Lives Here
 Ethan claims he did not make this mess.
If he didn't, 
who did?





Thursday, June 23, 2011

June Photo Challenge - Day 23

Day 23 - Black and White




Writer's Workshop - Summer Bucket List

3.) Create a bucket list of 50 things you want to do this summer (with or without the kids!)

 Ethan and I are spending a month in Canada.
I was thinking of creating a Bucket List of 10 things I wanted to do.
But with the end of school, 
and the move,
I never got around to it.
Then when I saw this week's prompt, 
I knew I had to do it.
But 50 things is a lot!

Let's start with food.
1. I need to hit Starbucks.
2. And Swiss Chalet
3. While we're at it, let's go to Dairy Queen
4. And Baskin Robbins
5. And have some Ben & Jerry's ice cream, too.
6. I want to experiment with my father-in-law's slow cooker.
8. Take Ethan for some culinary delight and have a hot dog in downtown Toronto.

Places to visit
9. I want to take Ethan to a Blue Jays' game.
10. And to the Ontario Science Centre,
11. To the Toronto zoo,
12. And Centre Island.
13. I want to introduce Ethan to the public library and get out some books.
14. Take Ethan to Canada's Womderland
15. Go up to the cottage.
16. Take Ethan to see Cars II

Shopping
17. Want a new Coach bag. (Don't tell Scott)
18. Shop at Victoria's Secret.
19. Need to make a trip down to Target.
20. Golda's Kitchen
21. It's summer here. I can finally shop for clothes. 

People to see
22. My brother
23. My cousins' on my dad's side.
24. My cousins' on my mum's side.
25. Ethan's cousins
26. Dana
27. Jennie
28. Fiona
29. Sajeda
30. Sally
31. Sarah (Adding her even though I am unsure how it will work)

Things to do
32.Get a tatoo.
34. I'm behind in my book challenge, so I want/need to read 15 books.
35. Give Ethan a Canadian birthday party. 
36. Go see X-Men
37. Go see Harry Potter
38. Finish reading Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to Ethan

Back in Dar
39. One last Mojito Friday
40. One last trip to the beach
41. One last breakfast at Epidor

In Lusaka 

42.  I need to unpack and sort the house.
43. Also want to have breakfast at Mugg and Bean in Lusaka.
44. Buy a rug for the dining room
45. Learn my way around the city


Ok, I need to think of 5 more things.
But can't think of any at the moment. 
So here's my list of 45 things!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Ethan

Last year, for Father's Day, I interviewed Ethan and asked him questions about his dad.
This year's Father's Day was a bit of a bust.
Scott was in Zambia,
Alone.
And Ethan and I were heading to Canada.
Alone.
But I thought it would be nice to see how much Ethan's answers would differ.


1. What is something Daddy always says to you?
Good night,
Sleep tight,
Don't let the bed bugs bite.

2. What makes Daddy happy?
When I listen to him.

3. What makes Daddy sad?
When I'm not listening.

4. How does your Daddy make you laugh?
By telling me jokes. (usually Ethan's the one with the jokes)

5. What was your Daddy like as a child?
He liked playing.

6. How old is your Daddy?
Ummm.... 15. (Last year he was 21)

7. How tall is your Daddy?
He's 50 kilos!
(obviously Ethan needs to learn the difference between height and weight, and learn what weight is!)            
8. What is his favourite thing to do?
Work!
(Not sure if it's really a favourite thing)
9. What does your Daddy do when you're not around?
He goes to work.

10. If your Daddy becomes famous, what will it be for?
His work!
(After some though, Ethan added)
His voice!   

11. What is your Daddy really good at?
Running!
(not sure where this came from)

12. What is your Daddy not very good at?
I'm thinking.....
........ Riding a bike!

13. What does your Daddy do for his job?
His job?
Call somebody for his job.

14. What is your Daddy's favourite food?
Scrambled eggs.
(Same answer as last year)

15. What makes you proud of your Daddy?
What does that mean? Ah, he gives me Sprite.

16. If your Daddy was a cartoon character, who would he be?
Batman!      

17. What do you and your Dad do together?
We play anything I want.

18. How are you and your Dad the same?
We are the same colour.
(Colour was a theme last year as well)

19. How are you and your Dad different?
Daddy works. I don't.

20. How do you know your Dad loves you?
Because I listen to him.
And because,
Because,
Because,
What was the question?

21. Where is your Dad's favourite place to go?
To Seacliff, because he likes the food there. The scrambled eggs.



Happy be-lated Father's Day babes.
Miss you.
Hope you're not working too hard.
Obviously someone thinks you do.       





June Photo Challenge

Once again, I need to catch up on some days.
Monday we were on a plane. 
I had planned to come home in the evening and post,
however Ethan wouldn't let me sleep,
so I was utterly knackered by the time we got home.
Yesterday, I was unpacking and sorting my self out.
So I have3days worth of pictures for you.

Day 20 -Water
 Rainy season in Dar.


Day 21 - Micro


Day 22 - Landscape


 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 16

Ethan and I are in Toronto!
We arrived yesterday evening.
I'm so excited.
We have a month of Canadian summer to enjoy.
We began today, with a trip to the playground by my father-in-law's.








Happiness is the beginning of summer in Toronto.



Dangerous Tides - Chrsitine Feehan

Welcome to book 4 of the Drake sisters. 

This one is all about Libby, the fourth sister, and a great doctor. We also meet Tyson Derrick. He's the first male introduced so far that does not believe in magic. He thinks the Drake family is a bunch of con artists who have brain washed poor Libby. He believe this despite the fact that Libby cured him after a horrific accident left him in a coma. 

This one started real slow. Ty's accident is no accident, but we don't learn more until later. Jonas is shot, but again, we don't get answers until later. While I'm not suggesting everything gets answered right away, it would be nice to see the sisters concerned, which they did not seem to be. 

The fifth book is about Hannah. I've always thought Hannah and Jonas would be together, and this book leads into that. I loved that part! Ty just bothered me a little too much to get really excited about him.




Saturday, June 18, 2011

June Photo Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 - Summertime









It Takes a Village

There's an African proverb which states; "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, ever since having Ethan, I've learnt this is true.

As we say goodbye to our home for the past 9 years, and Ethan's home since he was 2 months, we'd like to thank those villagers that aided in raising him.

Joel


We met Joel, I guess it was 7 or 8 years ago. He worked for our mate, Shannon, as a driver. Shannon had 2 kids, and Joel was fabulous with them. He was referred to Super Joel as there wasn't anything he didn't seem able to do. Right before leaving, Shannon and I were at lunch, discussing how the job she found for him had fallen through and she was worried about ensuring him a great position before she left. Just then Scott called. All I understood was accident and Total station. We skipped lunch and headed out. Sure enough, Scott had been in a car accident. He had stopped at a red light, when he was rear-ended by a petrol truck. Joel was, well, super. He got Scott out of the car safely, secured the car as now it was being surrounded by looters, assisted getting Scott to the clinic, and assisted with getting the car to the police station and all the paper work that needed filling. It was then Scott and I decided we needed a driver, and Joel would be it!

After Ethan was born, Joel proved to be invaluable. I didn't have a nanny as I was a SAHM, what did I need one for. But whenever I had an errand to run, Joel was there to assist with Ethan. He was better than any nanny we'd known. He'd record everything, and I mean everything. Ethan's bottles were put back in the fridge so I could see just exactly how much Ethan left behind (anywhere for an ounce to a drop), he'd tell me the time Ethan took the bottle, the time he'd put Ethan down, and the time Ethan actually fell asleep.

Later we got a nanny, but Joel was still important. He'd run around with Ethan, play football, and even babysit. We use to arrange for us to go out after Ethan was asleep. But one night Ethan wouldn't go down. I was ready to tear my hair out. Joel came. We handed him Ethan and wished him good luck. Later on we called, and according to Joel, Ethan was asleep within 10 minutes of us leaving! From then on, we let Joel put Ethan to bed when he was babysitting.

We always knew Joel was smart and deserved something more than a driver's job. So when Scott's company needed to hire someone to work down at the port, it was obvious Joel could handle it. For the past year and a half, Joel's been doing an amazing job with ACS. And he hasn't forgotten Ethan. He calls and visits, and for Ethan's 5th birthday, bought him this


Christina


Christina also worked for Shannon. When Shannon left, she arranged for Christina to attend school and earn a certificate in Montessori teaching. Christina invited me to her graduation. I was honoured. A few weeks later, we learnt we were expecting Ethan.

During my pregnancy and even after Ethan was born, I helped Christina find a job where she could use her certificate. There was a school opening, and Christina found a job there as an assistant. However, the school didn't last long. They did not get many students enrolling, and eventually, had to shut down.

When Ethan was 6 months, I was offered a teaching position at a school. I was unsure if I really wanted it. I also would need a nanny. It just happened that Christina called me to let me know she was unemployed. It was a sign. We hired Christina with the agreement that she had a job if I took the job. If I decided not to work, then it seemed ridiculous for us to have a nanny, but I would help her find something. 

Within a week I knew I didn't want the job, but we had agreed to keep Christina for a month. During this month I could go shopping, meet friends for coffee and not worry about scheduling it around Ethan's schedule. It was wonderful. So we decided while I wouldn't accept the teaching position, we did want Christina to stay with us.

For the last 4.5 years, Christina has been there for Ethan. She toilet trained him more than I did. She got him to eat when I would get frustrated. She encouraged him to be polite and friendly. She escorted him to all his playdates and welcomed his mates to our house. When I started working at IST, she then began to collect him from school and prepare his lunch. She knew his schedule of afterschool activities better than I did. She knew what days he had tennis, swimming, football, physio, who's house to play. She knew it all.

Omary


Omary joined us after Joel left. And since I was working full time at this point, it was up to Omary to collect Ethan from school and take him to his many playdates/activities without me. He had to learn where all Ethan's mates lived, without me there to guide him. He had to put up with me wanting to go places, but darn if I knew where it was. I could tell Joel I wanted something and Joel knew where to go. Omary had to know put up with my expectation that he'd do the same. I'm surprised he survived.

This year, Omary had double duty after school. He'd take Christina with him to fetch not just Ethan, but Isaac as well, home from school. He'd then listen to the two of them discussing whose house they'd be eating lunch at and ensure that not only was this done, and that Ethan made his scheduled activity/playdate, but was also back at school to collect me.

Lunesia

I forgot to get a picture of Ethan and Lunesia when she came this week.

I met Lunesia 6-7 years ago. I had started a small preschool, and she came to work for me there. After the school closed, she went on the work at the American Club as a cook. She knew I couldn't cook, and was worried about Scott and I. Once Ethan started on solids, I believe she feared he'd starve so she stepped in. Three times a week, after working a full day at the Marine House, she'd come on over to our place and cook us a few meals. She'd make things that could be frozen, and dinners for not just Ethan, but also Scott and I. She tried new recipes. She'd look through my gazillion recipe books and make suggestions for things Ethan and Scott might enjoy. My two boys are well fed because of her.


My life in Dar would not have been the same without them. They were not only invaluable to Ethan, but also to my sanity. Thank you for your presence in our lives. We shall always remember you.