but its not now is it?
Thursday, July 31, 2008
but its not now is it?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We took Florenzo to vet, waited 3 hours to be called. The vet gave him a shot, anitbiotics of some kind, pulled three teeth that were infected and said that was why his mouth had been showing saliva.
He wrote a prescription for eye drop antibiotics and an eye wash, which we just dab on cotton and rub his swollen eye.
We did both tonight when we got home, tricked him by petting him and then wiping his swollen eye, my husband actually did it very well. Then the eye drops were a bit harder, but he managed to give Florenzo those too. We will go back to vet day after tomorrow for a follow up.
We are so happy because when we got home he ate a whole bowl of food. I bet it was his teeth that were paining him so much and he couldn’t eat today? But man when the vet pulled his teeth, Florenzo screamed like mad, poor guy. The vet said that cats nevres in their mouths if exposed heal up and die actually after a few days, unlike humans? Ok i will Go.og.le that one, but maybe true?
Not sure what happened to his eye, but vet thinks maybe someone/thing hit him hard or a cat fight or it could be anything he said. When he is 100% back to normal he can give him vaccine for rabies, but he has to be healthy to get it.
Thanks again for all your kind words, hopefully Florenzo is on the road to recovery, poor thing, poor little guy. He was so good at the vet too.
Anyway, we feel better now thank God. Will keep updating as he gets better.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Yes we are back and I planned to post pics of Dahab and write all about our wonderful trip, but I can't, not now.
When we got home yesterday, we called for Florenzo, called and called and he was no where to be found. Then after an hour or so, we were watering the box in front of our house and i saw him down the street...i called him, he looked, stopped for a minute and ran so fast to us! he looked ok other than a little dirt around his nose and mouth. His left eye looked a bit droopy, but then when he opened his eyes wide, it looked ok last night.
So we were so happy that he was home, we played and petted him for hours. We had the security guard feed him while we were gone, so he was fed and ok that way. Maybe he got into a fight? I wish he could tell us what happened...
This morning, we go out to him, his left eye is swollen shut, has some puss around it, his mouth has lots of saliva, he is not cleaning himself and is not interested in eating or drinking at all.
I called a really good vet, a different one from the one we took him to last time- his name all over internet, and recommended by a pet owner we know here, he opens at 6:30PM and we will take him then. I described Florenzo to him on the phone, said the saliva could be one of fifteen different causes not necessarily rabies, which I immediately mentioned to him.
So please say a prayer for our baby, i have been crying all morning. I really love him so much. I am so hoping it is something that can be cured with a shot and some medication.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Hey chicas....do you know i so miss you guys!?!?!
We are still in Dahab! I had to come to send an important email and how could i NOT post if I was at a computer....
We are having such a good time, I SO don't want to leave, but we must and plan to head back tomorrow, by the way thats what we said yesterday too, LOL. But i think we will hit the road tomorrow.
Anyway, hope you are fine, i miss you guys really I do.
Oh I took something for all of us too, will post pic when I get back.
Talk soon my dear infertile and you few lucky pregnant chicas, love ya!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
A visit has been long overdue from us. By this time, July, we would have already been a few times since our last visit in April. I think too the delay has been the passing of our very good friend Ali in May who livedin Dahab. It will be different being there as we always used to visit him at his home, have dinner together and the place we always stay at he owns(ed). So we will visit his family, but it won't be the same....
Looking forward to swimming in Red Sea, soaking up the hot sun, loungin on the seaside, doing absolutely NOTHING!
Laptop is staying home and plan to really relax and enjoy myself. Maybe talk about IVF number 6 in the serene atmosphere and see what we come up with.
Our friends that are here from NY will go to, seperate though, doing a package deal, food, transportation, hotel all included.
Us, we drive (6 hours), stay at our favorite litle budget place and eat where and when we want. We'll meet up with them though as we are efficiandos on Dahab and must show them the place, LOL!
So I will be away for a few days. Not sure how long we will stay, we play it by ear usuallly and actually end up staying longer than we think. Hey we have the time and why not?
For now here's a few pics from the hundreds I have from previous trips. Have a great week, behave yourselves and talk soon. xoxoxoxox
So many of you have emailed and told me you love hearing about my life here. So today I decided to share two articles talking about Cairo. Also many of you have asked how I ended up here, that too is a draft in progres stay tuned, i promise to post later.
So that's what the Sphinx's behind looks like
This article talks about how the pyramids are actually located where peolple live. Its cool and shows a cool picture too. It was a surprise to me too, the first visit, even though they are lcoated in the desert, millions of people live in the same area all around the Giza Plateau.
Street Food in Cairo
This is a cool video talking about street food vendors. I am posting this as the video shows you a glimpse into crazy Cairo streets. Its sad too cause it talks about the poor here and how hard it is for them to surivive. Then they mention a man named Abu Tarek, he has a koshary restaraunt, we actually went there a few times....it is super yummy. He went from selling koshary on the street as a street vendor to a 3 story restaraunt, nice story. Anyway, the video is about 14 mins long and there is a part 2 if your interested at bottom of page. Part two mentions that due to wheat shortages here, they may start producing corn and making tortillas and tacos, LOL, i would be so happy as I miss them so.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Yes I am still here, yeah aren't you glad? What if I wasn't, would you be able to make it through the week without readin one of my winner posts? No you would not, of course not.
Been busy this week. Our newly married friends were here and we were busy busy being tour guides for their short 4 day stay here in Cairo. It was great to see them and we had a blast. I plan to post a Show and Tell later about it.
So thanks for your emails of concern in my absence. Glad to report all is good and I have some really funny news. Its funny to me and exciting at the same time, will need some advice from those of you who have done it before or have a child who has went to it before. Can you guess what it is? NO WAAY, not enough info.
Until later, my awesome woman bloggin freaks...luv ya all!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I was reading this online article today, I called my husband to show it to him.
Strong earthquake rattles Cairo
CAIRO: Cairo residents were woken by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake which struck Egypt Tuesday morning at 6:26 am.
The earthquake affected Cairo as well as its surrounding governorates.
According to news reports, it originated 561 km northwest of Alexandria in the seismically active Mediterranean belt area, at a depth of 32 km.
“This earthquake is of average power, it happens thousands of times,” Salah Mohamed Mahmoud, head of the National Institute for Astronomy and Geophysics, told Daily News Egypt.
The Ministry of Interior confirmed to Daily News Egypt that no casualties or serious property damages were reported.
“We may experience weaker aftershocks, nothing destructive though,” Mahmoud added.
A statement by the Athens Geodynamic Institute said the earthquake struck at 6:26 am (03:26 GMT) with its epicenter located 445 km southeast of Athens, beneath the seabed south of Rhodes.
It left one dead in Greece.
The US Geological Survey also confirmed the quake at 6.4 on the Richter scale. Magnitudes often differ in the first hours and days after an earthquake.
A Greek earthquake expert told NET TV that the earthquake may cause a small tsunami, but stressed it would be very weak if its center was deep.
However, Mahmoud said that a real tsunami was out of the question: “What may happen is the generation of small sea waves which can be felt by boats.”
Greece is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. Its earthquakes are usually felt by residents in the northern part of Egypt but most of them do not cause damage or injuries.
A geological study conducted by Egyptian geologist Taha Mohamed Aboul-Azayem recently warned that in the coming few years, Cairo might be subject to three destructive earthquakes that could measure up to seven degrees on the Richter scale.
So my husband says "yeah, don't you remember me asking you yesterday morning, 'why are you shaking the bed?' " I was like huh?
It was 6:30AM so i was sleeping and don't remember a thing- but he felt it!
I am happy to report we have no damage at all in Cairo, but thought it so funny, not funny, but strange as he felt it. I kind of wish I had too. I know weird, but i feel left out. Kidding.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It's just after 2AM here, got home from the vet at 1AM.
Monday, July 14, 2008
So first off I want to thank all of you for your kind words for Annette and her daughter Aimee. Annette posted a thank you in yesterday's comments:
Hi all, this is Annette and I would like to thank you all for your kind words and prayers. Wishing4one is an amazing friend and I am really blessed to have her in my life, and now all of you. I promise to keep Wishing updated on Aimee's progress and I'll try my best to keep aimeesarmy.org updated as much as possible. Again, thank you all and may God bless you today and always.
Let us hope that things improve for Aimee real soon, what a sweetie this little girl is I tell you.
My baby Florenzo is sick. Why? From what? I have no idea.
I am appealing to those you experienced in having pets and especially cats, maybe you can give me some advice or have an idea on what is wrong with him.
So here's what's up.....
Two days ago we noticed these on his left hind leg. The other side of this same leg you cannot see has one gauge like these too.
The wounds look like clean cuts as his hair is gone, but no breakage in his skin? I thought maybe he got his leg caught in something, or maybe a dog attacked him, but wouldn't his skin be broken? Remember he is an outside only cat, so God knows what could have happened. I so wish he could talk and just tell me.
In addition to his leg, which is not what has worried me so much, he is super lazy. Sleeping alot and not his usual crazy self. I will take him to a vet, have to find one first, but could he maybe have an infection?
He is better today than he was two days ago, alittle more active, but still kinda lazy. I am so scared. I cried the first night he was like this. He was just so lethargic and not responsive to our teasing- attempt to play with him.
So like I said I must find a vet now, and even when I find one, I will be scared as pets are not as common or in abundance like they are in the USA. I think i will doubt their abilities to treat Florenzo. I know there are good ones here I am sure, but still my hesistation will be present.
So tell me, what should the vet do when we see him for the first time? Like how will he test to see what is wrong with Florenzo, other than the apparent wounds on his leg?
Please send some good thoughts our way about my baby. I still cannot believe how much i love him. As i mentioned before I have never had a pet and never thought I would, but I do now and am totally in love with him.
Something very cool happened to us yesterday. We got a phone call from a very dear friend from back home in the USA. He was in Jordan, got married last week and is Cairo today for part of his honeymoon.
He is just here a few days, but we hope to be able to hook up with him.
He used to work for us back home and became a very dear friend. We wanted so much to attend his wedding last week in Jordan but couldn't make it. He mentioned before in email he may come to Egypt, so when we got his call we were so happy.
They are staying at a really cool hotel close to the pyrmaids, so it will be drive for us to get to him. Its not that it is so far, like 45 mins drive, but the trafiic in that part of Cairo, called Giza SUCKS big time. Anyway, he is worth the frustrating drive, no doubt.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Today my Show and Tell is a very special one.
A friend of mine, her name is Annette has been going through a very hard time for the last year.
Her 11 year old daughter Aimee was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
I met Annette through a friend some years back. She is an amazing lady, always helping others and never asking for anything in return. She is super strong and has been a single mother for along time. I never knew her to complain about anything and she is always smiling.
I found out initially about Aimee via an email from Annette. I am in Egypt and felt so helpless, like I wished I could be there to give her a hug. I have followed Aimee’s journey via Annette’s emails and I wanted to share it with all of you today.
It’s a long post, but you know what, it deserves the time and space. Annette and Aimee’s story will really make you thankful for your healthy kids if you have them, make you think about your future kids if you are TTC and if you don't have kids or are not trying, still their story should be an inspiration to all.
Feel free to send Annette and Aimee an email of support . Aimee’s 12th birthday is July 22nd.
E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Annette’s son was married in May 2007. At that time, Aimee was a cheerleader and her squad won a state competition. They were headed for a national competition which was being held in August 2007 in Wisconsin. Aimee too has been racing go-kart's since she was six; she has always been very active.
After Annette and her family came back from her sons wedding in PA, Aimee's team had to raise the money to go to the National competition, so they held car washes every weekend.
During this time Aimee was telling Annette that she had headaches, and felt sick to her stomach. Annette thought it was from the heat of being out in the sun all day washing cars, pretty much like everyone was feeling. Over the next several weeks Annette started noticing changes in Aimee, one was losing her balance when she walked.
In August before the National Competitions were to start, Aimee started being dizzy and light headed more and more with each passing day. After several doctor appointments Annette was told that it was a sinus infection, her eyes, or dehydration from the heat- that she should just keep taking the medicine prescribed for her.
Aimee continued to become sicker and sicker.
On September 4th, 2007 Annette took her to the ER because she started to vomit, which Annette assumed was from all the medicine she was taking.
They did a CT scan of her head, a chest X-Ray, gave her IV fluids and sent them home stating that nothing was wrong with Aimee. They told Annette to see a different primary doctor, Annette made an appointment but it wasn’t until September 25th 2007 that Aimee could be seen.
During this wait Aimee told Annette that she was wasting time going to all these different doctors because she felt as though she had a brain tumor. Annette told her no way, that wasn't possible.
After their appointment on the 25th and with a referral to a Neurologist but not until mid October, Aimee started to vomit outside in a garbage can. Annette wanted to go back up to the doctor’s office and Aimee told her no; she said “I just need to go home and sleep.”
She slept and vomited the entire next day.
September 27th, 2007 Aimee woke up, got ready for school because it was picture day and she really wanted to be there. As they started to ride their bikes to school Aimee began to sway all over the rode. Annette joked with her that she was going to get picked up for a DUI, Aimee she said she was going to pass out. She did.
Annette called the doctor as soon as they got back got home and he told her to take her right away to Children's Hospital. This is when Annette’s nightmare began.
Aimee had another CT done of her brain- doctors told Annette they saw a shadow- so they did an MRI.
They then told Annette Aimee was going to be admitted for more tests because the MRI had showed that she had a Brainstem Glioma.
It wasn't until the next day while Annette talked to the Oncologist and saw the MRI results that she had any idea as to how serious this all was. She was told that since the tumor took up Aimee’s whole interior brainstem, surgery was not an option. At most they could reduce the tumor with radiation. Aimee was given six months to live.
Annette recalls hearing the news that her child has only six months and says it was beyond painful; no words could describe the feeling. She said Aimee is and was at that time too 100% aware of everything, she didn't and does not hold anything back. Annette tells Aimee the truth when she asks.
From the time of Aimee’s admission to Children’s Hospital on the 27th of September her health deteriorated rapidly. Doctors found that the biggest part of the tumor was pressing on the nerves that control her swallowing function. Aimee began to tell everyone that she felt like everything she was eating and drinking was ‘going down the wrong pipe’.
On Monday October 1st Aimee went in for a swallow study test. They found out that everything was going into Aimee's lungs and not her stomach. By 2:00 am Tuesday morning Aimee was transferred to ICU. Her lung had collapsed and she was put on a ventilator.
Aimee spent the 54 days in the hospital. During this time her lung had collapsed at least 4 times and her infections didn't seem to want to clear up. She had to have a Tracheotomy to help with her breathing. They also decided to put a feed tube directly into her stomach instead of down her nose.
When Aimee had her Trach put in they were told that it was going to be hard for Aimee to be able to talk let alone do anything else. Well, Aimee shocked everyone playing her clarinet flawlessly as if she never stopped playing. She played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Hot Cross Buns. Aimee is an inspiration to all. Annette writes “I am so proud of you for not giving up and pushing yourself everyday to be who you use to be. I love you….”
In early November 2007 doctors decided to do what is called VATS surgery on Aimee’s lung. It was her lung that was holding her back, not her tumor.
Since Aimee was on a ventilator she was unable to talk, Annette taught her the Alphabet in sign language. Annette says the blessing here was at least Aimee was able to communicate with her and several of the hospital nurses.
Aimee completed her radiation on November 19th, 2007 and she was finally able to come home November 20th, just two day's before Thanksgiving. That year they had so much to be thankful for Annette says.
Aimee was back in the hospital on December 16th ,2007 because her feeding tube became dislodged from her stomach, which caused an infection. She had surgery and came home December 23rd 2007. This too was the best Christmas they ever had as Aimee was home again.
On January 4th, 2008 Aimee had an MRI to see if the radiation was helping with her tumor. The good news was that the tumor had stopped growing. The bad news was that it had not shrunk at all. The doctors wanted to try a new experimental drug in mid February which they hoped would kill the tumor. Aimee would only be able to try this medicine if she stayed stable.
Throughout this time Aimee was being home schooled and she was doing very well. One of her teachers from school used to visit Aimee at home to check on her progress, Annette says she was always amazed at her weekly progress.
Before, Aimee got sick she was a B to A student. Towards the end of 5th grade her grades started to slip. Annette found out later that it was the tumor growing that caused her grades and concentration to fall.
Aimee went to school to visit her class on Wednesday Jan. 30th, 2008. Her classmates faces showed a bit of shock and some fear. They had never seen any of their classmates with a Trach or using a walker before. Just several months before Aimee was running and playing with them on the play ground. Aimee’s principal explained everything to the students in a way that children could understand, and some of them already knew because they had come to see Aimee while she was in the hospital, and then again at her home.
Annette posted Aimee's e-mail on the board in every 6th grade class room, six in all, so if any of the kids wanted to keep in touch with her they could. Aimee received close to a hundred e-mails later that day. They went back to the school on Wednesday Feb 6th, and Aimee had lunch with some of her friends. Although, she was unable to eat, just sitting and visiting with her friends meant so much to everyone.
That night Aimee asked Annette that if her going to her school, e-mailing, and visiting with her friends coming to see her, hanging out with them- if by doing this was she was giving them good memories? Annette told her the best memories they will probably ever have; also that Aimee too would have these memories to keep forever. How can such a young child be so smart Annette thought?
Annette took Aimee to the doctor on Friday Feb 8th, 2008 and it was decided that the best thing to do was for them to move back to Pennsylvania since Aimee was so stable at that time.
Annette’s doctor referred her to a doctor at the Philadelphia Children's Hospital who had excellent experience and a good track record treating kids with Aimee's type of tumor.
Aimee had another MRI in early March when they first arrived in PA and compared to the MRI in October 2007 it showed that her tumor had shrunk 40%. The doctors mentioned removing Aimee’s Trach and mickey button for her feed tube. Aimee ate all she wanted the prior month with no problems swallowing; she was doing so well.
April 13th, 2008 Aimee held her niece Emma who was 10 weeks premature and she fed her a bottle. Aimee's face was shining so bright. In early February Annette was dealing with the fear of possibly losing both her daughter and granddaughter and maybe even her daughter-in-law…this whole sequence of events had been the hardest thing Annette has ever experienced.
Annette writes… “I thank God everyday for Emma and Aimee's good health. And that my daughter-in-law is also doing so well. I also thank Him and pray for everyone that has been praying for Aimee and Emma. My words of thanks to all of you will never be enough. Each day that I have Aimee to talk with and play with is a day I will never forget and treasure always. She is really one of God's many miracles, as is Emma and all sick and premature children. Actually, all of the children are miracles but we tend to forget when everything else in life is going so well. ..”
Aimee and Annette went back to the doctors on April 22nd, 2008 and were told at that time that Aimee's tumor has started to grow again; the doctors gave Aimee 8-12 weeks to live.
Annette was also told that Aimee could start chemo which would last about 12 weeks and maybe only extend her life another 4 weeks. After a long talk and questions to the doctor Aimee decided that she didn't want the chemo; she said would rather spend the next 12 weeks hugging her family than hugging the toilet.
Aimee told Annette that she is the luckiest girl in the world to have been born into such a loving and caring family. Annette told her she is the lucky one to have her in my life. Annette writes…” She has taught me so much over her little 11 years. I feel as though she already is one of God Angels…”
On May 6th Aimee loss use of her left arm and started dragging her left leg. Over the next few weeks Aimee was having good days and bad.
Several days before they left for the surgery, Aimee started complaining of headaches, Annette gave her the meds she was taking back in May, Oxycodone.
By the time they got to Philly Aimee’s headaches were really bad but she wouldn't tell anyone because she thought they might not do her surgery if they knew. Aimee finally said something and doctors increased her dose to 20 mg's every 3 hours.
The doctors at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital started Aimee on dexamethasone which was a steroid to help with the swelling in Aimee’s brain. While she was on this Aimee started to become very large around her stomach, face, and feet which was making it very hard for her to walk and breathe.
The doctors in Philly didn't want to do anything other than slowly take her off the dexamethasone. However, her hospice Doctor put Aimee on water pills despite the Philly doctor’s wishes and within a week the swelling in her body had started to go down.
Aimee and Annette went to Philadelphia on June 23rd, 2008 to have her porta cath and Trach removed. Her porta cath had not been used since late Nov or Dec, and it is became more and more difficult for the nurses to access it every month in order to flush it. If the port is not flushed correctly on time every month it could cause blood clots. Aimee was very excited about getting this done; she had wanted both out for months. She hoped that once the Trach is out she would finally be able to take a bath and shower without choking, but most of all she wanted to swim.
June 27th, 2008 back at home Aimee was crying and begging God to please stop her pain. She kept asking God to forgive her for whatever it was that she did to be punished this way. That was the hardest night for Annette, not being able to help her daughter and having to watch her suffer in so much pain.
When she continued crying through the night, Annette decided to give her some Ibuprofen with just the original 5 mg's of Oxycodone. Aimee slept until 10:00 am and not once got up to complain about her headaches. During the next day, Saturday Annette only gave Aimee a 200mg tablet of the Ibuprofen every 6 hours. Annette says she knows God heard her begging for His help. She says God first showed her how to help stop Aimee’s pain and then He stopped it all together.
Since Tuesday July 1st, 2008 Aimee has been pain free and is not taken any meds at all.
July 11th began Week 11 of the 8-12 weeks they gave Aimee to live.
Annette is currently the process of working with lawyers to establish Aimee's Army as an official non-profit organization.
She is also working on getting t-shirts, bandanas and wrist bands made. Aimee chose a rabbit as her logo. The rabbit will be wearing a camouflage jacket of gold (childhood cancer) gray (brain cancer) and lavender (all cancers).
So Annette and her family have been very busy celebrating Aimee’s life, spending as much time as possible with family and friends. Annette told Aimee from the start that the doctors can not tell her just how long she has and that only God can make that choice. She also told her that God has many miracles and she may be one of them and that she shouldn’t count down days, but rather keep her faith and hope alive.
Aimee has her good days and bad days Annette says but all in all they are good days. She is a true fighter, and a great inspiration to all who know her.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Pictured above: Carrots, fake celery sticks (they are actually cucumbers), bleu cheese sauce made from scratch (just added a spoon of mayo, sour cream, a touch of milk and some pepper to some crumbled bleu cheese) and alittle extra Frank's Red Hot with butter and garlic.
Can I just say that they were SOOOOO yummy, they tasted better than I remember.
See I told you I was a Loser like that ...
Well you guys are so right on with your comments, about having a cat I mean. I should have known better. Thats why I haven't got pregnant in 10 plus years. But wait, Florenzo has only been around about 2 months. Something KNEW he was coming maybe, thats why no pregnancies.
Luna, I do not think cats are considered sacred anymore here in Egypt. Oh but you know what maybe their ancenstors though, like Anubis are lurking around making them cause me to not become pregnant, that could be it.
Aren't people idiots for real though? That one just killed me yesterday, and I was like WTF, what else could I say. I didn't say that to her, she is an older lady and I must be respectful, but I mean COME ON!
Hope2morrow, you know my ears are rather small actually, but I do enjoy good chocolate now and then so that could be it maybe huh?
Hey Pam, don't get one girl. Your first IVF is around the corner too, keep the cats away!!!
Christi, they probably told you but you forgot. Or maybe cause you travel alot to Denver its a non issue. Good luck girl too, how exciting.
Kym, what great names, sbut they got your socks and pregnancies I knew it, bad ass kitties.
My girl Nit, I know Q is far away, he'll be home soon, but DO NOT under any circumstances bring a cat home for company.
Hey I am posting Show and Tell tomorrow. Get your box of tissues out cause it's gonna bring tears for sure. It is an amazing true story of a friend of mine and her daugther, be sure to come back here Sunday cause you won't want to miss it.
Thinking of chicken wings for dinner. Oh did I tell you guys I found real chicken wings, the proper ones at the hypermart the other day? I had the butcher cut them, you know split in two and throwing away that little pointy part? I am so excited and thinking to fry em up tonight, we'll see. Its healthier to bake em, but no way, fried then shaken with Frank's Red Hot and Butter and Garlic YUM! If I do I will take a pic and post cause you know I'm a loser like that.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Ok, i have to tell you you guys this one.
This takes the multi-tiered cake in comments about TTC. Ready???
(roughly translated into English from Arabic)
"Oh no, you should get rid of that cat right away. Didn't you know having a cat keeps you from getting pregnant. No really, its true, get rid of the cat...."
Sure you can buy it anywhere, and its inexpensive, but I thought this was a cool recipe to make at home. My father buys from Starwest Botanicals all the time. He says they top quality products and are reasonably priced and excellent customer service.
Anyway, again just thought it was cool thing to share.
How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer (courtesy of Starwest Botanicals)
It's quick and easy to make your own natural, waterless hand sanitizer.
Gather Your Ingredients
1 cup aloe vera gel
1 tsp rubbing alcohol
2 tsp vegetable glycerine
8-10 drops tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil
Simply blend all of the ingredients together and store.
Decide Where You are Going to Store Your Sanitizer
Be creative! You can recycle old liquid soap or hand sanitizer dispensers. You can also purchase a beautiful glass jar with a pump top to store and display your sanitizer. Think out of the box. If you find some nice glass jars and then add your own label, you can give home made sanitizers as gifts to family and friends!
Choose Essential Oils Carefully
The original recipe calls for tea tree or lavender oil, but you can be creative and use other types of essential oils as well. I like to pull out a list of oils that have antibacterial AND antiviral properties and make a blend that suits the season. Look at the properties of citrus oils, especially. Use oils that suit your likes as far as scents are concerned but will still add the cleansing properties appropriate for a hand sanitizer.
Your home made hand sanitizer will not dissolve into your hands as quickly or effectively as the commercial hand sanitizers you buy in the store. It is better to err on the side of too little than to end up wiping excess sanitizer off of your hands later. Waste not - want not!
I have been putting off my "big" shopping (think Costco, man how i MISS that place) for awhile now. I get the little things I need usually daily from the "souk" where I live. (souk refers to shopping area, small stores) But I needed cleaning supplies, paper products, and a bunch of other stuff. Here sadly no Costco, but we have Carrefour, its like a Middle East styled Target like store I guess would be the closest comparision.
Despite sleeping at 4AM Wednesday morning we woke up and took our visiting firends from NYC (they have a place here where we live, same city. And yes the ones who brought my i.p.o.d.) with us to Carrefour at around 11AM. You have to go early here...one- it gets so hot after 1pm and two- people start leaving work from 4pm onwards and traffic SUCKS. But really it is always busy, we are approx. 18 million in this crazy city so its hectic everywhere actually.
Anyway, while shopping I was so missing back home, the sales, the great prices (even though I've heard things have went up alot), things are very expensive here. We are lucky and are able to buy what we need, but I often think of the many families here who make so little in salary each month, how do they survive? Many of the people here survive on just $300-$600 per month, and thats the low to medium scale.
Another expensive thing is American Fast Food chains here. Take Mc.Don.ald's for example, back home, its a last resort for most, a quick, unhealthy meal and CHEAP. Here, for a family of four lets say they will pay well over 130LE. Ok if you convert that to dollars its about $25 but think of the unit of the egyptian pound as being a dollar, know what i mean. That is expensive for people, especially people who earn so little money on a monthly basis. So there are lots of children here who will never have a meal at Mc.Don.ald's, its sad and a bit weird if you think about it.
By the same token, there are plenthy of rich people here too. Here in Egypt, we have a very divided class system. A lot of poor, some rich and not too many in bewteen constituting a middle class.
So i don't know, I guess I want to say how thankful I am to be able to eat what I want and often think of the families here who cannot even afford to feed their families. They work so hard, but never seem to get ahead. I know this can be said of people everywhere in the world, no doubt, but I am living here now and witness this daily.
So next time you pick up something quick at a fast.food.place, think of the people in the world, who one- cannot afford that simple meal and two- be grateful that you can.
A quote form an online article:
In the meantime, Egypt continues to welcome brands from all over the world; Starbucks, regionally owned by the Kuwait-based AlShaya Group, has opened 14 branches across Cairo, Alexandria and the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El Sheikh. Other retailers to make their debut in recent years include mango, based in Spain, and the German supermarket chain, Metro.
“Many believed that these international brands would hurt local retailers, but of course we believe that the competition is a good thing,” said Mr Rachid.
A concern, however, is that Egypt’s high poverty levels will stunt further retail industry growth. A UN study found that some 44 per cent of the nation’s nearly 80 million residents live on less than $2 per day. However, the government estimates that at least 10 per cent of Egypt’s population can afford to shop at malls, and as many as 25 to 30 per cent can shop at hypermarkets.
“Even if only a quarter of Egypt’s population can afford to shop at Carrefour, that still leaves us with 20 million potential consumers in the market,” said Richard Reid, the senior vice president of MAF, which owns the Carrefour brand in the Middle East. “It’s probably a little bit less than that, but it is essentially equivalent to the population of the whole of Australia.”
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The thing about living in a foreign country, when American holidays roll around, you have to celebrate them yourself. You don't "feel" or "see" the spirit of these holidays you grew up with back home, they don't celebrate our holidays here. I've realized this is something I kinda miss.
You know I could have made a BBQ for us at home, in the backyard this 4th of July- but I didn't.
I could have bought some sparklers or other small fire-type works- but I didn't.
We could have remenisced about our 4th of July's back home- we didn't.
I'm really not super tradtional when it comes to holidays, but there are a few that I loved growing up, especially the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. I always looked forward to seeing the huge Fireworks display and at Thanksgiving my mother always made a beautiful large dinner, I loved it. I even continued Thanksgiving after I moved out of my mothers house. I always had lots of friends over to have Thanksgiving dinner together. I often called my Mom to ask about cooking the Turkey and other little hints only she could give me.
When those two holidays roll around again I will do something here to start a tradtion in our home away from home. Start a Cairo Thanksgiving if you will. There are turkies here, so maybe I will buy one, cook it up and invite friends for an American Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing is, all the "shortcuts" i would have used back home, are not here, i.e. cheating at making gravy, buying a jar and adding my homemade gravy to it, using Stove-Top, yep, sorry i did that and cranberry sauce, who cares I never liked it!
I don't think I have written about the Sporting/Social Clubs here, have I?So picture a country club type setting, but with LOADS AND LOADS of families and their children.
Here in Cairo belonging to a club or "nady" as it is called in Arabic is a must by all.There are many, many clubs here and almost everyone belongs to one. Some are better than others, some have more expensive memberships and better facilties, but even the cheaper ones are frequented by hundreds maybe even thousands of people.
I never "got it"at first, thinking "why do all these people go to these clubs?" I "get it" now I think.
See there are not alot of public areas for people to hang out in. There are a few gardens and public parks for people to sit, but remember we are like 18 million in this city of Cairo and space is tight. Most of the population lives in apartment buildings and there is no backyard to play in. There are houses, called villas here and gated compounds but I think it would be correct to say that majority of Cairenes live in crowded apartment styled buildings.
So my conclusion is that these clubs are a refuge for people, a place to take the kids, let them learn a sport, a meeting place for friends to hang out and drink coffee, a place to swim, a place for families to meet and relax and of course all this while being in a large, most times really nice green open area.
They charge a membership fee, a one-time fee when you join. Then each year you pay a fee, a lot less than the original membership fee.
It was a new concept for me when I got here, but I think I like it. Its a nice escape and there are so many things to do at the club. All types of sports- tennis, soccer, indoor gyms, olympic sized swimming pools, wading pools, resort-like negative edge pools, restaraunts, clubhouses, gyms, a track and the list goes on and on.
The hard part for me, not hard, but sometimes makes me feel sorry for myself- is that there is always so, so, so many children. Especially now that schools out, all you see are kids EVERYWHERE. Its really nice, but sometimes I get sad seeing them play with their parents and so wishing I could do that too. But don't get me wrong, I love seeing all children happy and playing its so nice. My selfishness sometimes sneaks up on me and I try to quickly dismiss it away.
Anyway, I am proud to say that I am a card-carrying member of an extremely nice country club for the first time in my life. LOL!!!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
So today i want to share with you about our baby Florenzo. Florenzo has a new friend.
This new little girl came around yesterday for the first time and is back again as I type this. She's really cute, strange captivating eyes, gray black striped coloring and she meows constantly.
Poor Florenzo yesterday, this little one comes in eats his food, drinks his water, went in his house and was acting like she took over the place.
Its cute to see them together, they hiss a little and spat paws but it doesn't seem like they are fighting really.
Okay so Florenzo is a boy and lets say she's a girl, isn't she too young for eh um, you know? I am a first time pet owner and don't really know much about cats yet.... so what's going on, just play or does Florenzo have other intentions?
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It's summertime and everyone is feeling it. I was reading Io's blog, "Damn That Stork" today and it inspired me to blog about summertime when I was a teenager.
I grew up on the East Coast and summertime was a HUGE deal as it rolled around every year. Especially to me and my friends, cause it meant hanging out on the West Side, going to street festivals that happened only in the summer and seeing lots of cute Puerto Rican guys, cause they all lived on the West Side you know.
This was the late eighties, early nineties and some of the best times in my life. I remember as we got all decked out in our cute summer outfits, playing music as we got ready to get all psyched up for going out. We used to get so excited, i mean we were just going to hangout, but it was such a big deal AND it was summertime AND it was the best time for us.
I remember taking the bus and then the subway to the West Side, it seemed so far away. I remember when we got there the loud music blasting, people sitting on their porches, kids playing in the street, smell of BBQ's that was summertime.
Then walking across the bridge, to the water. The bridge was always packed wall to wall, or side to side, guys and girls leaning against the bridge rails. Hearing the ocassional "ayeeee mommy" and other spanish stuff I can't remember now. It was like entering a completely different atmosphere for me at that time... and I loved it!
You see, I lived in a more conservative, quiet neighborhood in the North part of town, so it was like another world to me when I ventured to the West Side. I always felt safe there, even though now I think about it, it probably wasn't the safest place to be. But it allowed me to escape my quiet, familiar, mostly Italian neighborhood and have fun. Even though I did go to high school in the city, which was right next to the West Side, hangin' out there was different.
I was lucky to not get into too much trouble while being on the West Side. There was the occasional girl "talk" with the local girls who were not found of us being in their hood, but other than that it was so much fun!
I was a die-hard rap fan back then. (LOL, aren't you just dying, but maybe thats why I like VMB so much, left over from this time, LOL!) I knew all the lyrics to all the rap songs popular at that time too. Some of my favorites were Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, Salt n Peppa, Public Enemy, Wu Tang Clan, Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige, MC Lyte and I could on and on. I laugh when I think back to then, how different I have become.
Getting married was never a thought that entered my mind, let alone having kids, oh no. You know some girls grow up dreaming about their wedding day and having kids, not me. Isn't it funny how things turn out?
Anyway, my tastes sure have changed, but I will always remember the late 80's and early 90's, some good, good times for sure!So i leave with you a song that was 'my song' back in the day, its so funny to listen to it and see the video now, looking at the 90's styles and phrases/words and dancing in the song, too funny, but boy does it bring back sweet memories.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Woke up to this in my inbox, great way to start the day!!
Today Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's trying to find a companion.
Before you complain about your children -Think of someone who desires children but they can't have them.
Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and thank GOD that you woke up today.
So as usual, its late and I should be sleeping, but i like reading blogs late at night, why, don't know.
Anyway, was reading Aunt Becky's blog at Mommy Wants Vodka and she posted lots of random thoughts. She asked her readers to post their randomness.
Now go ahead and post your random thoughts here too. Lets see what you got.
My randomness....just typing what comes to mind, i know scary!
smoked chicken is awesome on a sandwich, why are there so many kids here?, idiot drivers should be shot, it takes two to tango- i hate that phrase, people who chew loud suck, 7-up in orange juice with ice, glad I am not eating tomatoes in the US, ice with water and a lemon, need a haircut/color, obama- will he be pres?, chloe's a mom, who's the daddy?