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Life in the Baaaaaaaaa Lane

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

We've been in Tunis for almost two months, and it feels like home. We've developed a routine, and the house looks pretty put together. I have turned my patio into a nascent Greek taverna, with lots of flowering bushes and a nice place to sit and relax.

Life most Muslim countries, the architecture is Islamic. High walls and inward looking design give the women privacy, and it's MacDuff's whole world. Since we arrived, he has patrolled the garden and the patio, wandered around the house, but he has not gone beyond our walls, except for one brief break for freedom which didn't last long.

The weather here is gorgeous right now, and so I decided to take MacDuff for a walk. I've been worried about stray dogs, but my neighborhood has a lot of foreigners living in it, and they tend to adopt the strays, making it safer. MacDuff quivered with excitement when he realized that freedom (on a leash, but still) was his. We sniffed and peed our way up the hill to the sea and then to a fabulous little bakery I recently discovered. A dog challenged MacDuff, but he was too busy hiking himself up on tippytoe to squirt his calling card to even care.

Westies are rare in this part of the world, and the little guy drew his share of admiring glances as we toddled along. We passed an old man and his two sheep, and the man called out a pleasant greeting. Not wishing to be rude, I stopped to talk. MacDuff was extremely well behaved, calmly, slowly walking up to "meet" one of the sheep. Although she seemed to be curious about him initially, she soon grew skittish and backed up. I started to reel MacDuff in when she went on the attack, charging him. MacDuff dashed back and then behind me as fast as four inch legs can go, both putting me right in the irate sheep's pathway and tangling up my legs at the same time. Luckily, the man leaped forward and grabbed her horns! You know what? Sheep are surprisingly large and mean looking up close and angry!

The whole time, the old man smiled at me and called out apologies!

MacDuff was so shaken up that he freaked when we saw a miserable little street cat, and it was just time to go home. Now the little guy is sacked out on the sofa, no doubt dreaming about his big adventure!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSEMBERSTORM 11/28/2008 9:15PM

    How funny! Poor McDuff!

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UP4MORE 11/3/2008 2:11PM

    Oh wow!! Amazing place it sounds like - amazing adventures for both you and McDuff!


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LEB108 10/15/2008 9:36AM

    Dogs are so fun, they really make life interesting. It sounds like you are having quite a new adventure!

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NEWSTART127 10/13/2008 12:31AM

    I think I'd be afraid of a charging sheep, and I'm much bigger than a Westie!
Thanks for sharing MacDuff's big adventures beyond the high wall!
I'm glad you're both settling in nicely!

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    Ha, funny story. Poor MacDuff is probably glad to be safely home again.
Thank you for leaving comments on my blogs.

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STEFIPOP 10/11/2008 8:59PM

    Oh my gosh, you cracked me up! I laughed all the way through this blog! Out loud. My husband thinks I am crazy! I went and looked at your pictures, too, hoping to see one of MacDuff. O my, he is adorable, and picturing this all in my head makes it even funnier. You live quite the exciting life, I'd say, and you have visited some amazing places! Good for you!

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SIXFULLERS 10/10/2008 5:35AM

    Poor MacDuff! Before you leave, he'll be herding sheep. ;-)

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/9/2008 3:06PM

    what a sweet story...but you didnt tell us what you bought at the bakery!!! LOL!!
i want to see horny sheep tooo...they cut them all off around here.
Love you!!

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MAPLELEAFMOM 10/9/2008 7:06AM

    What a cute story!! I knew there was another reason we get along well, other than you totally motivate me here! We have 2 westies. They are so much fun with their attitude and personalities. I can't imagine our family without them. My westie Watson would love to go play with MacDuff and then they could go play with the sheep!! Our other westie, Guinness, would try to have those sheep for lunch - he thinks he is the biggest thing in the world and he doesn't really like any other furry things other than Watson! (I don't think Guinness knows he's a dog!)

Have a great day with MacDuff!

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Glad to hear things are falling into place over there.

I cracked up about the sheep, I have a visual picture of this as we used to have a small flock and one mongrel of a ram. I can still remember the time when he butted my mum. She got such a shock going A over T none of us could do anything for laughing!!!!

Hope your little dog is doing better!!


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BEAUTIFLDZSTR 10/8/2008 11:10PM

    Okay so I am a dork. I swore the title was baaaaaaaaad Lane, so I got to the park of the bakery and thought ohp here it is the bad part. DUH okay so it was the sheep. HEHEHEHE

Sounds beautiful and MacDuff will conquere eventually

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MSEMBERSTORM 10/8/2008 9:36PM

    Awesome! Little MacDuff sounds like quite a character. LOL. Glad you are settled in.

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KIMCATUS 10/8/2008 8:57PM

    "When Good Sheep Go Bad!" next on Tunis tv channel #6...starring MacDuff as the innocent victim! Stay tuned!

Awwww you have the most funnest adventures! Sorry about the close encounters of the sheep kind...LOL! Only you my crazy gorgeous friend...only you!

Hey don't get that rental for too long in 260-ville...I have a feeling you will be leaving there soon! Come to Badgertown! We have sheep! ROFL

Comment edited on: 10/8/2008 8:55:50 PM

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ZIRCADIA 10/8/2008 8:29PM

    DITTO TO YOU LADY!! I sooooo wish we could be IRL pals. Alas, you are far away. *HUGS* But I've always thought of you as one of my coolest SP friends. :) I think we'd definitely hit it off if we were hanging out in person as well. EEK SCARY SHEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That sounds a bit terrifying! hahaha. Poor doggie! :) What a cute story about him though. I want a dog so bad...

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COLEISMYSOUL 10/8/2008 8:06PM

    Wonderful to hear from you and read your adventures. Three cheers for MacDuff!!!

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HOFMAE 10/8/2008 8:04PM

    Sounds like a beautiful place.

And adventurous!!

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RIANES 10/8/2008 4:59PM

    Go MacDuff!

Glad to hear that you've settled in nicely. It's down right cold and damp here. Remind me why I switched Washingtons?

Talk to you later!

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~*LINDA*~ 10/8/2008 4:51PM

    emoticonYou sound like you`re settling really well,,,, glad to know you`re causing a stir!!!!! emoticon

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FROLIC838 10/8/2008 4:25PM

    Your new place sounds divine. The cooler days of fall have crept over my neck of the woods and I'm already snuggled up with hot chocolate (sugar free of course) and warm blankets. :) Makes me long for sunshine and fair weather. MacDuff's adventures were absolutely priceless. Thanks for sharing!

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SHORTTOOTH1 10/8/2008 4:15PM

    It sounds like your new place is great!! And MacDuff's big adventure made me laugh. I'm glad you are finding your place there.

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MILLER32807 10/8/2008 4:06PM

    Wow, what an adventure for MacDuff!!!! lol Watch out at the bakery so you don't eat both our shares of daily calories in one sitting emoticon Glad that you are discovering friendly people... and how cool that you just go for a little stroll and meet a man with his sheep!!!

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Procrastination and Cookies

Monday, February 11, 2008

I don't know what is the matter with me. I know I need to exercise. I know I don't even mind it that much when I'm doing it. I know I feel better for doing it, and yet I have to beat myself into going to the gym. Oh, and by "go to the gym," I mean get in the lift and go down to the ground floor!

I had a pleasant surprise today and got to come home early. Did I work out early and get it done? Noooo. I packed my gym bag HOURS before I finally went downstairs. Pathetic.

But go down I did. And considering my recent surgery, it was actually a pretty energetic workout. I worked out for close to two hours, doing both cardio and weight work. The endorphins kicked in early on, and I felt great by the end of it.

The concierges bake cookies every evening. As I come out of the gym, I often turn into Jerry from the Tom & Jerry cartoons, floating on the wafting scent of fresh baked, still warm cookies. (Cookies, not cheese, but you get the idea.) One evening, I was eyeing up the cookies but decided I needed milk to really enjoy them. Cesar, the concierge that evening, actually kept them in the back room until I returned from the convenience store with milk, so that they would not be scarfed down by other residents before I returned!

Cesar was on duty again this evening, as I left the gym, feeling both pride and a sense of accomplishment. Why do I struggle to do what I know I need to do, especially when there is a possibility of a cookie afterwards? One would think I'd be desperate to get down there and get cracking! Walking through the lobby on my way to the lift, I scooped up a chocolate chip cookie and called out to Cesar, "I love you!"

He grinned, and we were both happy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSEMBERSTORM 2/17/2008 1:09PM

    You are doing awesome. Don't beat yoruself up! You worked out and not too long after having surgery. Be proud of yourself! You rock!

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ABM909 2/14/2008 10:42AM

    I think Cesar loves you too. Way too go and if you want cookies then I think its just fine. Especially if you are able to work it into your daily calories. AND you worked out first. I think you are super. Keep up the good work.

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TABSNPICKLES 2/13/2008 12:27PM

    Hiya darling! Well DONE! No I MEAN IT! It's a lot more than I have been doing! And I have been scoffing all sorts of naughties!! But I am now home - good ol' Blighty! It took an ice storm, sun, and far too many train journeys to get here - but look I am already putting up an answer on SP and I have 2 screaming cats, a damp house (the boiler went into lock out - D'oh son why didn't you check that instead of forgetting my milk??? or even as WELL as I should say!) but I am home - I loved seeing everyone - but oh am I glad to be home! As for workouts..... I think I got mine carting all my baggage over the stairs at the station, dragging them up the drive and sorting out the boiler - at least I now have some heat! So HAVE A COOKIE FOR ME (after you have done your workout! LOL!)
Love and lots of hugs

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TIME4JUDI 2/13/2008 6:26AM

    I agree with everyone else...we all KNOW we need to exercise, and feel good afterwards, but it is hard to get ourselves to do it no matter if it is just down the lift (or in my case in the room next door!)...BUT, the more often you CAN push yourself to do it, the more of a habit it becomes, and the easier it is! Good for you for getting that workout in! Allow that cookie to be the secondary reward to feeling good about working out, and yes, shout it loud when you have done it! (I have unlimited texting....I'd be happy to be your "text buddy")....I have another SparkFriend who likes me to send her an email every day to encourage her to work out (of course then I have to work out too!) Have a great day! {{{sweaty hugs}}} Judi

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    I like Cesar already! Sounds like my kind of guy. And excellent work on getting to the gym and getting a great workout in!

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KIMCATUS 2/12/2008 1:03PM

    Ooooh cookies!! Yummy! I wish I could help you out on the working out...all I can say is just do it. yeah I sound like a sneaker ad, but seriously. Is there someone you can work out with? Or someone that can call you and say, hey go work out!! Or hey...if you have unlimited text messaging (like I do with a teenager in the house)...I'll text you at a specific time and tell you to get your butt up and go!! lol

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MYSHERIANN 2/12/2008 12:49PM

    PUSH so it becomes habit! My son (who's in 5th grade) shared with me he was taught in school.......if you do something (the same thing) for 21 days, it becomes habit to our brain. So i'm testing his teacher! I'm workout for 21 days straight.

I have the same issue you're speaking of. I enjoy working out, I love the results and boy do you feel awesome afterwards............SO WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET UP AND DO IT????.........ugh! lol Let's nip that RIGHT now and make working out a natural habit!!!! I'm w/ yah!

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AMUNET_RA 2/12/2008 9:46AM

    Oh, Amanda, if I could stop at one cookie! LOL!

Congrats on your workout! That is GREAT! I too, love the feeling after a good workout. Yesterday after I left the pool, I ran part of the way home from the bus stop (not because I'm energetic; because it was -40 with the wind chill) and I could feel that my lungs were starting to stretch...getting more accustomed to cardio; it felt great! Sadly, I went home, baked cookies for my BF and scarfed down about 700 calories worth of cookie dough LOL! (yes, my exercise bank account is already in the negative)

But I digress....enjoy that will grow and reward've earned it! ((HUGS))


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H2O4LIFE 2/12/2008 12:25AM

    ..and ya know, after a good workout is the best time to splurge...if you're going to. Depending on the intensity of your workout, your body burns more calories for up to daon't feel guilty about a cookie. It was deserved.~hugs from the Dark

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SCHNOOGLES 2/12/2008 12:09AM

    One cookie isn't a bad thing after a workout. I'm proud of you for going to workout! Good job!

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Kadusha: 2003-2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kadusha died last night. I still can't quite grasp it. I found her in the Animal Market, a sort of take away zoo in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. She was a tiny, starving puppy, and the man was going to drown her because no one wanted a female dog. She was crying her heart out; she was so young that her eyes were still blue.

Impulsively, I bought her for $2.70. Kadusha joined my westie MacDuff, and we traveled the world. Four months ago, we moved from London to Arlington, Virginia. Kadusha struggled with the adjustment and developed some problems -- nothing that seemed too serious.

It all went wrong after lunch yesterday. By 6 p.m. we were in the vet's office. Kadusha was such a fighter. The vet marveled at the dosage it took it finally put her to sleep. I held her and reminded her of all the amazing adventures we had together as she gazed at me with those beautiful whisky-colored eyes.

I know it's going to be a long time before I'm over her. MacDuff keeps checking her crate and looking around the house for her. Odd things suddenly make me think of her and I cry.

I love the Christmas season, but this year is tough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHNOOGLES 1/3/2008 10:57AM

    Oh honey! I'm so sorry to hear about Kadusha. I lost my dog earlier this year, and it still hurts. Then a family member on top of that - although frankly, the dog was a family member too.

For some reason, our birthdays were the hardest thing for me this year. My dog, me, and my family member all have birthdays in a row, right around Christmas. This year I lost both my birthday buddies. Nobody to "share" my cake with. (OK, plenty of people to help eat it, which is good.) That was hard.

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HRDWLBY 12/31/2007 9:58AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a pet is terrible! I've been there as well. There is such a hole in your heart. I know you'll never forget her. Hopefully you will remember the happy times with her.


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GETMOVIN 12/29/2007 5:07PM

I'm so sorry to hear about Kadusha. She will always be in your heart and you can always feel good about how much you did to give her a good life.

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QUEENOFSCHMOOZE 12/27/2007 10:30PM

    It's hard, but it's so good that you were there with her. So sorry about your puppy.

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ACESANDEIGHTS 12/27/2007 12:41PM

  I'm so sorry to hear about your lost. I know how hard it is to lose a family member like that. I recently lost my Gus, he was a Westie. It was so kind of you to adopt her. At least you gave her a better life. Take care

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H2O4LIFE 12/24/2007 12:28AM

    Boy, that takes me back. OUCH! I'm so sorry for your loss. My pup still brings me to tears and it's been 2 1/2 yrs. We'll always have our memories.~hugs from the Dark

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KIMCATUS 12/23/2007 9:40PM

    I am so so sorry to hear about your precious fur baby...she was gorgeous and was very lucky to have such a wonderful and caring home. I'm so sorry for your loss... :(


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MSEMBERSTORM 12/23/2007 5:11PM

    I am so sorry! It's amazing how close we get to our wonderful pets. Mine are my family! My heart really breaks for you. Best wishes!

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250STRONG 12/23/2007 2:52PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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GREENT 12/23/2007 11:33AM

    It's great that you rescued Kadusha and gave her a loving home. I'm sorry that she is no longer with you. I hope that you are comforted by the memories of your friend & companion.

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MUSTANG0421 12/23/2007 10:04AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I became higly allergic to my cats and had to give them up a little over a year ago. I still miss them and have moments when something reminds me of them. Kadusha was so lucky to have had you. Hopefully in time your memories of her will be comforting to you.

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COLEISMYSOUL 12/23/2007 9:53AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are such special angels to us. Remember the wonderful times she brought you as she knew the life you brought her.

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BARKSHIREWOODS 12/23/2007 12:37AM

    Hugs to you at this time. My Reeses the red dog in my profile is chugging along despite the vet insisting he can't figure out how. That makes this xmas feel a little worrisome for me. God bless their dear hearts.

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